Dominion by Times of India

A crowded and chaotic survival saga that comes alive only when it clones the original

Synopsis: A bunch of visitors (old cast members of Jurassic franchise meet the new) must expose, survive and escape a dinosaur facility called Biosyn sanctuary (an evil corporate involved in genetic mutation and research), in order to restore ecological balance and protect the food chain. Old wine in a new bottle, eh?

Review: The film is set in the neo-Jurassic Age where humans and dinosaurs must learn to live together. Biosyn’s bizarre genetic mutations threaten to disrupt the coexistence. They unleash a lethal locust plague that can destroy the balance of nature. Foreseeing this crisis, the big three of the dinosaur universe — Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), reunite to infiltrate the private valley hoping to avert the ecological disaster.

In a parallel track, Jurassic’s new age duo — Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) must also head to Biosyn in order to rescue their teen girl with a hidden past, Maisie (Isabella Sermon). The girl is kidnapped for being a ‘valuable intellectual property’.

Who cares about the plot in a Jurassic franchise as long as you get to gawk and be terrorised by the computer generated gigantic extinct species, right? It’s just a money spinner after all. Well, plot matters and the original proved how both can be finely interweaved. Not every sequel can match upto to original but even if you overlook the story, Colin Trevorrow squanders too much time before getting to what you expect from the supposed finale — nail biting survival action, fear and emotional bond.

After a rather far-fetched, meandering buildup, his crowded and chaotic survival saga comes alive only in the second half, which no surprises there, clones the original. The big three must escape the dinosaur island on a helicopter while babysitting a kid and Ellie and Alan must rekindle their romance, sigh.

While the jump scares and tension are not a patch on the 93 classic, a few scenes are jawdroppingly intense like the dinosaurs chasing Owen’s speeding bike and even performing parkour stunts. Jeff Goldblum’s trademark snappy wisecracks are once again the highlight of a rather predictable film.

Steven Spielberg set the bar too high way back in 1993, when he first introduced us to a fictional dinosaur island aka Jurassic Park and how a bunch of visitors must survive while on a tour, once things go awry. After a massive global fame, through the multiple instalments that followed over the years, the solo aim was to capitalise on the success of the original without rebuilding the survival thriller franchise.

One cannot latch onto the original for too long though as anything that refuses to adapt or evolve risks extinction. Jurassic World: Dominion has its moments but they are few and far between. Revisit the first film instead.

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