Critics pan Jurassic World Dominion as it scores just 37 percent on Rotten Tomatoes


Movie critics around the country have panned the latest Jurassic World film that brings an end to a nearly 30-year franchise – saying it is too bloated with characters and action sequences that it forgets about the dinosaurs which made it a hit.

Jurassic World: Dominion, which hits theaters on Friday, follows the events of the past 30 years – with dinosaurs now roaming free around the world as a biotechnology firm unleashes genetically-altered locusts that destroy the planet’s crops.

It brings back the original stars of Steven Spielberg’s original Jurassic Park film in 1993 – Laura Dern, Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum – to investigate the dying plants, as newer stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard travel around the world to save 14-year-old Maisie Lockwood – a genetic clone of a scientist whose DNA was altered to eliminate cancer.

Of course, all the stars come together at some point in the film, to fight biotechnology giant BioSyn, led by the Elon Musk/Jeff Bezos like Dr. Lewis Dodgson, who promised to keep the world’s dinosaurs safe at his multibillion dollar camp.

The film clocks in at two hours and 27 minutes, and has scored just a 37 percent critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics panning it for having too many action scenes and for genre-mashing with nods to films like Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Jason Bourne that the film never develops an identity of its own.

Jurassic World: Dominion, which hits movie theaters in the United States on Friday has been widely panned by critics, earning a 37 percent critic score on Rotten Tomatoes

The film marks an end to the franchise began with the release of Jurassic Park in 1993

The film marks an end to the franchise began with the release of Jurassic Park in 1993

The original film was directed by Steven Spielberg, who is seen here speaking with star Sam Neill on the set of the blockbuster film

The original film was directed by Steven Spielberg, who is seen here speaking with star Sam Neill on the set of the blockbuster film

‘It’s not so much a movie as an extinction-level event for the franchise,’ writes David Fear for Rolling Stone, ‘one in which the last remaining bits of good will and investment in this particular intellectual property are snuffed out, like so many unlucky Stegosauruses.’ 

As Justin Chang writes for the Los Angeles Times: ‘You’ll spend much of the movie’s 147-minute running time watching seven or eight co-protagonists running around another mad scientist’s dinosaur farm, where bioethical boundaries are once again crossed and security measures are once again doomed to fail.’ 

Stephanie Zacharek also described for Time Magazine how ‘there’s so much plot, so many characters, so much damn Chris Pratt, that the dinosaurs end up taking a backseat’ and are ‘the forlorn underdogs of their own film,’ while Johnny Oleksinski writes for the New York Post that the ‘awful movie is longer than the Cretaceous Period.’

In the end, he writes: ‘The sound you hear at the movie theater during Dominion’ is not the shocked gasps of the original, classic Jurassic Park – it’s mocking giggles,’ while Zacharek described the sound as ‘millions of disgruntled, long-dead dinosaurs rolling in their fossilized graves.’

Rolling Stone critic David Fear issued one of the harsher reviews for Jurassic World: Dominion on Wednesday - effectively declaring the franchise dead

Rolling Stone critic David Fear issued one of the harsher reviews for Jurassic World: Dominion on Wednesday – effectively declaring the franchise dead

‘It’s not so much a movie as an extinction level event for the franchise:’ Rolling Stone declares franchise dead following Jurassic World: Dominion

Rolling Stone issued one of the harsher reviews for Jurassic World: Dominion on Wednesday – effectively declaring the franchise extinct.

In the review of the PG-13 film, David Fear actually apologizes to the creators of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, this film’s predecessor, after he declared it to be the worst of the franchise.

‘The sheer sloppiness and slapdash vibe of 2018’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was a bit of a shock; you’d have thought the movie was assembled on the go while its creative team was being chased by an extremely angry Indoraptor.

‘At the time, we declared it to be the worst of the Jurassic movies to date. We now owe that film an apology,’ he begins his review.

Fear goes on to describe Jurassic World: Dominion as ‘not so much a movie as an extinction level event for the franchise; one in which the last remaining bits of good will and investment in this particular intellectual property are snuffed out, like so many unlucky Stegosauruses.’

He continued to say that it seemed like director Colin Trevorrow and writer Emily Carmichael seemed ‘more interested in giving audiences a blockbuster buffet than a well-cooked entrée.

‘Dominion feels like a contractual obligation at best and a DOA attempt to wring one last drop of an already depleted brand at worst,’ Fear concluded. 

Another devastating review came from Johnny Oleksinski for the New York Post who described it as an 'awful movie' that is 'longer than the Cretaceous Period'

Another devastating review came from Johnny Oleksinski for the New York Post who described it as an ‘awful movie’ that is ‘longer than the Cretaceous Period’

‘Nobody is good in this thing:’ New York Post rips Jurassic World: Dominion as an ‘awful’ movie

Another devastating review came from Johnny Oleksinski for the New York Post, who described it as an ‘awful movie’ that ‘is longer than the Cretaceous Period.’

He wrote that the film ‘introduces cockamamie, completely unsatisfying conflicts that are only tangentially connected to dinosaurs,’ and describes Pratt’s character, Owen Grady, as negligent for raising raptors in the American west.

‘A more irresponsible and negligent plan, I cannot fathom,’ Oleksinski writes. ‘And yet he’s our hero.’

But, he said: ‘Nobody is good in this thing.

‘You’d think it would be nostalgic to see Dern, Neill and Jeff Goldblum together again, but they all act like old fogies, and they’re written to sound like morons.’

He continues to write that Jurassic World: Dominion has none of the magic that dazzled audiences back in 1993.

‘As the Jurassic films come to a close, let’s remember that, in 1993, director Steven Spielberg began a special-effects revolution that left viewers in awe of the realistic fanged creatures that came to life before their eyes,’ Oleksinski wrote.

‘Dominion, directed by talentless Colin Trevorrow, has no such innovation, wonderment, scale or magic.

‘The sound you hear at the movie theater during Dominion is not the shocked gasps of the original, classic Jurassic Park — it’s mocking giggles,’ he concluded.

TIME Magazine's Stephanie Zacharek wrote that the dinosaurs end up taking a backseat in the Jurassic World: Dominion film, noting that she felt exhausted after watching it

TIME Magazine’s Stephanie Zacharek wrote that the dinosaurs end up taking a backseat in the Jurassic World: Dominion film, noting that she felt exhausted after watching it

‘The point of entertainment is not to wear you down, but you’d never know it:’ TIME Magazine rips Jurassic World: Dominion’s ‘relentlessly stupid plot

Stephanie Zacharek also ripped the new Jurassic World movie to shreds, writing: ‘The point of entertainment is not to wear you down, but you’d never know it from watching Jurassic World: Dominion.’

She explained in her review that ‘there’s so much plot, so any characters, so damn much Chris Pratt, that the dinosaurs end up taking a backseat.

‘They’re the forlorn underdogs of their own film,’ Zacharek decried. 

She went on to explain that ‘certain scenes borrow heavily from other franchises (Indiana Jones, Star Wars) without even bothering to fake a stamp of originality.’

In the end, she writes: ‘That rumble you hear is the sound of millions of disgruntled, long-dead dinosaurs rolling in their fossilized graves.’

Hollywood Reporter reviewer, David Rooney, said the film just does not hold up to the glory of the original Jurassic Park trilogy

Hollywood Reporter reviewer, David Rooney, said the film just does not hold up to the glory of the original Jurassic Park trilogy

‘Evolution has passed this bloated monster by:’ Hollywood Reporter claims ‘more is less’ in the film

Hollywood Reporter reviewer, David Rooney, meanwhile, said the new film just does not hold up to the glory of the first trilogy.

‘More is depressingly less in Jurassic World: Dominion, a legacy sequel that tosses in frequent winking nods to the 1993 Steven Spielberg thriller that started the dinosaur franchise, and yet completely loses sight of the heart and humanity, the rapturous awe that made it so unforgettable,’ he wrote. 

‘Whatever good will super-fan director Colin Trevorrow earned with 2015’s enjoyable reboot, Jurassic World, he pulverizes it here with over-plotted chaos, somehow managing to marginalize characters from both the new and original trilogies, as well as the prehistoric creatures they go up against in one routine challenge after another,’ Rooney describes.

‘Evolution has passed this bloated monster by.’ 

He goes on to say that Trevorrow and Carmichael spliced ‘together the DNA of countless different movies,’ comparing it to one of the dangerous experiments with genetic modifications in the franchise, but says they ‘cook up a genre mishmash with no discernable identity of its own.’

Rooney also reports that the characters from the original trilogy only have ‘interchangeable “Oh no, another dinosaur” encounters.’

‘There was an artfulness to all this when Spielberg did it, with far less advanced technology,’ he concluded. 

‘Now it all looks just like digital paint-by-numbers. There’s no magic.’

Still, he said, ‘editor Mark Sanger and composer Michael Giacchino keep the story hurtling along, possibly hoping that if it moves fast enough, no one will mind the colossally dumb plotting.’

Los Angeles Times reviewer Justin Chang described the film as watching 'seven or eight co-protagonists running around another mad scientist's farm'

Los Angeles Times reviewer Justin Chang described the film as watching ‘seven or eight co-protagonists running around another mad scientist’s farm’

Jurassic World: Dominion ‘plays at times like a feature-length biotech promo’ Los Angeles Times claims

The Los Angeles Times was just as harsh, writing that the film seemed more like a promotion for biotechnology even as it railed against it.

Reviewer Justin Chang described the film as watching ‘seven or eight co-protagonists running around another mad scientist’s farm, where bioethical boundaries are once again crossed and security measures are once again doomed to fail.’

But ‘for all that, and despite Dodgson’s unambiguous villainy, Jurassic World: Dominion plays at times like a feature-length biotech promo.

‘It’s astonishing how little tension or even momentary menace Trevorrow is able to mine from individual action sequences, how tame even T. rex now seems in its late-franchised dotage,’ he concluded.

Chicago Tribune writer Michael Phillips slammed the directing of Colin Trevorrow for the failures of the film

Chicago Tribune writer Michael Phillips slammed the directing of Colin Trevorrow for the failures of the film

‘Something’s off here:’ Chicago Tribune faults director Colin Trevorrow for bad writing

Chicago Tribune writer Michael Phillips also slammed the directing of Colin Trevorrow for the failures of the film.

‘The problem is filmmaking craft, and how little director Colin Trevorrow brings to bear on the project,’ he began his review.

He continued to note: ‘Something’s off here, all the way through the film’s warring personalities and wan subplots. 

Still, Phillips admitted: ‘The results may enjoy a big haul this summer, given the film’s nostalgic Grand Finale trappings and the melding of the first trilogy’s headliners — Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum — with the second trilogy’s nominal leads. But you know how it is with brand name blockbusters.’

But he said of the film: ‘The action is perpetual and perpetually in need of a better director and editing that heightens and sharpens our pleasurable excitement instead of dulling it.’

Vanity Fair reviewer Richard Lawson explained that the film lacked much substance, chalking it up to failures with reboots in general

Vanity Fair reviewer Richard Lawson explained that the film lacked much substance, chalking it up to failures with reboots in general

‘Don’t try to revive what long ago met its natural end:’ Vanity Fair decries reboot of Jurassic series

Vanity Fair, meanwhile, used the opportunity when reviewing Jurassic World: Dominion to decry all of the reboots made in recent years.

Richard Lawson described the film as an ‘espionage thriller, with extra governmental intrigue and frenetic chases through exotic locales,’ explaining that it lacked much substance.

But he said the issue was systemic of all reboots, writing: ‘There’s already been a lot of writing about the frustrations of nostalgia products like this, the half reboots or “re-quels” that have plagued multiplexes for years.

‘There’s no need to rehash the cynical, diminishing-returns vampirism of these things – Dominion revisits enough old ideas on its own,’ he wrote.

‘Anyway, the irony is plenty evident already: don’t try to revive what long ago met its natural end, those films warn with an increasing lack of self-awareness.

‘The results may be intermittently fulfilling, but ultimately, they’ll lay waste to everything we once held dear.’ 

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