JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION (2022, USA/Malta, 146m, 12) ***
Action, Adventure
dist. Universal Pictures; pr co. Amblin Entertainment / Latina Pictures / Perfect World Pictures / Universal Pictures; d. Colin Trevorrow; w. Emily Carmichael, Colin Trevorrow (based on a story by Derek Connolly & Colin Trevorrow and characters created by Michael Crichton); pr. Patrick Crowley, Frank Marshall; ph. John Schwartzman (Colour | 2.00:1); m. Michael Giacchino; ed. Mark Sanger; pd. Kevin Jenkins; ad. Ben Collins.
cast: Chris Pratt (Owen Grady), Bryce Dallas Howard (Claire Dearing), Laura Dern (Ellie Sattler), Sam Neill (Alan Grant), Jeff Goldblum (Ian Malcolm), DeWanda Wise (Kayla Watts), Mamoudou Athie (Ramsay Cole), Isabella Sermon (Maisie Lockwood / Young Charlotte Lockwood), Campbell Scott (Lewis Dodgson), BD Wong (Dr. Henry Wu), Omar Sy (Barry Sembène), Justice Smith (Franklin Webb), Daniella Pineda (Dr. Zia Rodriguez), Scott Haze (Rainn Delacourt), Dichen Lachman (Soyona Santos), Kristoffer Polaha (Wyatt Huntley), Caleb Hearon (Jeremy Bernier), Freya Parker (Denise Roberts), Alexander Owen (Angus Hetbury), Ahir Shah (Sundar Kumar).
This is the globetrotting sixth (and likely final) entry in a series that has undoubtedly run out of steam but still manages to entertain on a basic level. The story takes place four years after Isla Nublar has been destroyed. 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 the apex predators on a planet they now share with history’s most fearsome creatures. Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard return from the previous two films, as do Neill, Dern and Goldblum, stars of the original Jurassic trilogy. It is the latter who provides most of the nostalgic warmth and this is where the film derives much of its entertainment value. Neill slips easily back into his awkward palaeontologist role and Dern into hers as Neill’s more idealistic and pro-active associate, whilst Goldblum can still deliver wryly comic lines. The plot involving genetically created giant locusts being used to dry up the natural food supply so the bad guys can control the world’s resources through manufactured foods is certainly heavy-handed and lacks any real substance. Sub-plots surrounding the kidnapping of Sermon, a genetically created child, and a baby raptor are intended to provide an emotional core, but merely feel contrived to raise the stakes even further. The action set-pieces and dinosaur sequences are what the series is all about. Here the action often feels mechanical and derivative, but occasionally thrills, whilst the dinosaur sequences tend to repeat what we have seen before, albeit with the customary skill and technical proficiency. The film is also overlong and would have benefited from further trimming. Otherwise, it provides sufficient thrills and entertainment but without the depth to make it anything other than pure popcorn entertainment.