We journeyed off to see “Jurassic Park Dominion.” First, I re-watched the 1993 original movie, to see if Spielberg’s original, based on Michael Crichton’s novel (and with Crichton assisting on the original script) held up. It did.
Then, we put in 2 hours and 20 minutes watching what I think is the sixth installment in the nearly 30-year-old franchise.
The first thing that surprised both of us was that the focus was not on Chris Pratt, but on Bryce Dallas Howard. That made sense, given the script’s emphasis on the young cloned girl whose mother, Charlotte Lockwood managed to give birth to the child (played by newcomer Isabella Sermon) on her own and also “fixed” the genetic defect in her child that had claimed Charlotte’s own life prematurely. She is now being parented and protected by Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt. It’s all about reuniting mother and daughter after she is snatched because of the intellectual advances studying her would represent.
The second thing that surprised us was that genetically modified locusts are more pivotal to the movie’s plot than the dinosaurs. An evil corporation called BioSyn has bio-engineered the locusts to make them completely lethal to crops that are not planted from BioSyn seeds. The insects are devastating fields from Iowa to Texas. Soon BioSyn will control the world’s food supply. As the screenplay says, “We’re just three meals away from anarchy.”
The third thing that was a surprise: Black characters save everyone. There are 2 major “new” characters, DeWanda Wise as helicopter pilot Kayla Watts, and Mamoudou Athie as good guy Ramsey Cole, who becomes the John Dean of the BioSyn complex, refusing to go along with evil-doing by those in command. There is a line that references “complete system-wide corruption in the executive ranks.” I couldn’t help but feel that this reference had more to do with politics than BioSyn.
Here’s another comment: Campbell Scott, who plays the CEO of BioSyn, Lewis Dodgson, appears to be modeled on the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook. The white hair gives it away. The BioSyn executive denies being solely interested in making money, instead telling the visitors to BioSyn (Laura Dern, Sam Neill) how much good his company plans to do for the world. [Maybe. Maybe not.]
One of the best things about this series that began in 1993 with Steven Spielberg at the helm is that all three of the main characters from the original film are back. By that, I mean Laura Dern as Ellie Sattler, Sam Neill as Alan Grant, and Jeff Goldblum as Ian Malcolm. Then, of course, we have Maisie’s adoptive parents, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire Dearing.
There are certain lines from the original film that have resonated throughout the past 29 years. One is “Life finds a way,” which, according to a recent late-night appearance by Jeff Goldblum, multiple fans have had tattooed on their bodies.
I decided not to reveal the plot to those who would severely criticize me if I did, but to give you some lines from the film that amused me or made an impression. Here they are:
“We are 3 meals away from anarchy.”
“We’re subordinate to nature. Unfortunate consequences occur in dealing with genetics and nature.”
We must transform human consciousness.”
“It is always darkest before eternal nothingness.” (Snidely, from Jeff Goldblum)
“We should take the time that we have left and, just like we always do, squander it.” (Jeff Goldblum)
“We don’t stop because a little side project went awry.” (Campbell Scott to his underling after the locusts have completely ruined things.)
“That girl is the most valuable intellectual property on the planet.” (Referencing the character Maisie).
“The way the world is headed, it’s hard to look away.”
“It isn’t enough to do nothing.”
“You’re racing towards the extinction of our species and you don’t care.”
“That’s bananas.” (from Jeff Goldblum, in response to the burning locusts scenes, which are spectacular)
“Jurassic World—not a fan.” (spoken sarcastically by Jeff Goldblum).
“We have an understanding, Ramsay, and you do not break that.” (Spoken by the Tim Cook clone, who is grabbing the Barbasol shaving cream can from the original film, which Wayne Knight was using to smuggle dinosaur DNA.)
“The system’s safety system is what is gonna’ kill us.”.
“Forget the hat.” (Laura Dern to Sam Neill at a key moment)
What matters is what we do now.”
“Nobody said there’d be bugs.” (locust scenes; seems like an homage to the snakes line from “Indiana Jones.”)
These lines were scripted by Emily Carmichael and Colin Trevorrow, the film’s director. Trevorrow has been involved with 3 previous “Jurassic” films, in 2016, 2018 and 2021. He was also slated to direct a “Star Wars” movie until Kathleen Kennedy fired him.
The cinematographer for this film is John Schwartzman and Michael Giacchino did the music.
I liked the movie, but, at 2 hours and 20 minutes, it was overlong. There were many fights between dinosaurs (the bigger the better). I felt like I was watching Godzilla versus King Kong. The dinosaurs are amazing, but 2 such fights would have been enough for me.
During the repetitive fight scenes tympany drums were liberally used, the music swelled, and I checked my watch. There are so many dinosaur fights between dinosaurs with names that I would not be able to remember, even if I had tried, that this overview will simply say “many, many kinds of dinosaurs.”
It’s supposed to be the end of the “Jurassic Park” movie series. It’s loaded with messages and references that I think are meant to evoke our attitude toward global warming, Donald J. Trump, and many other topics of the moment, so listen carefully for all of them when you go.