FILM REVIEW — Humans fall flat in new “Jurassic World” movie

Published 12:20 am Friday, June 10, 2022

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“Jurassic World Dominion”

Universal Pictures

Directed by Colin Trevorrow

Starring Chris Pratt, Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum, DeWanda Wise, Campbell Scott, BD Wong and Isabella Sermon

Rated PG-13

2 ½ Stars

With apologies to Tom Cruise, the movie that I was most excited to see this summer was “Jurassic Park Dominion.”

I am an enthusiastic fan of this franchise and will proudly admit even when the sequels didn’t rise to the level of the original film, I still got a visceral kick out of watching plucky humans being chased by hungry dinosaurs.

I was expecting more of the same with this latest, and reportedly final film in the franchise. Not only did the dinosaurs and action look thrilling in the trailers, but the film came with the bonus of adding the cast from the original movie into the mix.

It certainly looked like a slam dunk summer blockbuster.

What could possibly go wrong?

Unfortunately, a lot.

“Jurassic World Dominion” is a bit of a mess. It’s a film that tries to tell multiple stories that don’t really mesh well. Which is how we get the tale of two parents (Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard) desperately racing around the world as they try to recue their adopted daughter (Isabella Sermon) who has been kidnapped by black market thugs.

We also get the story of a scientist (Laura Dern) who is looking into a plague of genetically modified grasshoppers. Her investigation leads her to a dinosaur sanctuary, where a tech billionaire (Campbell Scott) is playing god with dinosaur DNA.

These two storylines meet up by chance when safety settings break down at the sanctuary and then it’s stomp, stomp, bite, bite for the rest of the film.

Those dino action moments are certainly the best part of the movie. Between the superb creature animation and the associated sound design, your heart will leap into your throat every time the creatures stomp on screen.

There are several thrilling action set pieces where our heroes face off with these beasts, although many of these seemed to end abruptly, almost as if the filmmakers felt that they needed to move on lest they make a three-hour movie.

As for the human creatures up on the screen?

I’m surprised by how little I cared about what they were doing. It was nice to see them come together, but I never got the sense that the extra characters added anything more to the story.

I think you can blame all of this on the over-ambitious screenplay. This is a film that tries to set up its world with risible newsreel reports, then plunges us into the distinct storylines without giving us a chance to catch up with the characters that we are supposed to care about later on in the film.

By the time the dinosaurs do show up, the whole thing is destined to become a coincidence-laden survival story.

All of which makes “Jurassic World Dominion” into an unsatisfying movie where the action and creature design is very good, but the human side of things falls flat.

Most audiences will be there for the dinos, so there’s plenty here to like, but I can’t deny feeling disappointed that this final film in the franchise didn’t end on a higher note.

Movie reviews by Sean McBride, “The Movie Guy,” are published each week by Orange Newsmedia and seen weekly on KFDM and Fox4. Sean welcomes your comments via email at