Jurassic World Dominion (CREDIT: John Wilson/Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment)

Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, DeWanda Wise, Mamoudou Athie, BD Wong, Omar Sy, Isabella Sermon, Campbell Scott, Justice Smith

Director: Colin Trevorrow

Running Time: 146 Minutes

Rating: PG-13 for Intense Dino Chomps

Release Date: June 10, 2022

What would happen if dinosaurs came back to life and then spread out all over the world? Dr. Ian Malcolm would crack jokes about it, you can be sure of that! Of course, that’s what always happens whenever Jeff Goldblum is in a Jurassic Park/World movie, even when the dino habitat is more contained. And that really illuminates how Dominion is just like any other movie in this series. It contains all the typical narrow escapes from T-Rexes and velociraptors, just with some Indiana Jones-style globetrotting thrown in. There’s at least a hint at first that things will be different this time around, as an opening news report seems to indicate that we’re in store for a probing examination about the global consequences of Arrogant Science Run Amok. But instead we mostly get everyone chasing after a MacGuffin. That’s understandable, because the MacGuffin is also one of the main characters. But still, the appeal of Dominion can be boiled down to: A Bigger Scale, But Also Everything is the Same.

So yeah, dinosaurs live all over the world now, and most folks … are pretty chill about that. Human beings more or less go about their day-to-day lives without any extra precautions, even though they probably should, because these apex predators will still randomly chomp on whomever is in their path. Maybe there is a bit of a COVID-19 metaphor at play here insofar as plenty of people will ignore dinosaurs just as much as they’ll ignore a deadly pandemic. That leaves the folks who actually take the threat seriously with the responsibility to do everything, which means that we get the ultimate team-up of the main crews from the original (Neill, Dern, Goldblum) and the reboot original (Pratt, Howard). And quite frankly, I’ve had my fill of dinosaurs, as I’d much rather just focus on Drs. Grand and Sattler’s romantic rekindling and Dr. Malcolm’s quips. Which there’s plenty of! But you know, we just have to wait through a bunch of chase scenes to get to the good stuff.

Jurassic World Dominion (John Wilson/Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment)

Anyway, I suppose I should note that the clone girl from the last movie (Isabella Sermon) is back, and she’s predictably the key to everything. But honestly I’m much more interested in the giant locusts. Yes, there’s also giant locusts in this chapter, because the Evil Science Corporation has expanded the reach of its DNA manipulation. Wouldn’t it be cool if Dominion just ignored the dinosaurs right after introducing the locusts? I for one think it would be pretty cool. Alas, the typical viewer would never let you get away with such a switcheroo in a franchise this high-profile. But let’s at least give it up for BD Wong, who returns for a fourth time as Dr. Henry Wu, whose persistence kind of makes him the locust of this series. Although I guess a termite would be a more apt comparison, but I’m going to stick to what this movie is giving me. Anyway,  Jurassic World: Dominion held my attention adequately enough, but it also left me with more “Why? Why? Why?” questions than I would have preferred.

Jurassic World: Dominion is Recommended If You Like: Running around, Motorbiking around, Climbing up ladders, Running across an icy pond, Helicopter rescues

Grade: 2.5 out of 5 Locusts