Jurassic World: Dominion (147 minutes)
Locusts were one of the 10 plagues of Egypt and so it is in Jurassic World: Dominion.
Gigantic sized grasshoppers threaten the world’s food supply.
They have been created thanks to a genetics laboratory, Biosyn, that has been granted control over the dinosaurs.
These prehistoric creatures are now freely roaming the world.
Meanwhile, a black market in dinosaurs is thriving.
Biosyn head Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott) has a rule to plough ahead with his operations regardless of what mistakes have been made.
That puts him at odds with those looking for peaceful coexistence with the dinosaurs, if that is even possible.
The movie is built upon the architecture of 1993’s Jurassic Park and 2015’s Jurassic World.
Part of that involves the emergence of Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon), the daughter of highly regarded scientist Charlotte Lockwood.
Maisie is being raised by activist Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) and dinosaur whisperer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt).
They are a family, but the 14-year-old is rebellious and eager to explore her roots.
Maisie is a hot property under threat because of her unique DNA.
Meanwhile, palaeobotanist and author Dr Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) has seen the magnitude of the locust problem firsthand.
She enlists the aid of her former colleague, palaeontologist Dr Alan Grant (Sam Neill), who is hardly being challenged these days.
Sattler also happens to have separated from her husband and her two children have grown up. Grant is more than a little interested, as she is in him.
Gifted an invitation to visit Biosyn, the good doctors are highly suspicious as to just what is going on there.
In their corner is highly cynical mathematician Dr Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), who feigns a lack of interest.
Within the company, too, there are concerns that Lewis Dodgson has lost the plot.
Colin Trevorrow is back in the director’s chair (he is also co-writer with Emily Carmichael) and has kicked the franchise up another gear.
There is action, special effects and sound effects aplenty in Jurassic World: Dominion. The pace is fast and furious.
I, like so many, can’t get enough of the dinosaurs and I wasn’t disappointed.
Apart from the re-appearance of Velociraptor Blue (and her offspring, Beta), the ultimate apex predator in the T-rex is back. We also get to see a Gigantosaurus, which is the largest known terrestrial carnivore.
Mind you, I have barely brushed the surface. Suffice to say, there are dinosaurs in significant numbers – on the ground and in the air.
Familiarity with the earlier Jurassic instalments will help, but you can still readily follow the threads if you are not au fait with what went down before.
Several story arcs come together as the locust threat and the safety of the teenager predominate.
I appreciated the reappearance of characters of old in Sattler and Grant.
The former is asked to do more and is wedded to the cause of tracking down how the giant bugs came to be (and how to counteract their devastating impact).
A frantic opening re-establishes Claire Dearing’s credentials. Bryce Dallas Howard brings passion, purpose and warmth to the role.
Chris Pratt as Owen Grady is the epitome of Joe Cool in his ability to handle (almost) any situation.
Jeff Golblum’s deadpan delivery is there again for all to see and savour, although he is probably given a few too many lines. What I am suggesting is that less would have been more.
I liked the attitude and bravado displayed by DeWanda Wise as daredevil pilot and mercenary Kayla Watts.
Even though there is a lot going on, at nearly two and a half hours Jurassic World: Dominion is a bit of a stretch.
Jurassic Park and Jurassic World were closer to two hours and that would have been enough here too.
Still, there is plenty to like about this offering, which is big and bold and loud.
In other words, “Dominion” has been given the Hollywood blockbuster treatment, so see it on the biggest screen with the best sound system you can.
Rated M, it scores a 7½ out of 10.