Jurassic World Dominion

Jurassic World Dominion ★★★

I have a ton of thoughts but wanted to start off by simply saying there’s a lot of big, dumb fun to be had. You’ll probably feel the same way about Dominion as you did the previous two. I really enjoy the trilogy because I see them as brilliant meta-commentaries on sequels/remakes. World was about abusing commercialization of an intellectual property, Fallen Kingdom was about new installments as commodified clones and trying to save things you probably should let stay in the past, and now we have Dominion where dinosaurs are so ubiquitous that they just become background to the human experience, but we still want more.

**entering spoiler territory**

Now for more specifics. I wish I could have really loved Dominion, but at times it has a fatal flaw that no other JP/JW commits: it has long stretches of boring. There were a couple kids at my showing and the movie never even tried to lock them in or give the awe moments that most of the others do. It took about an hour for dinosaurs to do anything really interesting; before then it’s basically all introducing the 10 different intertwining people stories. It gets really entertaining though! The second half is almost nonstop action and it rules. 

Like with Fallen Kingdom, Ian Malcolm chides the audience for supporting this absurdity en masse. He makes a speech to the employees of Biosyn criticizing their role as part of the machine that caused the disaster, and it ends with the accusation that the evil owner of Biosyn was “Exploiting your enchantment to [dinosaurs].” If that’s not a wink to how the JW franchise does the same to audiences, I’ll eat my hat. Later he says “Jurassic World? Not a fan.” I mean come on. 

I got a chuckle out of some of the more clever and/or ridiculous references to past movies, especially the original JP, like Nedry’s container and his dino friend making a big comeback and Alan Grant’s experience with a high voltage fence. All the acting was pretty good! Jeff Goldblum actually tries a bit in this one. Laura Dern is the best as always, and I think she really elevated Bryce Dallas Howard, she was much better in this one than the past two. 

There were so many absurd things that happened that it’s impossible to list them all. But you just have to laugh at them. Like I hated the whole locust plot until they turned into meteors raining down on dinos. Brilliant. Letting Henry Wu not only get redemption (after being the evil scientist for FIVE movies) but being redeemed by YET AGAIN screwing with genes and nature is the biggest in the long long line betrayals to the intent of the original Jurassic Park. It’s a stroke of genius.

Did Trevorrow and co. have any awareness of what they were doing, or did they just make three really dumb movies that are vacant of thought enough that I was able to imbue it with so much meaning? Either way, I loved the journey.

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