By Jonathan Cowie: Jurassic World Dominion is another breathless, relentless Hollywood offering: the action and/or special effects never let up. This one is a hybrid of nostalgia and James Bond. The nostalgia comes with the return from the 1993 (yes, that long ago) original of Dr Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and Alan Grant (not the 2000AD writer and former editor but the palaeontologist played by Sam Neill). The James Bond comes with the evil Lewis Dodgson (from the first film but now played by Campbell Scott) who is hell-bent on controlling global crop production and who has a high-tech base which (if that is not enough) is on top of an Andromeda Strain SPF (specific pathogen free) and bio-containment underground facility.
The effects for the most part are very good. Some welcome animatronics. The CGI rendition of the cousin-to proto-bird feathered reptiles are particularly good (palaeobiologists will likely drool). However there is some notable skimping: the dinosaurs do not leave as noticeable foot prints in the snow as they should: once you spot this you keep seeing it. And there is one horizontal split-screen type effect with a dinosaur above a swamp with a heroine in the water beneath but the top of her hair is cut off by the split screen effect: v. sloppy.
Unlike the original that had some interesting, speculative science (lauded in the UK and used by the Natural History Museum successfully rallying the public but condemned by US biologists), this has some decidedly dodgy science: both biotech (such as re-writing an adult metazoan’s genome and ecological (for example, modern and palaeo ecosystem function mixed). Nuff said.
What was welcome were the Space 1999 travel tubes: but no Eagles… And not to be missed is a nifty dinosaur car chase scene through a Mediterranean town.
It is worth remembering that this was written largely during the 2020 lockdown and shot in 2021 with post-production ending in 2022. Consequently (mild spoiler alert), the writers were unaware that in the real 2022 we really do actually have a despotic, mad fu¢k who is effectively weaponizing the global wheat supply…!