Jurassic World 3 (2021)

Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt,
Four years after the destruction of Isla Nublar, dinosaurs now live--and hunt--alongside humans all over the world. This fragile balance will reshape the future and determine, once and for all, whether human beings are to remain t...
  • 5.7 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Emily Carmichael, Derek Connolly, Michael Crichton, Writer:
  • Colin Trevorrow, Director:
  • Patrick Crowley, Frank Marshall, Producer:

Trailer:

7 / 10

A generic, lifeless adventure movie that happens to have dinosaurs

If I were to list out all the things this movie focuses on, dinosaurs would be fifth or sixth, behind multiple storylines that range from bland to useless. I'm baffled by how little focus is on dinosaurs. And I don't just mean they are barely onscreen. The original Jurassic Park barely had any for the first hour. But everything leading up to that, the story, dialogue and themes, were all focused on dinosaurs.

That's not the case with Dominion. The majority of the storylines are tangentially related at best, completely unrelated at worst. Imagine watching Taken but Liam Neeson has to watch out for dinosaurs... that's one storyline. You could replace dinosaurs with any scary creatures and it would make little difference to the plot.

On top of that, they did a poor job of balancing so many storylines with different characters. Or maybe it's because every single one is uninteresting. And the moment when the different characters come together falls completely flat. I compare it to Stranger Things, when the stories converge and the crew is finally together, those moments are so impactful and exciting. They feel earned and elevate everything after. In Dominion, you don't feel any kind of magic.

Some parts were so bad they made me cringe or roll my eyes. But that wasn't the case for the majority of the movie. So why such a harsh score? Because this movie, which is the definition of a popcorn flick here to entertain us, is unbelievably boring. I had 8 hours of sleep last night and drank a Red Bull, yet I was struggling to stay awake. I had to un-recline.

All of the action scenes are forgettable. Literally. It's only been a few hours and I can remember maybe a couple cool moments. And one thing I couldn't believe, the climax action sequence is straight-up copied from one of the previous movies. I won't say which one, but I'm baffled they went this route. It's even sadder when you realize it's worse than what it copied in every way.

As for the dinosaur effects, at times the animatronic dinosaurs look like toys. And the CGI dinosaurs look a bit off. I don't think it's poor CGI but something about it doesn't feel right.

I am so disappointed this is what they gave us for their self-proclaimed "epic conclusion of the Jurassic era." Especially after Fallen Kingdom left us with such an exciting cliffhanger, the chaos that awaits the people of the world when dinosaurs are unleashed upon them. That's not at all what we get.

I loved the first Jurassic World. And while the second is highly flawed, it's still entertaining and filled with tension and suspense. I felt none of that with Dominion. (1 viewing, opening Thursday UltraScreen 6/9/2022)

6 / 10

They forgot why we loved Jurassic Park

When I go to a Jurassic Park movie, I want something above all else-hyper realistic dinosaurs in cool environments, seeing them frolic in natural habitat, defend territory, battle other dinos for dominance, hunt humans, and the like. From the opening island scene with the brachiosaurus to the T-Rex reveal in the rainstorm, dinosaurs were front and center in the original Jurassic Park, inspiring a sense of grandeur and awe. The dinosaurs were what mattered, and everything else was peripheral-even the plot to get off the island. We all wanted another glimpse of the T-Rex, or were anxious to discover where the raptors were lurking.

So that was the first one. Now in this sixth installment, not only are dinosaurs relegated to a commercialized product that's seen on every tv screen in the movie, but they're demoted below the humans, genetics, and even mutated locusts in terms of importance. In a two and a half hour movie, one would expect dinosaurs to fill almost half that time, and yet they pale in screen time comparison to all the human characters. Instead, the director tried to insert cameos of the legacy characters in forced interactions and honestly cringey dialogue, shifting the focus away from the real meaning in the Jurassic Park franchise-awe for dinosaurs. The wonder is now gone.

I have given it six stars in respect for the franchise and the limited appearances of some of my favorite dinosaurs, but I'm sad to see that the director forgot what made Jurassic Park so special in the first place.

4 / 10

Wayne Knight said it best three decades ago: We got Dodgson here, and nobody cares.

I don't know whether this is a fabled memory, but a few years ago I think I read an interview where director Colin Trevorrow said that the story of Dominion was always his ultimate go-to, that Jurassic World and Fallen Kingdom were the stepping stones to there (almost as if it was gathering the right build-up with characters, fan anticipation, budget, and technological advances). For every reason imaginable, I believed him. Where Fallen Kingdom ended, you had endless opportunity to explore the world with dinosaurs running amok and causing mayhem. Final shots of Fallen Kingdom included the T-Rex at a zoo, the Mosasaurus attacking surfers, a velociraptor overlooking a suburban California, and pterodactyls towering above a tourist-populated Las Vegas. It was all there; think The Lost World's San Diego epilogue but on a grander scale with more dinosaurs. Throw in the military, philosophical conversations regarding their eradication versus their survival, advance some more characters, and you have a bona fide fun summer blockbuster.

This didn't happen.

No matter what my actual opinion is of the film hereon out, I can't help but be letdown with disappointment that Trevorrow either deluded himself into believing this was the kind of conclusion that fans yearned for ala War for the Planet of the Apes (which has a much more compelling protagonist that makes it work despite its story misdirection) or J. A. Bayona pulled a Rian Johnson and put him in a corner with the concluding chapter that he had to rectify and had no actual written plan of his own. And it's not that there isn't a medium where this story doesn't work just fine. I can imagine the main plot elements being adapted from, say, a novelization or a comic series. Hell, there was even that Battle at Big Rock short that was done which could have told these elements on their own, or at the very least introduced them. Instead, they threw in extremely disjointed story bits for this final chapter that seemed to have no source of origin. They felt like they were the contrivance meant to unite our two character groups, and nothing more.

Dominion starts off very okay. It shows that it can slow down, have a genuine heartbeat, provide pathos for the existence of our reptilian brethren, trot the globe to see how they have integrated (or not) with our species, and reintroduce characters new and old (with possible internal conflicts) to show how they would pave their globetrotting paths. They even fix some of the poorly written aspects of Fallen Kingdom such as maturing Franklin's character, giving better use to the laser-targeting attack system, and giving Maisie a more believable backstory. All of this is supported with fantastic animatronic work and much improved CGI blending with it. I thought the visuals were mostly a knockout and supported the onscreen setups.

Not only that, but Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum kindled a similar flame to their interactions in JP1 and you sat forward to watch those moments. I caught myself smiling quite a few times during those exchanges. Jeff Goldblum was especially used well as he was able to inject entertainment and comedy through his dialogue where the film otherwise was flat with on its attempts. They were not small cameo appearances and served crucial roles to the film. You buy where they are in their lives, and even though TLW and JP3 are retconned the actors clearly tapped into those experiences for their performances to accentuate their statuses.

Speaking of buy-in, I would have given this film a long leash on a lot of things they could have done or did with this movie. We hit the point where we can embrace the ridiculous in several places. Want to make Blue become Owen's pet and attack guard? Go right on ahead. Want to modernize the action and give our protagonists more ability and skill that you might see in the Fast & Furious franchise or with our human Marvel heroes? If the dinosaurs get their large share of the action as well, I'm on board (the Malta scene is a perfect example of this). Want to pay homage to the previous films as you conclude your franchise? That is what I expect. I also expect them to diversify this on a tonal level where need be as to not become too stale, and I think I was feeling that here. Hell, there is nearly a half-hour duration where not a single dinosaur is shown or brought up, and if it's in anticipation for what is to come while building character or story then I will let it play out.

The problem really arose both when the movie decided to abandon the broad, peregrinating experience and confine its setting. Dominion is the saga's epic conclusion and did not need to put on this hat. This was a major rug pull from what was anticipated, and soured itself spending an excruciatingly long time on something that left little entertainment, tension, or dinosaurs. When they do show up, the moments become a little one-note. Our good guys have plot armor such as raptors that can run at vehicle speeds but can't catch up to running characters, or when they are cornered they just get roared at or ran/flown/swam past until they find their way out of the situation, or when they know they can stand around and trust that a carnivore won't eat them because reasons. Bryce Dallas Howard got the best/most suspenseful dino encounters at this stage of the film and they actually work extremely well, but for a near 150-minute movie these are few and far between, and for this franchise you really have to sit and ask yourself if there is a chance that she won't survive any of these instances.

A lot of this could have been made better if our Rexy got some great moments, but even she was backdropped and upstaged too often to matter, or when she does come on screen it seems to be a rehashed occurrence from something of old. She looked and sounded good, though. I want to restate how good the dinosaurs actually looked here, and I want to commend the visual effects departments for what they were able to do in that department. If there was a niggle I'd have here, it would probably be in the weight of the raptor movement which felt too light and jittery. That probably only makes sense in my head, but the rest looked really good. If knowing that I would have to wait 21 years after 2001's Jurassic Park III to finally get the sequel with visuals that really soar, I would gladly take it. I just wish it was with a better film, or at least with a film that I would want to rewatch over and again. Instead, this left an aftertaste that makes me want to instead go and watch Top Gun: Maverick for a fourth time. Outside of demo material, I don't even know if I will be a completionist and get this on UHD a few months down the line. Normally one shouldn't fault a film for letting their own speculation become expectation, but in this particular instance I very much believe that you can. All signs and promotions hinted toward a different kind of movie and story, but despite the good parts it did have, this was too much of a misguided, ineffectual whimper.

2 / 10

Absolute trash

This movie attempts to exploit the nostalgia of the original characters and it fails miserably at every level. The action, the editing, the direction, it's all terrible. The movie has no focus, too many characters that have nothing to do and nothing to do with each other. The only positive thing I can say about this movie is they did use plenty of "real" props for some of the dinosaurs, so it's not like the actors are always looking at a green screen. However, everyone just feels kind of disconnected from the movie. Like everyone involved knew the script was trash and the movie would just be a cash grab because they knew idiots like myself would go and see it. Oh well. Just Hollywood doing what they do best.

6 / 10

Too long, some neat set-pieces

I will say this for Colin Trevorrow: unlike other Hollywood writers/directors, who seem to be actively spiteful towards the classic sagas they are writing sequels to, when Trevorrow says he is a fan of Jurassic Park, I believe him.

That's why Jurassic World Dominion feels, for good and for ill, like the world's most expensive fan film, cramming in nearly every dinosaur known to man and every character, meme and in-joke from the previous five movies (button up your shirt, Malcom! Get your hat, Grant! Oh look, Nedry's old Barbasol can!).

I'm betting that if the great Pete Postlethwaite had not passed away we would have gotten Roland Tembo rappelling from a helicopter to shoot an Oviraptor in the face.

The movie is at least twenty minutes too long - Hollywood seems incapable to make a non-bloated blockbuster today, even Bond movies have the running time of The Thin Red Line - and it doesn't have a shred of the wit and intelligence of my beloved first Jurassic Park, but I did like a few set-pieces (the Therizinosaurus, the frozen lake...) and it's always nice to see the awesome Sam Neill back, so I guess the fan bait worked to an extent.

6/10.