by Miller C. Lashbrook
Jurassic World: Dominion was billed as the finale to the Jurassic franchise; I don’t know if it is because I just love movies with dinosaurs, but I do not want this to be the end. Once the dinosaurs were free from the island at the end of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, this world has become a really interesting world for story telling. Dominion also finally realizes that fans want the stories to build on the legacy of the original Jurassic Park trilogy, and I would love to see more characters return. This movie is a fun ride that anyone can enjoy.
Okay, before I get into the things that I really like about this movie, I need to talk about the things that I do not care for. The first act of this film is rough. This is mostly due to the number of characters. We have three protagonists returning from Fallen Kingdom, three from Jurassic Park, and several new characters to introduce. This movie is just under two and half hours, but it feels like it takes about forty minutes just to get started.
My other main issue is that of tone or vibe. The film goes for a mostly warm color palate, which works very well at times, like in the Malta scenes, but in other places it makes the film feel like it just is not a Jurassic film. If the dinosaurs were not present there are parts that seem more akin to Don’t Look Up or a Mission Impossible film.
Let me now transition into what I loved. First of all, it cannot be understated how much of a treat it is to see Doctors Alan Grant (Sam Neil), Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), and Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) all back together in a Jurassic movie. Particularly seeing Alan and Ellie’s romance finally budding on screen was a treat. There are also several new characters, two of which really get the spotlight, Kayla Watts (DeWanda Wise) and Ramsey Cole (Mamoudou Athie). Ramsey is hard to read for much of the movie, I believe purposely so to build tension. But Kayla, wow, what a character! DeWanda Wise eats it! There is a shot in the second act where she is just sitting on a big chair in the underground Malta market and in that moment I turned to my fiancé and said, “that actress needs to be Mystique.” This feeling is later enhanced when her character is revealed to be bisexual later in the film in a line with Owen Grady (Chris Pratt). Now, I cannot find online anything about how Wise identifies, but she has the swagger and power to play a character like Mystique in the MCU. Anyone who has seen my twitter avatar knows that she is one of my favorite Marvel characters, so I will definitely have to make a blogpost fancasting her and Destiny.
In addition to the characters, there are some great action moments, particularly the chase in Malta and the scene where Claire hides from a dinosaur in the woods. Director Colin Trevorrow definitely knows how to get the most out of his cinematographers and set designers.
4/5 Amber Gems 🦖