IT’S FINALLY HERE! Jurassic World Dominion! (a review)

I finally saw it! I finally saw it twice!!

Last Friday, June 10th 2022, twenty-nine years (why not thirty?) after the original Jurassic Park’s release back in 1993, Jurassic World Dominion “closed” out the franchise with new and old Dinos, new and old friends, and weirdly a whole lot of bugs.

As is my usual, I did not have time to blog about it after I saw it Friday night, and of course I did not have time to blog about it after I saw it again on Sunday night, but finally I’m finished working on all my other projects (*cough* newsletter quarterly fiction for July first! *cough* sign up please!) and thought it might be a great topic for #JurassicJune2022’s third post (also check out #JurassicJune posts from all years).

So, keep reading if you’re curious about my general thoughts and impressions. Was it another classic? Or a terrible disappointment? How about a fitting “ending” to the franchise? (I have no faith it’s actually over).

General Thoughts and Impressions

I genuinely enjoyed it! I’ll save caveats and analysis for later sections of the post, and just write what my heart has told me, which was that I enjoyed this movie.

As I’ve said before (and will definitely say again), I’m a big fan of anything dinosaur related, and it doesn’t take much for me to get excited by your art if it includes one (but hopefully more than one!). I’m sure a lot of this stems from my original sense of awe, fear, and wonder learning about them as a kid, and I am under no illusions that the original Jurassic Park film likely played a huge role in that.

Going into the film, I fully recognized that bringing back all the old cast members and combining their adventure with the new Jurassic World cast, was a blatant appeal to my sense of nostalgia (which I generally don’t enjoy), but everyone has their kryptonite, and this franchise is definitely mine.

As such, what I wanted from the movie was dinosaurs, and hey, there were dinosaurs, so I was having a great time no matter what.

“Inevitably, underlying instabilities begin to appear”
— Ian Malcom

Ugh. If I was a better blogger, I would have just used Malcom’s chaos theory quotes from the original novel (at the section breaks) as all the headings, but I’ll limit that gimmick to just this once.

In answer to my earlier questions, I do not think this film will achieve the title of “classic” that the first film has, or which even The Lost World carries, but I did not feel that it was the overwhelmingly ‘creative disappointment’ reported by IndieWire. I can definitely agree that there was a lot of time devoted to call backs and fan-service, making the film feel a bit more like a museum exhibit than an adventure film.

But the funny thing about fan-service is, it’s for the fans! And as a fan myself, I enjoyed picking up each of the references (also I enjoyed the more paleontology related Easter-eggs like the name of the lecture hall Malcom lectures in though I didn’t spot that one myself).

Flaws in the system will now become severe”
— Ian Malcom

Heyyyy! I was able to squeeze a second one in that kind of makes some sense.

What I mean is, much of the feedback I received (which I can’t link to because it was IRL) from friends was that they didn’t enjoy the movie because creating dinosaurs was “obviously” a bad idea. How did anyone suspect that this would go right?

Most of this was from people younger than me, which I found fascinating for two reasons. The first was because it occurred to me that they had probably grown up in a world which already took for granted the lessons of corporate abuse, and the danger of “genetic power” which this franchise was trying to teach, but made no connection (and in some cases refused to acknowledge) that these movies were probably a large part of the reason that belief was so prevalent.

They spent the entire movie wondering how people could be so dumb as to create dinosaurs and their suspension of disbelief was broken not because dinosaurs could be created (swallowed that pill easily enough), but that at each step along the timeline, the active agents didn’t turn back, and that the situations continued to get worse.

Isn’t that how fiction works? This is not the only movie (or book) I’ve heard this from recently and I’d love to dive deeper into it, but it’s not a topic for this post.

But what these conversations really showed me, was just how much we’re in a strange place right now with many of these “legacy” franchises. Just how delicate the balance film makers (or any creatives) have to strike between the franchise’s original audience, and those who have come to it later (I’m seeing the same thing with Star Wars, Star Trek, James Bond, The Matrix, and many others)

A Fitting End?

Honestly, I have no trust that this is really the end of the ‘Jurassic‘ movies. If it is, it will be bittersweet for the reasons I stated above in the general impressions part of the post, but I would not be mad at it. These days it almost seems more bold and daring to let an IP go extinct than to keep it going.

As for whether or not you should go see it? I’m still going to recommend it, but I also just love dinosaurs THAT much . . .

Thanks for reading. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. I’m curious what y’all thought of the new dinosaurs and of the movie as a whole. Excited to talk about his one!!

See you next time.


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