Jurassic World Dominion

Jurassic World Dominion ★★

As empty and soulless as one would expect from the third part of a franchise reboot that has never quite figured out how to translate the simple spectacle of CGI dinosaurs into a halfway compelling film. It's almost remarkable how emphatically this refuses to capitalise on the best idea its trainwreck of a predecessor had – releasing dinosaurs into the wild for good – and how eager it is to crawl back into the familiar safety of enclosed habitats and scientific monitoring stations. Not to mention that the great threat to humanity here are not pterosaurs laying waste to air travel or Cretaceous predators taking over towns and cities, but locusts that are slightly, but not excessively, oversized. This might be the crowning achievement of that particular branch of Hollywood screenwriters whose primary goal seems to be to not get roasted by CinemaSins, so they come up with plots that fight tooth and nail to not be perceived as "unrealistic."

It's a shame because the movie's few redeeming qualities are in fact the moments where Trevorrow gets to play with his dinosaurs. But then it's always straight back to Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, who are are as dull and lifeless as ever, even with an adopted teenage daughter foisted upon them – or to Laura Dern, Sam Neill, and Jeff Goldblum, who have about a hundred times their co-stars' charisma, but who are given very little to do, except reenacting Jurassic Park poses, being generally "too old for this," and standing around vaguely evoking some undefined sense of nostalgia. A movie as hollow as a T. Rex bone. (I learned that on Prehistoric Planet. If you want to see dinosaurs doing cool things, watch that. It's on Apple TV+. David Attenborough narrates.)

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