A New Kind Of Pet

Jurassic World Dominion
Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, DeWanda Wise, Mamoudou Athie, BD Wong, Omar Sy, Campbell Scott, Isabella Sermon, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda and Scott Haze
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Scriptwriters: Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow
Composer: Michael Giacchino
Cinematography: John Schwartzman
Amblin entertainment/Universal Pictures
Rating: PG 13 with violence and children in danger
Running Time: 148 Minutes 

Oh, to have a dinosaur as a pet. Yes, parents, this creature is a popular item for small ones to hold and sleep with and all looks peaceful. However, in another world---perhaps not far away for us---are dinosaurs that roam the earth, having being genetically recreated as a biological experiment. Hmm, sounds like Covid. In “Jurassic Park Dominion” four years have gone by since humans and some dinosaurs left the island, Isla Sorna. They do replicate rapidly, so in four years’ time, they are all over the place. You name the size and there it is. Name which ocean, and there is one gigantic fish. Name the sky and planes become fodder. Life just isn’t the same anymore. So, we enter the new world and its new order and characters from the past “Jurassic Park” films, including Chris Pratt (Owen), the motorcycle guy who likes to run with Velociraptors, especially “Blue,” his favorite. Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) is here as the former Park manager and now protects dinosaurs. From the first “Jurassic Park” film in 1996, remember Dr. Ellie Sattler? Laura Dern and her compadre, Dr. Alan Grant (a mischievous looking Sam Neill and he had the same look in the old “Omen” films). Jeff Goldblum, the math guy is here for predictions and quips. There is young Maisie (Isabella Sermon) who is also a genetic person and lives with Owen and Claire. Away we go… 

The film revolves around how to live with various species of dinosaurs and not only that, but a surprise species of locust that devours crops. Why?  To make money for the corporation headed by Dr. Dodgson (Campbell Scott) and his villains. Raise the price of grain and make a fortune. As a sideline, there are dinosaur protection agencies to keep them from harm such as being trained as fighters in a ring. Bears being too tame and ordinary. There are two stories going on here, get the crop situation under control and keep the dinosaurs from hunting for or against man and keep dinosaurs safe. Along the way the audience will meet enormous creatures from the sea, in the air (airplanes must look like snack time) and just about everywhere you can place your feet.  What to do? 

The storyline revolves around Owen and Claire living secretly with Maisie to keep her from being genetically tested. There is also Blue, Owen’s Velociraptor friend, who responds to his signals. Blue was gone for a bit and then comes back with a baby, that Maisie names Beta. How is this possible? While answers are sought, Maisie and Beta are kidnapped to use by the scientists for genetic testing.  Blue is livid and wants her baby back. Owen and Claire go in search, along with Dr. Ellie and Dr. Alan who seems to be heading for a romance. Jeff Goldblum is there for the quips, with DeWanda Wise as a pilot who knows a thing or two about flying with Pterodactyls around. 

You see the bad guys and the good guys and the bad guys want money while the good guys want animal protection. The illegal exotic animal trade has new meaning here. Then, there are chases, rescues, discoveries, and this happens around the world. The audience gets a vacation tour along with trying to rescue Maisie and Beta. (think Timmy and Lassie here). 

Your liking – or loving – prehistoric life will have an adventure of its own in this film. When Owen takes off on his cycle, you can hold on, too.  One of the best lines in the film is “Why do they keep getting larger?” when the group of scientists is trapped by a T-Rex, then a larger variation comes along and suddenly the Titanic looks small.  “Jurassic Park Dominion” ends the trilogy of the Island stories of genetic make-ups. The whole thing began with the first “Jurassic Park” (1993) with the stunned look on Sam Neill’s face when he sees a live brontosaur cross the path in front of him. I was hooked then and went along for all the rides. 

As for special effects, they are quite good and bring the audience into a world that looks real and exciting. You have to move fast to live in it, though. John Schwartzman’s camera is everywhere at once. Michael Giacchino brings familiar melodies back and ties it all together well. As for the storyline, if a child can hug a stuffed dinosaur and sleep with it at night, you can put yourself into a new world, too. When you take your next air flight, wouldn’t that be something to have Tom Cruise in his jet fighter go after an enormous pteradycle instead of enemy planes? Now that, would be a movie. 

Playing havoc with genetics is par for the course now, and finding a complete frozen mammoth a few years ago has probably led to testing and genetics since.  Now that I think of it, that story has gone away. It would be from a different Age than dinosaurs, but still……. Hmm. 


Copyright 2022 Marie Asner