Thursday, February 2, 2023

‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ Review: Not Enough Dinos but Still a Fun Watch

MOVIES'Jurassic World: Dominion' Review: Not Enough Dinos but Still a Fun Watch

First things first, Jeff Goldblum is still the king of Jurassic.

With that out of the way, the final addition to the Jurassic saga, Jurassic World: Dominion, is buoyed by the return of the original film’s stars. Too few dinos and too many loose ends to wrap up, all while shouldering a new disaster, leads Dominion on a convoluted path that takes the focus off of the prehistoric beasts we want and puts it back onto humankind. And let’s be honest, we get enough of that in real life. While the theme of the Jurassic movies has always been that man is the problem, it’s always been better balanced with dino mayhem, but the dinos almost felt out of place at times here.

Although the dino sequences are too few, the ones we get are a thrill. Dinosaurs now roam the earth freely and that just makes for some great sequences throughout the film, some heartwarming and more absolutely terrifying. One could make an argument that the dinosaurs were a quality over quantity type of situation here, because those scenes truly do stand out. I was shocked, floored. I gasped a few times; they’re stellar. I just wish there was more.

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Seeing the original trio back in action forgives whatever other missteps the finale takes, and there are a few, including a questionable reintroduction of Dr. Ellie Sattler (it was not great, I’m going to be honest). But as the original team reunites, nostalgia takes over and the film gave them a much larger role than I was anticipating, giving us all the moments we could hope for. Jeff Goldblum steals every single scene. I can never tell if the things he says are scripted or improvised and I don’t want to know. Let that be part of the Ian Malcolm magic as we’re once again graced with greatness.

There are two newcomers that stood out even in the shine of Laura Dern, Sam Neill, and Goldblum’s return: DeWanda Wise’s Kayla and Mamoudou Athie as Ramsay. They came to conquer, and conquer they did. Wise in particular brings a particular humorous edge that was much needed in the somberness, and she plays perfectly with each other characters. I couldn’t help but be enraptured.

Dominion isn’t the perfect dino mayhem finale to the Jurassic saga. It’s just not. But it’s still an extremely good time in a theater. It’s got enough action to get your heart thumping, and some hold your breath moments. The stunning visuals and great score make this a mid-tier film that’s certainly worth the watch, even if it’s only once. Do it for Jeff Goldblum if nothing else.

Jurassic World: Dominion releases in theaters Friday, June 10.

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