IT’S A GOOD THING IT’S GOING EXTINCT

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The last in the franchise revival of the 1993 classic Jurassic Park, Jurassic World’s third film Jurassic World Dominion made its way to theatres last weekend and fans are divided on it final strike. 

The motion picture renowned for having prehistoric creatures wreaking havoc on humans can have only so many plot lines on the same premise that can keep its fans hooked. The Dominion feels like it has fallen victim to the sequel fatigue, like sequels generally do. 

The story follows beloved characters from the original trilogy, Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neil) and Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) who reunite for a mission of their own when they conspire to steal a DNA sample from research facility, Biosyn Genetics on the suspicion that that the firm is genetically engineering crop-devouring Cretaceous locusts, posing a severe threat to the world’s food supply. Reuniting with them is Jeff Goldblum from the original cast, reprising his role as Dr. Ian Malcom. 

Parallel to this story line, in the mountains of Sierra Nevada is Jurassic World’s Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) former soldier in the US Navy and animal behaviourist who along with girlfriend Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) now a member of the Dinosaur Protection Group live in a remote cabin, keeping a tight leash on their adopted girl Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon), giving her limited exposure to the outside world.

The story unravels when Maisie takes a trip out of town, fed up from her life in confinement but is soon kidnaped by Biosyn operatives interested to study her DNA. In a bid to find her, Owen and Claire trace her steps. With a little help from Kayla Watts (DeWanda Wise) – who melts at the plight of the girl’s guardians – and her semi-rackety cargo plane, the former Jurassic World employees gain access to Biosyn’s research facility where they story takes off. All the characters congregate at the facility’s premises fighting off dinosaurs and their creators and after many blows, arrive at happy and predictable ending. 

As the sixth and final instalment, it naturally tries to feed off the nostalgic component and childhood fantasies any fan would have from the watching the original movies, especially as it attempts to tie both trilogies with one big dinosaur bow. And while to a certain extent returning director Colin Trevorrow and Co. manage to get the audiences to appreciate some of that, it isn’t quite enough to wholeheartedly give a thumbs up once you leave the theatre.  

For one, the 146-minute runtime could have been drastically chunked out. Secondly, it feels as though the gigantic creatures the entire franchise is based on have been added in all sorts of shapes and sizes to work around a plot that’s not them. There are so many characters and it feels like they are hogging equal screen-space that the dinos, the stars of the scene, take backseat to watch their own show. 

As for performances, the two new additions to the film, Wise, in her chill, bold and confident attitude offers something fresh whilst Biosyn’s Head of Communications, Ramsay Cole played by Mamoudou Athie adds his own flavour to the film. And perhaps Pratts’ good looks, acting and his character’s insane ability to communicate with velociraptors helps to keep your eyes on the frame but beyond a certain point, your eyes start to wander.  

Given that Dominion which was shot in 15 separate studios and places over 100 film sets, is the biggest of the Jurassic Park franchise and the most expensive film of the year, it makes sense that the fandom expected more. However, if you are a fan of the dino-centric film series and feel discouraged to watch it, I suggest you watch and judge for yourself. Apart from the plot you may be interested in the CGI, special effects and beautiful creatures that take up the entire theatre screen. The action packed sci-fi drama is a must watch for series-closure. 

The film is now showing in Scope Cinemas. 

By Dilshani Palugaswewa

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