A dinosaur era is coming to an end. With JURASSIC WORLD: A NEW AGE Colin Trevorrow ends the adventure trilogy with a film that convinces with some very strong individual scenes and its returnees Laura Dern and Sam Neill, but overall is only mediocre. We reveal more about this in our review.
OT: Jurassic World: Dominion (USA/MLT 2022)
The plot analysis
The dinosaurs have been living freely on the mainland since the events on Isla Nublar. This creates massive problems, because living together with prehistoric lizards presents humanity with a major challenge. Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and his girlfriend Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) approach the problem in their own way, but have one thing in common: both try to understand the animals and their needs. Meanwhile, their foster daughter Maisie (Isabelle Sermon) has had enough of the isolation, but instead of isolating herself from her parents, she is kidnapped. Now Owen and Claire not only have to find their daughter again, but also prevent another dinosaur catastrophe from striking the population. They get help from “Jurassic Park” veterans Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum).
With the ongoing hype surrounding franchises like “Star Wars,” the MCU and “Fast & Furious,” the success of the “Jurassic World” series tends to fall a little behind. The first part of the new trilogy is currently ranked 7th among the world’s (!) most successful films of all time. Its successor “The Fallen Kingdom” is a few places behind in 16th place. This means that the opening trumps even blockbusters like the first two “Avengers” group films, which isn’t all that surprising upon closer inspection. While superhero films, car chases or space battles are a dime a dozen, “Jurassic World” with its “dinosaurs in the present” idea remains almost a unique selling point in big-budget cinema to this day. And the time between the conclusion of the “Jurassic Park” and the start of the “Jurassic World” trilogy, almost two decades, was apparently long enough to rekindle enthusiasm for the giant lizards. “Jurassic World: A New Age” is now supposed to mark the finale and is reaching deep into the legacy sequel bag of tricks for a conclusion that will be remembered by the makers: Jeff Goldblum (“Thor: Day of Decision”) also the two franchise favorites Sam Neill (“The Commuter”) and Laura Dern (“Little Women”) bring back Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler in their star roles as scientists. It is thanks to the two of them that “Jurassic World 3” still develops enough emotional punch despite a bumpy dramaturgy.
Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon) and Kayla Watts (DeWanda Wise).
At two hours and 40 minutes, “Jurassic World: A New Age” is quite a bit longer than its two predecessors, which (without credits) clocked in at “only” around two hours. Now the third part also has to bring together and bring to an end various open plot threads from its predecessors and then bring the new additions into the plot organically. The latter is achieved by the screenplay team consisting of Colin Trevorrow (who also wrote the first two “Jurassic World” films) and Emily Carmichael (“Pacific Rim 2: Uprising”) flawless and nowhere near as fake as last seen in an otherwise completely successful “Ghostbusters: Legacy”. From the first appearance of the former and now-again colleagues Alan and Ellie, the mood changes: the dynamic, yet above all functional adventure feeling suddenly permeates a character-related emotionality, which is also transferred to the original heroes. Owen and Claire already have good chemistry, but it’s only when they interact with the “two old men” that everything suddenly starts to really touch their hearts. This is fundamental for the progression of the story and the associated mood, because in contrast to “Jurassic World 2”, which benefited massively from the design of JA Bayona, who specializes in atmospheric suspense cinema, Colin Trevorrow lacks his own signature style. As with his first “Jurassic World,” which he also wrote, the director reels off common blockbuster conventions: big pictures, a story designed on the drawing board, a hero who oscillates between edgy and broken, a reserved love story and, as a USP, dinosaurs instead of aliens Super villains that blockbuster hero:inner characters usually have to deal with.
“Owen and Claire already have good chemistry, but it’s only when they interact with the ‘two old men’ that everything suddenly starts to really touch your heart.”
In contrast to parts one and two, it is noticeable in the finale that the quality of the effects is no longer up to date. Once again, the majority of the dinosaurs come from the computer and are not – as in the original trilogy – moving replicas of the giant lizards. There are also here, but the CGI dominates. Especially in part two, a large part of the computer animations had a noticeable feel. This time, however, the giants lack power and mass; something that could probably be less noticeable in the 3D version (which we didn’t see in advance). At least the interaction works with the human actors and actresses, who act very authentically with their animated counterparts, without them actually being present during filming. Laura Dern is particularly fond of her loving treatment of the prehistoric animals. Meanwhile, the same applies to the set pieces. Studio recordings and those from original locations – primarily filmed in Malta – complement each other harmoniously. “Jurassic World: A New Age” is largely fun, at least on a technical level – and can therefore compensate for the clumsy story to some extent.
Claire Dearing on the run from a dinosaur.
At the beginning of the film, “jurassic world 3” still boasts some nice detailed observations. The interspersed news snippets that provide information about the situation provide a good picture of the current state of humanity. But what is particularly pleasing is the way in which humans make dinosaurs their own just as they have done with all animals before them – and, using sometimes despicable methods, break them down and turn them into farm animals. A nice swipe at humans themselves and their obvious inability to undergo evolution themselves, although the theme of “evolution” has always been a crucial part of the “Jurassic” films. The focus then quickly changes: Maisie, who first appeared in “The Fallen Kingdom”, whose biological origin is extremely interesting for science, becomes the victim of kidnappers and her rescue from now on the main goal for everyone involved. In this film series, the fact that they have to face some confrontations with dinosaurs on their way to liberation is inevitable, but these surprisingly take a back seat in the storyline surrounding Grady and Claire. What Alan and Ellie have to deal with in the meantime – before everyone finally meets each other in the last third (but you have to swallow the carefully constructed coincidence that triggers this meeting) – is more exciting. The two are confronted with excesses of human control over the dinosaurs, which are absolutely realistic in the logic of the film world and therefore tangible as a source of conflict. Therefore, the most atmospheric individual scenes also go to their account.
“Maisie, who first appeared in ‘The Fallen Kingdom’ and whose biological origins are extremely interesting to science, becomes the victim of kidnappers and her rescue from now on the main goal for everyone involved.”
“Jurassic World – The Fallen Kingdom” has quite a few good individual scenes. In addition to Alan and Ellie, newcomer DeWanda Wise provides care (“Fatherhood”) as tough helicopter pilot Kayla Watts, especially for the comical moments that overshadow the fact that her character is also responsible for some of the most outrageous story developments. Something that Wise can’t do, and it’s mainly thanks to her energetic game that you get back on the ball after shaking your head. Due to the high number of action sets, staying tuned is not the problem anyway. Despite its two and a half hour running time, “Jurassic World: A New Age” is an extremely entertaining film. The overall plot, on the other hand, is difficult to get off the ground: until the very end, what is shown gives the impression that the main characters are on the way to an adventure, until at some point you realize that this very path must be the adventure. The dramaturgical highlights are missing, so that “Jurassic World 3” seems like piecemeal here and there. Piecework that routinely entertains and is therefore better than feared after the change of director, but not nearly as good as hoped.
Conclusion: “Jurassic World: A New Age” ends the dinosaur franchise on a solidly mediocre level. The effects could be better, but the chemistry within the cast hardly. This is where the action spectacle scores the most. A few individual scenes about the incorrigibility of humanity are among the strongest in the series. Nevertheless, part three lacks the atmosphere of the second part and the straightforward story of the first part.
“Jurassic World: A New Age” can be seen in USA cinemas from June 8, 2022 – also in 3D!