Jurassic World Dominion is dino crap, all right. I was bored, distracted, texting, daydreaming, thinking about high-school girlfriends, etc. But what bothered me primarily — what has always bothered me about the Jurassic films — is the fact that only your ethically compromised bad guys get eaten.
If I knew that one of the caring, compassionate good guys might get chomped to death, I would sit up in my chair and pay a lot more attention.
There are eight good-guy characters in this film (played by Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, DeWanda Wise, Mamoudou Athie, Isabella Sermon) and every one survives. Where’s the suspense in that? And this isn’t a spoiler, by the way, because ethical characters never die in these films…never!
White-haired Campbell Scott (who’s only 60 but looks older — he should think about visiting my Prague guy for neck work) plays the only twirling-moustache villain, and of course he gets it…big deal! Neill is pushing 72, but he’s aged much more attractively. In the third act, by the way, Neill wears one of the greatest looking color-combo outfits ever — a tan deerskin jacket with a matching deep royal blue shirt and tie…fantastic!
In fact everyone looks good in their own way. Everyone has dieted and is graced with perfect lighting and shot at just the right angle and wearing perfect coifs and killer wardrobes. They’ve all practiced their cool attitudes and poses in the bathroom mirror.
We all recall that the last entry, Fallen Kingdom, ended with herds of dinosaurs escaping into the forest. Now, in Dominion, they’re all over the world, grazing and feeding and hunting like elephants and giraffes and Bengal tigers. And of course there are evil people looking to exploit them, as well as good people looking to protect and shelter the poor beasts. Including the fucking raptors, mind.
And the question is, will I have the energy to pass along the basic story points or will I just say “due respect but go see it yourself”? The latter, I think.
The Bedford Arts Center is one of the finest movie theatres in the world. I saw West Side Story there last December and was blown away by the technological perfection. But the Dominion sound mix is awful. (And that’s on Universal, not the theatre.). The music and effects tracks were constantly competing with, and at times overwhelming, the dialogue. The characters sounded muffled, whispery — you couldn’t hear the damn consonants. I could hear some of what was said, yes, but it was a struggle. The roars, growls and yelps are fine, and the music blares. But the mix is shit.
I know that if I watch this crummy movie on Bluray or streaming in six months, the dialogue will be perfectly clear. Not to mention the subtitle option.
I’m speaking the absolute truth when I say that Neill’s deerskin and dark-blue-shirt outfit is the only thing that really turned me on about this film. Oh, and one other thing: A shot from a climbing plane above the coast of Malta in which…naaah, I won’t spoil it.
Like everyone else, I am giving Jurassic World Dominion an overall failing grade…sorry. But the hair, makeup and wardrobe guys deserve stand-up applause.