If only we could all learn to coexist … with dinosaurs.
That’s one of the profound messages in “Jurassic World Dominion” (PG-13, 146 minutes, in theaters), the sixth, and, hopefully, last in the “Jurassic Park” series.
OK, the dinosaur business is a metaphor. The film is essentially saying that humans don’t own the planet, that we’re just one of many types of critters who have come and gone throughout history and will continue to do so if we don’t mess things up too badly.
But of coursaurus!
With the obvious ecological message in tow, this new “Jurassic” can be described, to borrow a phrase from my pal Shawn Fitzgerald, as a dinosnore.
Directed by Colin Trevorrow (he’s always a day away) and written by Trevorrow and Emily Carmichael, “World Dominion” not only offers the usual human-in-peril situations found in the previous Jurassics, it shamelessly steals from other films and genres, only adding dinosaurs into the equation.
We’ve got Chris Pratt channeling Duke Wayne as, on horseback, his character chases after and lassos a dinosaur.
We’ve got Pratt channeling Tom Cruise in “Mission: Impossible” mode as he speeds down the narrow streets of Malta on a chopper during an extended chase scene in which he’s pursued by the prehistoric beasts.
We’ve got a dino splintering a door and sticking its face through it, a la Jack Nicholson in “The Shining.” “Heeeere’s Rexy!”
The film generates next to no suspense, since we pretty much know who will live (the good guys) and who will die (the bad guys) from the get-go. Campbell Scott, a great actor in a thankless cliche of a role (imagine a bland James Bond villain without a cool nickname), might as well wear a nametag with “Future Dino Lunch” written on it.
In one action scene after another, Pratt or Bryce Dallas Howard or one of the other good guys (returning “Jurassic” vets Laura Dern, Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum among them) just miss getting devoured or torn to shreds. How many nick-in-time life-saving moments can you have in one movie? I didn’t count, but “World Dominion” might challenge for the world record.
The plot? I’ll spare you. There are clones, including a teen girl (Isabella Sermon) who’s central to the story. There are locusts. There’s a plot to dominate the world economy. And there are dinosaurs of various types … and they are hungry.
The film will leave you hungry, too. Hungry for something more compelling. ** (out of four)
** Click here for Tim Miller’s previous movie columns for Cape Cod Wave **
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Tim Miller is a Cape-based member of the Boston Society of Film Critics. He also teaches film and journalism at Cape Cod Community College in West Barnstable. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or follow him onTwitter @TimMillerCritic. Or you can ignore him completely.