I was seven years old when I saw the original Jurassic Park way back in 1993 during a hot Arizona June. The air-conditioned cinema was a welcome escape from the insufferable heat and like many youths that year, I wanted to see the cool dinosaur movie that would prove to be a spectacle never before seen and at least to date, still holds the test of time. It’s the first time I can ever remember being scared during a movie and I mean really scared. It’s the scene at night, when Newman from Seinfeld (actor Wayne Knight playing Dennis Nedry), is escaping during an oncoming typhoon after stealing dinosaur DNA in a shaving cream weed-stash can. His jeep gets stuck in the mud during the escape on the way to the last boat leaving the dock and he is forced to exit his vehicle into the brutal rainstorm to winch his way out using a nearby tree. During the process, something is clearly stalking him in the darkness, possibly even multiple somethings as we hear disturbing inhuman calls from the surrounding jungle. Sounds which are interrupted by bursts of sudden thunder and lightning which causes Nedry to shriek in terror and fall deeper into the flowing mud, and me as a frightened seven-year-old theater goer tries desperately not to wet his pants in front of his father.
Nedry pulls himself out of the mud using the cable of the winch. He begins to resume the process of unsticking his vehicle when the jungle sounds grow closer, they’re clearly animalistic. He becomes more frightened; I grew frightened with him. Then, we are defused by the appearance of a rather seemingly playful and cute dinosaur who goes by the technical term of Dilophosaurus but is better known as the “Spitter” (TM – some toy company in the 90’s). At first the dino seems harmless in nature, Nedry is even able to entice its attention by waving a stick like you would to a dog and then proceeds to throw the stick expecting the dino to fetch. The dino does not fetch and Nedry is dispatched by at least one carnivorous predator as he screams while being eaten alive. I remember clenching my teeth so hard during this scene I could hear them grinding down inside my skull as I tried not to scream. This was the first time I was terrified in a movie theater… What am I writing about again here? Oh yeah, Jurassic World: Dominion. I got scared during this movie when I went down to the lobby halfway through the 2-hour 27-minute run time and realized the theater bar was closed and I wasn’t getting another beer to get me through the rest of this.
I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this review to be perfectly honest. This is easily one of the most abysmal and incoherent films I have ever seen and its pure torture for all two and a half hours that it forces itself upon you. There’s a very loose plot that severely relies on you remembering easily forgettable characters and events that occurred in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which was just as terrible as this and yet somehow still better. Old characters from the original movie return in some of the most shoehorned and obnoxious fashions, dinosaurs aren’t even the main threat, there’s no park, there’s no danger, there’s nothing really. It sort of reminds me of Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker in that is a collection of scenes put next to each other where characters will yell lines of exposition at each other to try and move the film onto the next unrelated scene. Had I not committed myself to writing a review on this movie, I would have walked out after 30 minutes.
I went into this movie knowing it was not going to be good. I knew it was going to be quite bad in terms of plot, but I had heard someone talking about the fact that although the plot sucked, the dinosaur CGI integration into the film alongside real actors was “seamless.” This is not true, it’s quite noticeable and at times even jarring. I saw this movie in an IMAX and for a while towards the beginning I could see the framerate stuttering or being off whenever there was a lot of CGI intensive action on the screen. This could have been a projector issue at the IMAX but to prove that I would have to see the movie again at a non-IMAX theater and that would require me seeing this movie again which I refuse to do, ever, even under penalty of torture. To finish my thought though, the CGI is not spectacular. It looks fine, but it’s obvious and it’s not seamless, it looks like any other CGI, it’s noticeable.
“But they did use animatronics and practical effects!” Yeah, those sucked too and looked worse than they did in 1993. The animatronics and puppets look like Jim Henson’s fetal alcohol spawn.
It’s not a movie, it’s a ride, and if you want to go on it then go right ahead. I tried to give myself the mindset of ‘just be a kid again and enjoy this fun dinosaur movie’ prior to going in. It wasn’t enough to do the trick and I had an awful time. I went downstairs to pee at one point even though I didn’t need to just to get away from the film for a while. As I made my way back inside after pretending to pee (I was alone in the bathroom, why did I pretend to pee?), a 55+ couple was leaving the theater with no clear intention of returning to finish this dinoshart of a movie and I overheard one of them saying “You know, it’s been 30 years since they made that first one… and there was the pandemic. Maybe they didn’t know how to make this one good?”
I envy that level of naivety from them, or maybe they were just trying to assume the best about a bad situation seeing as they would probably be going to God themselves soon at that age. Either way, this was an intentional abuse of the senses. Someone gave the “all clear” on this mess of a cash grab, and the shitty part it that it worked. Just like John Hammond in the original Jurassic Park claiming he spared no expense as his special guests were devoured and maimed, it was all lie and I think it’s time someone takes this franchise out to pasture and finally makes the call to “Shoot her!”