Jurassic World Dominion isn’t so much a movie as it is a theme park ride

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To produce a powerful book, wrote Herman Melville, you must choose a powerful theme. Ecological catastrophe and the extinction of the human race are the theme of Jurassic World Dominion (12A), but where Melville had to settle for a single great white whale, director Colin Trevorrow plays with all kinds of powerful monsters: the T-Rex, Allosaurus and Giganotosaurus, to name a few.

The film opens with dinosaurs and humans co-existing in a fragile food chain: Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen (Chris Pratt) are activists determined to protect dinosaurs from human predators, while Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott ), CEO of Biosyn corporation, harvests DNA from dinosaurs to establish a New World Order. Key to his plan is young Maisie (Isabella Sermon), Charlotte Lockwood’s daughter and currently Claire and Owen’s ward, whose “perfect” DNA he covets.

Meanwhile, Ellie (Laura Dern) and Alan (Sam Neill), veterans of the original Jurassic Park films, team up with Ian (Jeff Goldblum) at the Biosyn Dinosaur Sanctuary in the Dolomites, to better foil Dodgson’s nefarious plan. …

What follows isn’t so much a movie as it is a theme park ride, with our heroes stumbling from one dino-peril to the next for the best part of two and a half hours. That’s good news if, like yours, you’re a fan of prehistoric creatures that wreak havoc, but less so if you prefer your movies to have cohesive plots and well-balanced characters.

The visuals are still spectacular, but Jurassic World: Dominion is a film trapped in the amber of its own mythology.

(cinema release)

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