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Review: ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ takes bite out of box office

“Jurassic World: Dominion” is the second sequel in the trilogy that rebooted in 2015 the Steven Spielberg film franchise that began in 1993. The latest stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and actors from the first films in the franchise that was adapted from a Michael Crichton novel.

Tyrannosaurus at London natural history museum
A Tyrannosaurus, also known informally as a T-rex, at a natural history museum in London.
Contributed / Amy-Leigh Barnard via Unsplash.com
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BAXTER — Bigger and badder, the dinosaurs that populated the original “Jurassic Park” franchise by Steven Spielberg are back in “Jurassic World: Dominion,” the latest sequel.

Resurrected from the dead via a fossilized mosquito that sucked blood and DNA from the dinosaurs in prehistoric times, the fearsome creatures return to terrorize the modern-day world.

“Jurassic World” rebooted the venerable dinosaur franchise in 2015, and the science fiction-action blockbuster was followed by “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” in 2018.

It was only a matter of time — pun intended — that a second sequel, “Jurassic World: Dominion,” would lumber its way into movie theaters like the Lakes 12 Theatre in Baxter.

Dinosaur among skyscrapers
A prehistoric dinosaur finds itself among modern-day skyscrapers.
Contributed / Huang Yingone via Unsplash.com

In the latest, the cast of the “Jurassic World” trilogy is combined with the cast of the “Jurassic Park” trilogy and whether it works or is simply cashing in on nostalgia is for audiences to decide.

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Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and actors from the first films in the “Jurassic World” series join forces with Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Sam Neill from the “Jurassic Park” series.

“Jurassic Park” was imbued with a child-like sense of wonder of the larger-than-life creatures that is Spielberg’s hallmark, and that feature film was adapted from a Michael Crichton novel

Spielberg’s initial installment centered around a kind-but-misguided grandfather wanting to create an amusement park with attractions the likes of no one else had ever seen.

Jurassic Park sports utility vehicle parked in Brainerd McDonald's parking lot
A sports utility vehicle designed to look like the SUVs in the "Jurassic Park" motion picture trilogy sits parked in the McDonald's parking lot along Washington Street in Brainerd.
Frank Lee / Brainerd Dispatch

His plan goes horribly wrong and off the rails quickly, but in “Jurassic World: Dominion,” there is a villainous CEO of Biosyn Genetics, a rival company of InGen, a dinosaur-cloning company.

Played by Campbell Scott as a Steve Jobs-type megalomaniac, Scott outwardly professes to harness the dinosaur DNA to potentially genetically treat diseases such as cancer.

But it doesn’t hurt Biosyn Genetics’ bottom line if Scott monopolizes the cloning industry with lucrative government contracts while at the same time eliminating any corporate competition.

As perhaps any parent of a child in the “terrible twos” might say, attempting to control an inherently uncontrollable living creature, be it a kid or a Tyrannosaurus rex, is a fool’s errand.

Frank Lee
Frank Lee

Interestingly enough, “Jurassic Park” was among the older blockbusters the Lakes 12 Theatre offered in June 2020 to kick off its reopening and banked on to fill theater seats again after theaters reopened as restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic were lifted.

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“Jurassic World: Dominion” is the sixth installment of, and the conclusion to, the storyline that started in the original “Jurassic Park” trilogy that began in 1993, or almost three decades ago.

The time-based fantasy is beginning to show its age, perhaps, for moviegoers who may have grown immune to a certain degree to the toothy roars of seeing the dinosaurs on screen again.

At some point along the way, one has to wonder when the wayward scientists and humanity, in general, will conclude that cloning dinosaurs is simply a bad — a really bad — idea.

“We're racing toward the extinction of our species,” says Dr. Ian Malcolm, played by Hollywood’s favorite go-to geek Goldblum. “We not only lack dominion over nature, we're subordinate to it.

“Jurassic World: Dominion” is rated PG-13 like “Jurassic Park,” but runs a tad longer at more than two hours but less than three, perhaps testing the attention span of little children.

But “Jurassic Park” seemed scarier than “Jurassic World: Dominion,” perhaps because of my youth at the time or the lack of stand-in children in peril on screen in “Jurassic World: Dominion.”

MORE MOVIE COLUMNS BY FRANK LEE:
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“Jurassic World: Dominion ” currently holds a 30% approval rating among critics and a 79% approval rating among audiences at Rotten Tomatoes, a review-aggregation website for film and television.

The consensus from the critics at RottenTomatoes.com: “‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ might be a bit of an improvement over its immediate predecessors in some respects, but this franchise has lumbered a long way down from its classic start.”

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FRANK LEE may be reached at 218-855-5863 or at frank.lee@brainerddispatch.com . Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bdfilmforum .

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I cover arts and entertainment, and write feature stories, for the Brainerd Dispatch newspaper. As a professional journalist with years of experience, I have won awards for my fact-based reporting. And my articles have also appeared in other publications, including USA Today. 📰
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