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New dinosaurs, old friends: 'Jurassic World Dominion' review

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
New dinosaurs, old friends: 'Jurassic World Dominion' review
The cast of "Jurassic World Dominion"
Universal Pictures

MANILA, Philippines — There's something particularly enduring about Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park" that after almost 30 years, it still holds the captivation that dinosaurs can exist today alongside human beings.

This is the lure that sequels and even a rebooted franchise have been trying to replicate ever since, but never enough to the level of the 1993 film.

"Jurassic World Dominion" serves as the finale of this rebooted series and of the entire "Jurassic" franchise as a whole, and it banks a lot on what its two predecessors had — nostalgia and even meaner dinosaurs.

It is safe to say that "Dominion" has the nostalgia part very much locked in with Sam Neill's Alan Grant, Laura Dern's Ellie Sattler, and Jeff Goldblum's Ian Malcolm all appearing together fort the first time since "Jurassic Park."

Goldblum was limited to just a cameo in "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," so it is great to see him have a more active role here together with Neill and Dern.

This new dino-filled flick sees a world where dinosaurs now live among humans four years after Isabella Sermon's Claire Lockwood released the rescued critters, and the question of co-existence is thrust further into the public.

Had this movie, and perhaps its predecessors, focused on this aspect more rather than doubling down on the issues with genetic splicing then it might have risen to even greater success.

Instead, "Dominion" treads familiar material once again and loses the opportunity to end the beloved franchise on a high.

But that is not to say it is full of faults; there were many instances where the film definitely succeeded simply because it was what the audiences came for — one of these being Malcolm's bare chest.

Neill and Dern play off each other so well with great chemistry as if the years rolled back for them, while Bryce Dallas Howard's Claire seemed to evoke Julianne Moore's Sarah Harding from "The Lost World" but to even spunkier and more badass effect.

"Dominion" deserves some credit for incorporating the scientifically-accurate appearances of dinosaurs, which give audiences just as much terror as the movie monsters we saw from previous films.

These dinosaurs shine in the movie's best sequences such as the Malta scene involving Claire, Chris Pratt's Owen Grady, and a bunch of trained raptors.

Two scenes in the latter part of the film are so scarily put together that it harkens to the original "Jurassic Park" and it's like director Colin Treverrow took a page out of his successor and predecessor J. A. Bayona.

And yet it still feels like the dinosaurs took a backseat. One beloved dinosaur only bookends the film while another barely appears — just as it did in the previous "Jurassic World" movies.

If this will indeed be the end of a decades-long story that traces back millions of years, there is comfort in knowing it tried to give "Jurassic Park" the justice it deserves for being such a monumental piece of cinema.

Regardless of what the box office will show, "Jurassic World Dominion" is proof that there are people out there who love dinosaurs and will continue to do so because, as Malcolm said so long ago, "Life finds a way."

"Jurassic World Dominion" opens starting today in almost 400 screens in the Philippines. Its action-packed visual effects can be best viewed on Ayala Malls Manila Bay's A-Giant Screen cinema, which has a screen four times bigger than those in regular movie theaters.

Likewise, SM recently unveiled the new look of its IMAX theater in SM North EDSA, providing an unmatched three-dimensional "Jurassic World Dominion" advanced screening experience to over 300 celebrities and other guests.

RELATED: ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ brings together Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, original cast members

DINOSAURS

JURASSIC PARK

JURASSIC WORLD

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