Jurassic World Dominion – REVIEW & COCKTAIL

Another day, another legacy sequel. To paraphrase from the holy book of Goldblum:

“You filmmakers were so preoccupied with whether or not you could, that they didn’t stop to think if they should. “

Damn straight, Jeff.

I’d say you can get a pretty decent understanding of a movie within the first minute when it opens with a NowThis video. The Jurassic Park franchise has never been shy of injecting commentary on preservation and co-existing, but six movies deep, the message has really run its course. What Dominion lacks in originality it somewhat makes up for with some pretty exciting action sequences featuring dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes. While these moments are undoubtedly thrilling, they’re still trapped inside a bloated, overly long film that reeks of sterilized Hollywood habits, blatant nostalgia bait, and a well run dry of ways to make seeing dinosaurs as monumental as it was  nearly 30 years ago.

Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire Dearing

The film is divided into 2 branching story, one involving Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard trying to rescue their adoptive clone daughter, and returning legacy actors Laura Dern and Sam Neil trying to expose a huge, dinosaur gene splicing conspiracy. Needless to say there’s a lot going on here, but at nearly 2 and a half hours, I can’t help but feel the film tries to stuff too many characters and side plots into the story, leaving it disjointed and messy. Half of the characters are incredibly unmemorable and don’t really do much besides moving from one set piece to another. Chris Pratt is completely void of the charm and charisma that made him a star to begin with, settling into that generic action hero vibe. Sam Neil kind of just stands around going…

Huh?

What?

What the f*ck?

Laura Dern tries her hardest but the script actively works against her, but no lackluster script can stop the unrivaled quirky charm of Jeff Goldblum. I’m not sure if he was given a script or was just allowed to riff, but he manages to make straightforward lines much more funny than they should be. 

(from left) Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon) and Kayla Watts (DeWanda Wise) in Jurassic World Dominion, co-written and directed by Colin Trevorrow.

But I know you don’t give a damn about characters. What you really want is to see dinosaurs run rampant, right? Well, we get a scene of a raptor chase through Malta, which is admittedly cool, and a tense scene where Bryce Dallas Howard is stalked through the water by a giant bird dino, but every other use of dinosaurs after that feels incredibly lazy. A new dinosaur just kind of shows up, it has its moments looking big and intimidating, and then that’s it. Despite looking cool, there’s never any suspense to these scenes. It’s more or less just sightseeing. Dinosaurs aren’t even really at the forefront of the film, it’s bugs. Yep, big old locusts are the catalyst of this film. I guess I can see that they are trying something new, but if your idea is to pivot your dinosaur movie to a bug movie…maybe you’re better off not making the movie. The script definitely doesn’t speak like a story that just needed to be told, and the way this film is edited makes me believe it was crafted with very little care or sense. After the last film I expected this to be a much more intense film about humans trying to survive amongst new apex predators, but it makes the mistake of hinging much of the story on the uninteresting newer characters and the squandered legacy characters. I think it’s safe to say the Jurassic franchise has run its course, so for now, let’s maybe leave the dinosaurs 65 million years in the past.

Rating

(out of a possible 5 locusts)

Amber Egg

 Life…finds a way, and millions of years of evolution has lead me to here, making silly little drinks for silly little movies.

For this big dumb movie, I’ve decided to try to recapture something cool from the older films. You know, the better ones. The imagery of the mosquito encased in amber is iconic, so I’ve decided to create an ice mold that’s sort of similar in appearance. I’ve achieved this through freezing ginger beer and a single cherry inside a spherical ice mold. This way, while you drink, you’ll be periodically greeted with dino DNA seeping into your drink. Appetizing, huh?

For the drink itself, I decided to do a bit of a tropical spin on a dark and stormy, complete with dark rum, and a little bit of lime and banana, matching the aesthetic of an island full of man-eating beasts.

Ingredients

DRINK:

  • 2oz dark rum
  • 1/2oz orange liqueur
  • 1/2oz banana liqueur
  • 3/4oz lime juice
  • 1/2oz simple syrup
  • 2 dashes peach bitters
  • Garnish: Mint leaves

ICE BALL:

  • Ginger beer
  • Maraschino cherry

Instructions

  1. A day before making the cocktail, fill an ice mold with ginger beer and a single cherry. Place in freezer until frozen solid.
  2. For the cocktail, add all ingredients to a glass and stir to combine.
  3. Add prepared ice sphere. Stir briefly to chill and allow some of the ginger beer to leak in.
  4. Garnish with mint leaves.

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