Jurassic World: Dominion (12A, 147 Minutes)
It’s 29 years since CGI took the world by storm by bringing dinosaurs to life on screen, The spectacle of Jurassic Park was so realistic compared to previous stop motion models that few people bothered to discover how the original Michael Crichton novel had been mercilessly butchered for the Spielberg blockbuster – a $500,000 consultancy fee in addition to Spielberg purchasing the rights for over $1million going some way to appeasing the author no doubt.
But now CGI has become commonplace. There’s no novelty left where green screen has become ubiquitous to cinema, even when we don’t realise it.
We expect our monsters to be convincing, no plasticine figures or guys in gorilla suits for us in the 21st century.
So with the Jurassic World trilogy reaching its conclusion there has to be a something beyond merely surpassing its predecessor Fallen Kingdom (which, let’s face it, shouldn’t be much of a task).
It’s a given that there has to be a climactic battle of the apex predators (that’s been going on since the 1933 King Kong through the Ray Harryhausen years up to the latest Godzilla), the bad guy obviously has to get his comeuppance (not a spoiler, surely) and it would be remiss not to bring back original stars Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern to accompany Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard.
Oh dear, with the story fleshed out as much as is likely to make any difference (which in fairness has its strengths), it looks like the only other option to get more bums on seats is to go beyond the tried and tested save the stegosaurus right on general conservation message all of the Jurassic films have preached.
So what we have here is an attempt at a Bond-less Bond film and a Bourne-less Bourne adventure with dinosaurs added. One of the action sequences is so close to a fight scene from The Bourne Ultimatum I half expected Matt Damon and Julia Stiles to turn up. Imitation may be the highest compliment but Paul Greengrass should be on the phone to director Colin Trevorrow demanding an apology.
But don’t let that lead you to believe that Jurassic World: Dominion is as bad as many reviews in the national press are claiming. The way they have slammed this film anyone would think it was another Ghostbusters Afterlife or Godzilla vs Kong and it’s far far from either of those.
Just because Pratt and Goldblum are not overloaded with wisecracks at every turn it doesn’t mean the 2hrs 27mins running time is a joyless wade through computer generated trickery.
Of course it’s not going to have the effect of the original on audiences, but it’s a decent enough storyline and even if the cinematography is unavoidably cliché loaded, there is entertainment value to it.
Whether that value amounts to the extortionate price of a cinema seat, however, is another matter.