'Jurassic World Dominion': A 'flop' hit show
'Jurassic World Dominion' is a below-average film, but it is all set to become a global blockbuster
Director-writer Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World Dominion (JWD) seems to have been made with the solitary purpose of making its wealthy producers wealthier.
JWD's runtime could have been much less than 146 minutes. Its budget is $ 160 million, or at least $10 million less than what was spent on its predecessor Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom four years ago (around $ 170 million). Still, a substantial amount of money has gone into the making of JWD without the result every viewer would have wanted: a well-constructed entertainer.
Towards the end of Fallen Kingdom, mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) speaks of a neo-Jurassic age in which humans and dinosaurs must coexist. JWD shows how that fearsome possibility has turned into an everyday reality.
Dinosaurs are here, there, everywhere. The visual effects in these sequences take one's breath away. The idea of the coexistence of humans and dinosaurs had the ingredients for creating a gripping story. JWD guillotines that possibility with ridiculous ease.
JWD has surprises, but most of them fail to make an impact. The film has giant mutant locusts, which fly into the plot and are capable of causing a critical food shortage. The villain Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott) knows how Biosyn Genetics, the organisation he heads, can benefit from such destruction. Old guards reunite. The viewer meets paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Goldblum as Dr. Malcolm, who must try to prevent an ecological disaster on a global scale.
The sight of Dern and Neill in their familiar roles raises expectations. They are accomplished actors, and their onscreen chemistry remains intact. However, their characters suffer because of poor writing (Trevorrow and Emily Carmichael). Goldblum has sleepwalked through his role for the most part, which will disappoint his fans.
The other plot is about the new franchise stars Chris Pratt (Owen Grady) and Bryce Dallas Howard (Claire Dearing), who have to rescue their adoptive daughter Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon), the clone of the daughter of the original park’s co-founder. The girl has been kidnapped along with the raptor Blue, who has a daughter, Beta. Pratt is all about masculinity and little else. Dallas Howard doesn’t impress much either.
JWD's cautionary message was also conveyed by the previous films of the franchise. If you mess with nature, it goes, nature will mess with you. Instead of explaining its implications, the film interweaves many strands, and has a lot of VFX, references, and so much more. Some of it could have deleted on the editing table easily.
The film’s mediocrity notwithstanding, it will mint money worldwide. Will it succeed because kids love to see dinosaurs do what they do while adults continue to feel dizzy because of their Jurassic Park hangover? A few will squander time on futile guesswork while the show goes on.