Jurassic World Dominion

JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION* is not exactly the “dinosaurs running loose in the world” story I expected from the ending of JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM – it ends up centering on yet another dinosaur park – but it does indeed take place at a time when dinosaurs have been running loose in the world long enough to proliferate, and for humans to respond with new governmental agencies, black market industries, etc. Which is an interesting world to spend time in.

Maybe that’s why some of the best stuff is before the plot really gets going – that part of a sequel that’s a loose set of scenes catching us up with the old characters and their new situations. First we get a nice web video about the state of things, featuring fun clips like a wedding where the bride and groom release doves and a pterodactyl swoops down and eats them. It’s in a joyful Dinosaurs Attack! spirit (though admittedly the cards themselves had an even better dinosaur wedding crasher – see right). Then we join JURASSIC WORLD co-lead Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard, HEREAFTER) and her FALLEN KINGDOM dinosaur rights associates Franklin (Justice Smith, The Get Down) and Zia (Daniella Pineda, MERCY BLACK) raiding an illegal breeding facility and rescuing a caged baby triceratops. The chaotic shots of adult triceratopses ramming Jeeps as they escape are a total joy.

*I dig the lack of a colon!

And Owen Grady (Chris Pratt, THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN) is out there being rugged, lassoing a stray long-necked such-and-such-asaurus and dino-whispering him to safety. Turns out Owen and Claire live off the grid in a remote cabin in the Sierra Nevada mountains, trying to hide their adopted daughter Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon), who was the most questionable plot point of FALLEN KINGDOM (a clone of the deceased daughter of the business partner of Jurassic Park founder John Hammond?). She works better as a teen protagonist than as a surprise twist, despite a questionable retcon about her origins.

As far as these characters are concerned, the plot kicks in when poachers kidnap not only Maisie but Beta, the newborn offspring of Owen’s favorite raptor Blue. Blue lives in the woods near the cabin, more like a bear that hasn’t felt like attacking them yet than a pet. Maisie and Beta are sought by pioneering bio-tech firm BioSyn and its CEO Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott, DEAD AGAIN) to be studied by former Jurassic Park chief geneticist Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong, MYSTERY DATE).

I didn’t know this, but I learned from research that BioSyn were the chief competitor of InGen in the Crichton books, and Dodgson wasn’t the CEO then, but he was the character (played by Cameron Thor in JURASSIC PARK) who gave Dennis Nedry the device to transport the stolen embryos. Well, all these years later those motherfuckers are still up to no good. Not only this kidnapping business, but they’re also at the center of a separate plot that reunites the three leads of JURASSIC PARK.

Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern, A PERFECT WORLD) is investigating a plague of prehistoric locusts about the size of ferrets that are destroying crops and threatening to collapse the entire food chain. She believes they were created by BioSyn, and convinces her old friend/fellow dinosaur survivor Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill, POSSESSION) to help her find proof during a visit to BioSyn’s headquarters. The rat soup eatin insecure mothafuckas have an underground lab and (you guessed it) dinosaur sanctuary in Italy’s Dolomite mountain range. Luckily Ellie gets an invite from the company’s “in-house philosopher,” Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum, DEATH WISH).

Of course Owen & Claire’s rescue mission and Ellie & Alan & Ian’s whistleblower scheme eventually intersect – in the last act. Until then it’s sort of a shaggy (or feathery?) cross-breed of these two sequels, the wilder, more action-packed one with the new kids and the Crichtony faux-science-thriller with the oldsters. It’s definitely unwieldy, and I do suspect it could’ve been improved with trimming and streamlining, but I found it way more fun than what I remember of the previous chapter or (I’m gonna get it for saying this) the underwhelming Spielberg-Lite of Joe Johnston’s part III. (I could stand to rewatch that one though. It’s been a long time.)

JURASSIC WORLD director Colin Trevorrow has returned, having skipped the sequel to direct BOOK OF HENRY and to not direct THE RISE OF SKYWALKER. In my opinion he is, like all directors with the exception of Steven Spielberg, not Steven Spielberg. I don’t think I’ve seen enough of a sampling to have a handle on what kind of filmmaker he is exactly, but I think he deserves at least a little credit for not trying to be bootleg Spielberg (though the late-in-the-game sequence that’s more in the mode of those sneaking-away-from-t-rex scenes is surprisingly effective). There are tons of cleverly shot sequences: the camera that tips over with the boat, the one that stays on Claire’s face as she ejects from a plane (how did they make that look so real?) or on her head as it pokes out of water, then loses her when she ducks under but shifts to a cross section of her underwater as dinosaur breath ripples the surface. And of course there are many beautiful shots treating dinosaurs as wildlife, that may not have any live action elements at all – I’m not sure. (The director of photography is John Schwartzman [ROCKULA, THE ROCK]).

I found DOMINION to be less stupid than FALLEN KINGDOM, but that’s not to say it’s missing that element of overpriced b-movie outlandishness that I personally believe is preferable for an ongoing series about dinosaurs eating people. To my delight, there’s a good 20 minute stretch that feels like a later FAST & FURIOUS sequel, with Owen and Claire traveling to Malta, meeting with new and old connections, infiltrating a sleazy underground dinosaur fighting ring, and even having a rooftop chase. I swear they exactly redo the famous BOURNE ULTIMATUM window jump, but with a raptor. And it just happens really quick and keeps moving like that was normal. I almost did a double take.

Dichen Lachman (TYRANNOSAURUS AZTECA) plays a sexy illegal dino trade queenpin named Soyana Santos who, yes, uses laser pointers to make her trained raptors attack people, but otherwise seems more like a FAST & FURIOUS villain than a character that would be in this movie for any reason. And then she’s gone. I hope she’s the character who finally bridges JURASSIC PARK and THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS and births the Universalverse.

There have been some complaints that huge prehistoric locusts are not dinosaurs but in fact a related new cool thing that has been added in addition to the dinosaurs. I do not find this argument compelling. My only complaint about the locusts is that I don’t think they should be an evil corporate scheme – I think it would be more meaningful to our times if reviving the dinosaurs had unforeseen consequences and chain reactions, other things they didn’t think through in addition to “it would suck to get your head bit off by a t-rex.”

The locusts are mostly a McMuffin, but they get at least three memorable scenes: two kids on a farm running from a swarm of them, a bunch of seemingly dead ones jerking back to life when the lights come on, scaring the shit out of our heroes, and (spoiler) a swarm of them flying while on fire, simultaneously creating a nightmarish atmosphere and a delightful snack for the dinosaurs.

I have not ever/yet rewatched the two JURASSIC WORLD movies, so I felt a little bit behind when they brought back some of the supporting characters for cameos, but that’s fine. There’s an odd idea that many of the Jurassic World employees were recruited by the CIA – I guess because they need dinosaur experts these days? I like the bit where Franklin is watching a dinosaur video and blurts out something about what a crazy year it’s been. It’s relatable to these times and also what we would definitely be saying the year the dinosaurs took over the world.

Of course the JURASSIC movies that mean something to me are the two Spielberg ones, so I was most excited to see Ellie for the first time since 1 and Alan for the first time since 3 and have them together with Ian Malcolm, seeming more like Ian Malcolm this time and not just a Goldblum cameo. He even gets to do a lecture in his leather jacket!

I guess having them on this whistleblower mission with a major chunk taking place inside a secret lab instead of out in nature isn’t the coolest possible idea. But I appreciate having some out-of-left-field stuff mixed in with the expected stuff.

Part of the reason the BioSyn portion mostly works for me is the very good performances by Scott as evil CEO Dodgson and Mamoudou Athie (UNDERWATER, Grandmaster Flash on The Get Down) as his communications director Ramsay Cole, who gives Ellie and Alan a tour of the place. Scott perfectly modulates his catalog of oddball tics and lack of sincerity to never be too cartoonish, always balanced between funny and offputting. Athie keeps me on my toes about what Ramsay’s deal is, and repeatedly steals scenes without leaving marks on any scenery. I think he has the acting highlight of the movie in a scene where (SPOILER) he makes Dodgson completely fall apart just with his expressions, not saying a word until he’s done blabbering.

As far as the others, it’s admittedly more of a case of “it’s fun to see these characters together again” than “this has something important to say about where they’re at in their lives.” I guess they’ve done something with Dr. Wu, making him seek redemption after turning straight up mad scientist in the last one. I like that Ellie seems to have found herself after a divorce; Alan doesn’t seem to have changed or done much in the decades since we’ve seen him. Owen and Claire mostly just get to be protective parents. There’s a scene where Claire realizes the computer system at BioSyn headquarters is the same as what they used at Jurassic World, and she gets really excited – I think because she finally has something useful to do! I felt bad for her. She must seem like a chump when her husband’s running around with Kayla Watts (DeWanda Wise, THE HARDER THEY FALL), the badass ex-Air Force pilot she recruited to fly them to BioSynLand.

And there are so many characters it’s hard not to short all of them, including the dinosaurs. But there is a subplot about some dinosaurs getting into some shit over a previous incident involving a deer. These guys hold grudges I guess. I love that it gets resolved with violence right after our heroes escape, though obviously the way to make this movie great would be to have the prehistoric savagery continue a good 15+ minutes after all humans have fled. They can stay out of this. This is dinosaur business.

I like the idea that Owen has learned how to make the dinosaurs respect him, though it seems to have gotten way easier since the raptors. It still always feels like he’s on the verge of becoming a cautionary tale. He never lets his guard down. I’m a sucker for man and animal mutual respect in movies, and that goes double for man and dinosaur mutual respect. At the end when they (happy ending spoiler) return baby Beta to mama Blue in Nevada, the baby happily runs off into the woods but then she turns and gives a look to Maisie, the girl who saved her. And Blue does the same for Owen, for bringing the baby back to her. I’m positive that the looks those two gave are the raptor equivalent of a badass nod. So that’s a good ending.

I do have two SPOILER mild complaints about deaths, though. First of all, Dodgson compares himself to Prometheus and Ian says something like “Prometheus was gored, and you will be too.” But then when he dies he is not gored. Nor does a pterodactyl eat his liver. Worse than that, apparently when evil redneck poacher Rainn Delacourt (Scott Haze, ONLY THE BRAVE, VENOM, ANTLERS) died I didn’t realize it was him! (Updated from saying he didn’t die. Thanks for the correction.)

I know that many people are saying this is a garbage movie for garbage people, so I’m some people will be disappointed in me for enjoying it, and say that I’ve lowered my standards, as they said when I thought JURASSIC WORLD was a fun time 7 years ago, and before that when they found out I’ve loved THE LOST WORLD since it came out 25 years ago. In case I haven’t already made it clear with my description, I am not saying JURASSIC PARK DOMINION must be welcomed into the pantheon of great blockbuster entertainments. I’m saying that I enjoyed its mix of top shelf special effects, monster mayhem and absurdity. It depicts an interesting alternate reality and I smiled big every time some fucker got snatched up by a wild beast. Honestly I don’t get enough of that in my life, especially at this level of production value and technical craftsmanship, so I appreciate the opportunity.

But they’re cowards for not bringing back Ian Malcolm’s gymnast daughter Kelly. So fuck ‘em.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022 at 7:12 am and is filed under Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

48 Responses to “Jurassic World Dominion”

  1. It’s okay to like a movie. I found this to be relentlessly dull and stupid, so I did not enjoy it very much. All the legacy actors (except maybe Dern) looked like they had a gun pointed at their heads off-camera. Sam Neil in particular looks like he is confused if the director already called cut or not.

    I think the greatest sin of this new series is turning the velociraptors into German shepherds. Every time someone held up their hand to pacify a fucking DINOSAUR, I desperately wanted said dinosaur to tear that arm off. I just hate that the dinosaurs have been so neutered and rendered ordinary. It’s inevitable I guess but that’s why the original Jurassic Park needed no sequels.

    I did enjoy some of the new actors — including Campbell Scott as Dodgson. He doesn’t bear any resemblance to the original Dodgson (and not just because it is a different actor) but I found the performance kind of interesting, even though the script completely lets him down. The locust plot is just so out-of-nowhere, it’s random and bad and no thank you. I could almost get on board with it if Dodgson’s goal was to destroy the food supply to wipe out humanity and let dinosaurs truly reclaim the earth. Instead he just wants to make more money? I know that’s how evil corporate CEOS in the real world work but it’s fucking boring as hell. So yeah, fuck the whole Jurassic World series.

    I do have an idea on how they could continue in current continuity. Leap ahead in future where dinosaurs are mostly contained but still some roaming around a bit and just remake “The Edge” but instead of a bear, it’s a pack of raptors, with a few other dinos scattered. Scale it down and make it a tense thriller. No more evil corporations, and for the love God, hire a better writer/director than this fail son Colin Trevorrow.

  2. The poacher guy gets brutally eaten by two smaller dinosaurs on chain leashes in Malta when Owen is questioning him doesn’t he?

  3. Just saying, but Ellie was in part 3 too! More of a cameo, but she had more screentime than Ian in LOST KINGDOM.

  4. I’m glad you single out Campbell Scott. I don’t know if there’s a more under-utilized actor working today. He has that really strange and distinct line delivery–like a preppy Walken–that makes him a really entertaining villain/weirdo/general sleazeball, yet he seems relegated to voice over work and TV one-offs.

    I mean, perhaps he likes it that way. Apparently voice over work has a very attractive work to pay ratio. Still, I can’t help but think this generation’s Dennis Hopper could be sliding through our fingers.

  5. CJ: That scene is practically the only thing I remember about that preposterously forgettable movie, which I must have seen three or four times now. (Wait, doesn’t a dinosaur talk at one point?) It shouldn’t be that memorable for a film character to choose to remain childless and nothave a miraculous change of heart or be punished for it, but it is, simply because I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before. I certainly didn’t see it in the morally excreble JURASSIC WORLD, which made it a point to show how garbage a human Ron Howard’s daughter was because she dared to make her own life choices that didn’t involve breeding. And of course the series has now fully corrected her error in thinking she had any say at all in her own destiny by jumping through a truly outrageous series of hoops just to make her a mother. GOOD GUY = PROCREATE. That’s just the way it is.

    I will not be seeing this one anytime soon is what I’m saying.

  6. She was in two scenes (and even saved everybody’s life to a degree) and ENOUGH WITH THE FUCKING TALKING RAPTOR! It was a throwaway joke in a nightmare scene, but people are still acting as if they were accompanied by it throughout the whole movie as its comic relief sidekick.

  7. I don’t know who you’re hanging out with that won’t stop talking about the talking dinoaur in JURASSIC PARK 3, but I’m only bringing it up because it’s one of two parts I remember about it, not because it’s an example of the movie’s horribleness. If anything the movie probably needed more talking dinoaurs.

  8. I’m surprised you thought the ejection looked good though. I thought that was the most incompetent green screen shot I couldn’t believe they left in a Hollywood movie.

    I’m glad you liked it more than me tho. Dern also has a substantial cameo in JPIII (which also establishes her husband and kids). I revisited after Dominion and man it has some questionable decisions too.

    As you know The Lost World is my legit favorite one. I also liked the first World and was fine with Fallen Kingdom.

  9. What were the questionable decisions you found in JPIII Fred? The only decision I ever sensed was “we should make an OK JURASSIC PARK” movie, and bless them, I think they managed it.

    I agree with CJ that the “Alan!” scene has been over “What were they thinking?!?”‘d

  10. Sorry buddy, I think you looked away for a second, but he did not live a long life, a dinosaur ate his head.

  11. I might see this just to see if it furthers the exceedingly compelling auteurist story of Colin Trevorrow’s, bizarre, pathological misogyny. JURASSIC WORLD and BOOK OF HENRY have such shocking, insane portrayals of women that they feel confessional, a window into a truly unhinged mind that doesn’t even realize how aberrant it is. This one sounds too bland and built-by-committee to have anything that interesting, though.

    It is sort of charmingly naïve that this series is still insisting Pratt and Howard are characters we remember in the slightest or care even a tiny bit about. Bless their little hearts. No matter how obvious it was that JURASSIC WORLD had two apocalyptic black holes at its center, the suits WILLED this to be a trilogy, and a trilogy it will be, dammit, and that means YOU WILL LEARN TO LOVE THEM, BY GOD.*

    *But also, for the final movie we’re bringing back the characters you actually liked, just in case.

  12. Deep Fried Noir

    June 14th, 2022 at 1:21 pm

    Went to see it with my 9 y/o and we had a great time, as we did with Fallen Kingdom. I don’t want my Jurassic Park sequels to be half-assed remakes of Jurassic Park. I *want* to see dinosaurs running around a spooky mansion, I *want* to see dinosaurs chasing trucks and motorcycles through Malta, I *want* to see velociraptors forming bonds with humans, and I especially want to see Campbell Scott having a ball in more big movies like this.

  13. “All the legacy actors (except maybe Dern) looked like they had a gun pointed at their heads off-camera”

    This could be due to the heavy Botox Bath Dern likely took prior to this movie, which hindered any significant facial muscle movement.

    As I mentioned in the other thread, the Malta sequence is the only time this dead on arrival POS gets defibrillated back to some semblance of animation, after which it flat-lines again.

  14. I honestly can’t tell if Deep Fried Noir is being sarcastic or not.

  15. KayKay, I will take your word for it, I thought Laura looked fine and she was the only one putting in any effort. On the other hand, Neil seemed confused, Goldblum seemed to be providing his own in-movie MST3K commentary and BD Wong seemed like his mind was wondering to the bathroom remodel he was gonna be able to afford once this check clears.

    One more thing — I will give this movie credit. I was fully anticipating Campbell Scott at some point answering a phone and saying “You’ve got Dodgson here”. And it never happened, they somehow resisted. Kudos.

  16. Nah, I’m with DeepFriedNoir on that matter. I enjoy JP III, because it just says “Fuck it, we don’t need more sense of wonder, we crank up the pulp factor and focus on action” and FALLEN KINGDOM because it’s in its 2nd half an oftens surprisingly atmoshperic gothic horror movie with dinosaurs. No opinion on DOMINION yet, but if you make a dumb JURASSIC PARK, you better try something interesting with it.

    That said: I still have to recommend that CAMP CRETATEOUS cartoon show on Netflix. Season 1 is maybe the greatest JP sequel so far (but give it a bit until the actual plot kicks in) and seasons 2 and 3 have lots of great shit going on too. Season 4 was sadly bullshit, but I wait how the final one will turn out, before I give an “Just end after S3 and assume those kids made it home” recommendation.

  17. Wait a second…


    EXORCIST II THE HERETIC is best known for its locusts scenes.

    The name of the slightly(?) better of the two very necessary EXORCIST prequels was DOMINION: PREQUEL TO THE EXORCIST, ie the prequel to the prequel to EXORCIST II THE HERITIC.

    This means something!

  18. I don’t think the movie is awful like a lot, but it is really more about the moments than being bigger than the sum of it’s parts. It’s dumb (and not in the action sequences sort of way, but in terms of some logic) and overlong. As someone who totally skipped FALLEN KINGDOM, I wasn’t that invested in the fates of certain characters spinning out of that. The most interesting part of it was the opening Web-Documentary thing. A whole movie in that format I could have actually watched and would have allowed for a more disjointed narrative as it jumped around to cover different events around the world relating to dinosaurs being unleashed. I have to say also that thirty seven seems low for human fatalities in this world, and seems to want to mitigate the Dinosaurs to not make the audience hate them too much. It’s not a coincidence that this series never has any confirmed child deaths by dinos, even off-screen, even though it did wonders for JAWS.

    It’s also straight up bullshit that the CIA subplot ISN’T about them trying to train dinosaurs to be government assassins.

  19. I’ll wait for streaming for this, but it’s a real bummer that they haven’t been able to even come close to the original movie with five sequels. There are some strong moments, like the dual T Rex attack in Lost World and the mansion stuff in Fallen Kingdom, but I don’t think a full film rises to the level of pretty good.

    But I would second the Camp Cretaceous cartoon if you don’t mind watching things made for kids. I’ve been watching it with my kid since it first aired. She was a little too young for it at first, but she loved the dinosaur, and now she has more of an idea of what’s going on. I’m pretty certain she’s rooting for the dinos to eat those kids, though.

  20. I haven’t seen Jurassics 2 or 5, and didn’t like 3 or 4 much, so I am not the target audience for this. But I would like to pitch the next iteration, JURASSIC UNIVERSE, where astronauts relocate all the dinosaurs to Mars, only to stumble upon the red planet’s own native dinosaur species.

  21. Man, a lotta Grumpy Guses over this movie. I started out with the expectation of it’s going to be dumb, I’m going to see it, I might end up enjoying it overall. And that’s what happened. There was a lot of dino action with a bunch of different dinosaurs and I had a good time. I liked all the oldies coming back and had fun whenever they were on the screen. Sure, there were moments where I thought, Oh come on, that’s stupid or bullshit or whatever but then dino action happened and I got distracted. One of the scenes I keep coming back to is the one where Claire is slowly crawling through the jungle and into the water, with the shot at her level straight on and you see the dinosaur feet and claws coming behind her until she sinks into the water and then it’s face dips down over the top of her. I thought it was really impressive. I saw it in Imax and honestly, some of the effects looked kind of cheesy, but some things looked really cool. That specific dinosaur was the stuff of nightmares.

    One weird question, Vern (or anyone else) do you remember if Claire and Owen kissed in that scene where he came home after cowboy wrangling those dinosaurs? She was all turned on by his manliness and smelling like horses and Maisie was all, gross, I’m out of here, but I can’t remember if they actually kissed or were they just hugging? I ask because it stood out like a sore thumb when they didn’t kiss when the plane was going down. She’s about to be ejected out into a dinosaur infested forest. He’s about to be in a plane crash in a dinosaur infested forest. He tells her he loves her and KISSES HER ON THE CHEEK. What the fuck was that? After that I wasn’t sure if they had kissed at all in the entire movie. There were plenty of times they should’ve, but I don’t know if they did or if my brain is filling in that space with kissing. I have to wonder if Pratt is sinking so far into his kooky religion that he won’t kiss anyone anymore in a movie. Or maybe it’s that their kissing was so awkward it made their lack of chemistry too obvious so they nixed it. But, frankly, that would be shocking if Trevorrow made that decision, considering how he doesn’t seem to care, or notice, when other things are clunky, like every moment he shoehorns in either Claire or someone else stating out loud that she’s Maisie’s mother. Not once do we have to hear spoken out loud in a very direct manner that Owen is her father.

  22. I don’t know, Maggie. I feel like they might’ve kissed when he got to the cabin, but maybe they just embraced. I know there was some acknowledgment that they were still into each other, because I was unclear up to that point.

  23. Ramsay was supposed to be revealed as Malcolm’s son at some point, right? I have to imagine that was in the original script and got cut. The whole movie emphasizes parent/child bonds, Malcolm references having 5 kids, Ramsay has a Jeff Goldblum vibe, and they seem suspiciously close for (in theory) only knowing each other for six weeks.

  24. Maggie — well, you gotta remember that Claire’s entire character arc is that she needs to stop being such a frigid bitch and learn to embrace womanhood and child-rearing, so of course they have to go out of their way multiple times to say aloud that she is a mother now. Owen is already perfect, so he doesn’t really need to learn anything and it’s not important if he’s anyone’s father or whatever.

  25. Pac-Man, The talking raptor dream was a big one. I’d forgotten it and was shocked by its inappropriateness. But I defend the gymnastics in Lost World so we can all get along.

    Having William H Macy swindle Allen with a fake company check seemed thin too, and the whole egg stealing subplot but whatever. I don’t hate it. I’ll forget enough of it by the next time a Jurassic comes out I’ll rediscover it again. At least it’s a lean 90 minutes.

  26. Well, it isn’t the worst movie in the world. “James Bond in the Jurassic Park universe” shit is fun, so it’s a shame they pull a Rob Zombie in the final act and just redo the original Jurassic in 45 minutes.

    But this is why, when I watched Top Gun 2, I said “It’s a good thing they didn’t bring EVERYONE back and have them hang out, just being Top Gunny.”

    And it’s been two movies: can we have one of the dinosaurs eat a good guy? They have like TEN sympathetic characters in this and the worst thing that happens to any of them is Chris Pratt getting a booboo on his hand.

  27. And to cross the streams a moment, I think this could’ve used some of the Stephen Sommers gnarliness I praised Mummy for. A swarm of giant locusts and they don’t eat one person? Super T-Rex and it doesn’t eat anyone? Freddy Krueger dinosaur and it doesn’t slash anyone? I know these things are never going to be R-rated, severed-head-a-paloozas… but the Spielberg ones had at least ONE severed arm! They had a guy getting ripped in half because two Rexes decided to eat him at once! The one thing these movies really need is that gleeful, Sid-from-Toy-Story sense of sadistic anarchy where you get to see a few people just get utterly trashed by dinosaurs. Peter Jackson’s King Kong was PG-13 too and that was a grand guignol compared to this!

  28. MaggieMayPie / Vern, yes they did kiss when they first met in the cabin. So I ALSO found absurdly ridiculous they didn’t kiss when the plane was falling down.

    This movie came close to breaking me. I can honestly say I felt it was blockbuster filmmaking at its absolute dreadful worst. My last two IMAX experiences showed me the pinnacle (Top Gun Maverick) and the absolute nadir (Jurassic World Dominion) of big scale franchise movies.

    Purely nonsensical and fragmented storytelling.

    Zero stakes to be transfered to the audience, and a new breed of dinosaurs that, in a seriously needlessly overlong movie, is considerate enough to eat ONLY like 3 bad guys and an unfortunate Malta tourist.

    No serious danger ever for anybody in a WHOLE EARTH FULL OF PREHISTORIC PREDATORS.

    Shakycam back with a vengeance.

    Exposition up to the gills every few minutes, killing any sliver of momentum.

    Locusts who give away the bad guy all on their own with clues you can see from Google earth. This “ancient locusts leave one company’s crops intact” is so self incrimitory it renders the whole movie pointless.

    Fake fakery of the fakest fakeness. The 30yo original puts this movies FX to shame.

    Bombastic, ear-bleeding sound mix which doesn’t let up ever in the hope of making you even more numb and able sustain the spirit – killing running time.

    Forgettable grandiose music score with unworthy injections of the original John Williams theme.

    2 sets of protagonists, legacy and “world” plus newcomers, all having nothing meaningful to say or do, all looking like they’d rather be home then here.

    The hand gesture stops dinosaurs / earthquakes / meteorites / dormamu and Thanos. The hand gesture stops cars / airplanes / trains / tanks / the earth from spinning. The hand gesture can fix your marriage / make you have kids if you’re sterile / walk on water.

    I like, had a great time with and saw multiple times the previous 2 movies.
    I loathe this one.

  29. Tests work, but not the actual post. Back later!

  30. I guess the issue is length so the TL:DR will be think it’s bad, but has some redeeming features.

  31. I think that Colin Trevorrow’s career is kind of hilarious. Is there any other director who has failed their way up so quickly. I actually saw Safety Not Guaranteed way before he had signed on for Jurassic World, and I thought it was just a terrible indie flick with nothing to say. Somehow that gets him the reins of one of the biggest franchises in Hollywood, and he does a terrible job with what’s a pretty good premise.

    He signs on for the third Star Wars movie, but he loses it after his return to small-scale filmmaking, The Book of Henry, is rejected by critics and the public. This sounds like it would be a career killer. If you lose a Star Wars movie, then it means they don’t have confidence in you. But J.J. Abrams does such a terrible job with Rise of Skywalker that people actually wish the Jurassic World and Book of Henry guy made it. The internet is even interested in the preproduction art so that they can daydream about what could have been. Getting fired from one of the biggest movies of all time turns out to be a blessing in disguise.

    And then, despite the fact that by most accounts it’s terrible, Jurassic World 3 becomes a huge success thanks to the public’s love of the original cast and dinosaurs.

    Trevorrow is a real-life Jar Jar Binks. He keeps on fucking up, but somehow makes it out on top. I have to admire this guy’s incredible luck.

  32. No lies detected, RBatty024. Trevorrow is the real-life Chauncey Gardner.

  33. Anyone else been watching The Terminal List? It lacks some of the charm of Reacher, which is after all about a seven-foot-tall gamma-irradiated Sherlock Holmes, but eats The Punisher’s lunch, since each episode has someone actually getting punished and not just the hero thinking about how much he misses his wife. Most of the way through and I’m hoping we get some decent hatchet action. There’s one good kill with it so far, but after the way the show teases them things like they’re Jason Voorhees’ machete, I wanna see the Prattler Snake bust them out in a fight.

  34. I know this is hardly an original comment, but I lost interest when I saw it was an 8-part series rather than a movie.

  35. We live in a world where serialized television became such a slog to get through, that even 8 episodes are already too much for some people.

  36. That’s certainly somewhat true for me in general, but in this specific case it just so obviously looks and sounds like something that should be a movie to me. And even when I thought it was going to be a movie, it looked like one of those movies that’s like a lot of 70s and 80s or heck even 00s movies but with all the colour and character drained out of it and with the mopiness dialed up to the max, but that I would have given a go because why not?

    Also in terms of critically panned shows that obviously should have been movies, I still have two episodes of that Mike Myers thing left. At least that’s cheery and genuinely odd. Sadly I gave up on the MACGRUBER sequel series after two episodes. Some good moments but too damn slow, and a lot of that Paul Feig-style don’t let a joke go until you’ve drained every last drop out of it stuff.

  37. I should note that Terminal List has Nick Chinlund in a fairly major role.

    That’s right. Nick.


  38. I kiiiiiiiiiiiiinda gave up on THE PENTAVERATE after three episodes. Still planning to finish it, but it’s not too high on my priority list. I do admire its ambition, but it’s too bad that Mike Myers thinks that wearing a ton of make up and saying things with a thick, foreign accent is still the most hilarious thing ever. (“You have to fuck us!” still made me laugh.) MACGRUBER still has 1 episode left and I enjoyed it a lot, but I do agree that it ran out of steam after episode 3 and never fully recovered after this.

  39. The thing I find interesting/endearing about Myers for all his faults is that his material is extremely broad appeal, somewhat lowest common denominator stuff (which I think is a sincere reflection of his humour and tastes) through which he still communicates his extremely niche obsessions. Sure, everyone had seen approximately 9,000 James Bond spoofs by 1997, but what separates the AUSTIN POWERS from the JOHNNY ENGLISHes of the world (which I still think are pretty funny) is that AUSTIN POWERS went really deep on that 60s spy craze angle taking in visual cues from MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., the FLINT movies, the spoof CASINO ROYALE, forgotten British Invasion movies and other stuff that wasn’t on the mind of your average PG-13 comedy ticket buyer at the time. Same with the affectionate mockery of low budget Public Broadcasting in WAYNE’S WORLD, and more unfortunately and least successfully the more obscure and/or dated parts of Peter Sellers’ film and discography in THE LOVE GURU. And so we come to the one man who would do an elaborate THE PRISONER homage in 2022. I wish it were a little better, but I can’t help but kind of like it.

  40. Yeah, make no mistake, I take a highly flawed comedy miniseries with a star who plays 2/3 of the characters, that dives deep into conspiracy lore of pop- and actual culture, isn’t afraid to drop the cheapest and immature slapstick gags and has a score by Orbital, over another “It’s actually a drama, but has some mild chuckles per episode, so we call it a comedy” anytime. I just wish it would be…less flawed.

    Also after finishing MACGRUBER today I realized that the typical Adult Swim cartoon gore is so much funnier, if it’s done in live action. And just like the movie, I really appreciate its “This is actually a real b-action movie and we love and celebrate all the cliches, but our protagnist is a fucking moron” approach.

  41. Random CAMP CRETACEOUS update: For those who keep track, you remember that I kept gushing about the really damn good Netflix cartoon spin off, but sadly, after the fucking great first season, the really good second season and the almost as good as the first and surprisingly scary third season, the show never recovered from its crappy fourth season.

    Yeah, season five was a bit better, they still managed to deliver a bunch of really exciting action scenes from time to time and gave us a few “This might be a kids show, but we still let some characters die a gruesome death” moments, but by switching the plot from “The kids try to survive and get home” to “The kids try to safe dinosaurs from evil businessmen and don’t seem to give a shit about getting home”, the quality of the writing really took a nosedive. And it wasn’t helping that they added a bunch of love stories in the mix too. (Who did they do them for? I know for a fact that kids don’t care about “that icky love stuff” and I am not sure how invested adults are in the love life of some young teenagers.) At least the ending was beautiful.

  42. Welp. Despite my better sense I decided to watch this, because I found the previous one good, dumb fun.
    Holy hell am I regretting it; after some lovely dino vignettes at the beginning it quickly goes to shit once they start reintroducing the new series’ obnoxious, charmless characters. The suckage’s spread to reliable actors, too – Sam Neill is downright terrible here. The plot is laughably bad, the storytelling is beyond basic, and it’s just so… goddamn… stupid… at every turn. And I’m only half an hour in! It’s so bad I had to take a breather.
    I made the mistake of watching it with my wife, who insists on finishing everything, otherwise I’d be dropping it like the flaming turd it is. I’m never watching anything Trevorrow again.

    Sorry, had to vent.

  43. I’m on the Grumpy Gus Bus for this one, although I’m not the Grumpiest Gus on there; more of a Grumpy Bear than the full Eeyore. I think I was approaching Eeyoredum towards the end. Cripes this thing went on.

    But I’ll talk about some of the stuff I did like:
    – The first scene between Blue and her baby was well done and felt like something I hadn’t seen in the series before. Surprised they showed a rabbit being killed though; did the learn nothing from CLIFFHANGER?
    – When Vern said “there have been some complaints that huge prehistoric locusts are not dinosaurs but in fact a related new cool thing” I though that while I agree that it’s annoying when people complain that a film had the audacity to surprise them, but my thought was “locusts don’t seem that cool though”. So it’s to my surprise that my favourite scene in the film was when the locusts first show up and attack the barn was my favourite scene in the film. There seems to have been an effort to add an element of 70s/80s-style atmospheric horror in these last two films, and while I don’t think it has entirely worked, there are moments where it does.
    – The production design in the BioSyn sequences was quite good, very 70s and did give that Crichton/ANDROMEDA STRAIN/WESTWORLD feel Trevorrow said he was going for
    – The scene where Pratt and Wise walk across the ice while sharing their histories was nice, I guess the JAWS “comparing scars” moment of the film. Scene then got really stupid, but oh well!
    – A cool bit of sound design where you hear a water splosh on just the left hand side of the theatre
    – Some of the stuff around the ethics and science of the cloning was kind of interesting, not particularly well explored or integrated into the movie but still… some ideas here!

    That’s about it honestly. I guess it’s nice to see that Goldblum gets to do some of his rock star mathematician schtick rather than just sitting in a courtroom, and it’s kind of nice to see Neil and Dern again, but it would be nicer to see them in a better film, JURASSIC or otherwise.

    I thought the lighting in this was pretty bad, made me wonder if they were keeping the dinosaurs in the dark to ease up on pandemic-era Dinosaur texturing, although no one else seems to have commented on this, so it doesn’t seem like this is a SOLO situation, maybe it’s just me. Visuals were definitely a factor in restricting my enjoyment though. The JURASSIC PARKs are not among my very favourite summer blockbusters, but they do help define my sense of “summer movie” somewhere in my mind, and the brightly lit warm-climate environment scenes were always a part of that, so this ugly, dingy film doesn’t push those same buttons. I could be down for a darker toned, dusky, cold climate JURASSIC film, but you’ve got to bring more to the table than they did here.

    Mostly this seemed to have that RISE OF SKYWALKER/MUMMY thing of being a bunch of scenes cling and clanging together without much structure, build or rhythm, and as customary with such works I wasn’t always bored, but rarely engaged or excited. I kind of admire them for marching to the beat of their own drum a bit, but I would have admired them more if I’d have liked the movie.

  44. That was written back in the summer BTW, but at the time it kept not being accepted after I hit submit. Luckily I saved it, so you can enjoy writing like “my favourite scene in the film was when the locusts first show up and attack the barn was my favourite scene”. You’re welcome.

  45. I sat through all 2 hours and 40 minutes of the extended cut of this over the weekend, expecting it to be terrible, and– I liked it! For me, the most successful JURASSIC movie since the original (I still haven’t seen LOST WORLD though). I think I was most excited by the use of some practical, animatronic dinosaurs, but also the return of my favorite dinosaur from the original (Dilophosaurus). And where the middle section reminded Vern of FAST ET FURIOUS, for me it was more like AQUAMAN– which from me is high praise.

  46. Count me into team “Liked it, well, not really LIKE-like, more not having anything against it and definitely not hating as much as the internet folks”. I thought the locusts would be a bigger part of the story, but I appreciated them adding at least some kind of logic into the extreme stupidity of the JURASSIC WORLD movies. I mean, they got now all that fancy cloning and genesplicing technology and only use it for dinosaurs? Please. And the Dino Bourne scene stuff, with its Saturday morning cartoon villains and actually quite fun action scene was really cool.

    And dare I say it? I appreciate that they took so long to bring the old gang back full time. That way they actually prevented the usualy legacy sequel traps of either sidelining the OGs to make room for the new ones or even randomly killing one of our favourites, because the actor didn’t want to commit to the sequels or the director thought they need to “raise the stakes”. Sure, that also gave the movie the problem of being basically two seperate movies at once, but it kinda worked.

    That said: It is indeed the weakest of the JURASSIC movies. We got cool shit like Ian turning a dinosaur into a dragon for a moment and a dinosaur chase through historical European streets, but nothing really stuck. It was absolutely servicable, but not as hateable as The Internet made me want to believe.

    Random fun facts: I liked the two (maybe three) tie-ins to the Netflix cartoon show. In it it is explained how the shaving cream can re-appeared and the technology that controlled the dinosaurs in emergencies was introduced there too. (Although it was odd that they waved it off with a short “The electric fences were worse”, after the kids from the cartoon tried two fucking seasons to prevent anybody from using it because of the cruelty behind it. But since the show ended before the events of FALLEN KINGDOM, maybe the dino mind control became more harmless.) The possible third tie-in might be Dr Wu’s faceturn, but maybe he just really hated what those locusts did and his encounter on the show had nothing to do with it.

  47. Welp, finally got around to finishing this.
    Hated it. Worst thing I’ve seen since whatever the worst thing I saw before Glass was. That bit where Bryce Dallas Howard starts her investigation on the market by just fucking randomly selecting the *one* person who’s got the information she needs and is willing to help her… that’s my new go-to example for how shitty a script can get. And that sort of thing happens over and over and over again. God, what a godawful pile of lazy, lazy crap. Seriously, never watching anything else by Trevorrow unless he seriously shapes up.

    I don’t really begrudge people enjoying it – don’t think anyone’s actually defending it as good or anything, I just couldn’t find it in me to forgive its supreme shittiness. But in the spirit of tolerance:
    I liked the documentary-like bits bookending the movie. Loved the scene where Dallas-Howard gets slow-chased by the fingernails dino; the only really memorable bit in the movie – well made and with a sense of menace. Loved the battle brothers bit in the end where the same fingernails dino teams up with the T-rex to bring down the giganotosaurus. They even roar together!
    Umm… yeah, I got nothing else. Piss-poor show.

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