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'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' may have been a 'damp squib', will upcoming 'Dominion' save the franchise?

The third film in the trilogy is set to tentatively release in 2021, though it might be pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic
Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt  (IMDb)
Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt (IMDb)

Five years ago, filmmaker Colin Trevorrow brought Steven Spielberg's 'Jurassic Park' franchise back to life, with 'Jurassic World', a film about a dinosaur wild park that was so determined to keep selling tickets that it genetically modified creatures. It seemed to be a metaphor for Hollywood, that keeps churning out run-of-the-mill sequels just for the cash grab. Trevorrow's film worked for the audience, and crossed over 1.67 billion dollars worldwide, ensuring that it became one of the most glowing successes of 2015. However, 'Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom' reportedly turned out to be "a damp squib".

Director JA Bayona struggled to bring darkness to the film and it seemed incompatible with Spielberg's awe and wonder from the original franchise. The spectacle, that had once seemed so grand and powerful, fell flat in the film. The flaws in Trevorrow's 'Jurassic Park' were amplified in 'Fallen Kingdom', and there were so many peculiar jumps in logic that half the time, you can't help but just stare in disbelief. Since when did dinosaurs act like something out of 'Looney Tunes Cartoons'?

It's as if 'Fallen Kingdom' creators were bored with their own premise and raced through the storytelling as if they were just checking off their list of 'Jurassic Park' moments, like a dinosaur getting shot by a tranquilizer by a bunch of cartoonish bad guys. Not just that, the characters have no distinct personality and are rather uni-dimensional. Lindsey Bahr of the Associated Press wrote, "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will not stand up to rigorous scrutiny, and yet, it’s kind of an enjoyable, preposterous and thrilling ride that ticks through nostalgia beats like a shopping list."

In his review, The Boston Globe's Ty Burr likened the film to a "Universal Studios theme park ride" noting, "It’s enough for a fun fright night at the movies but lacks anything else: character, mystery, wonder, danger. The film’s a rush for an audience that only wants the high."

The third film in the trilogy, 'Jurassic World: Dominion' is set to tentatively release in 2021, though it might be pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is the sixth film in the 'Jurassic Park' franchise and the final film in the 'Jurassic World' trilogy. As with its predecessors, Spielberg is acting as executive producer. The film stars an ensemble cast including Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Jake Johnson. There's a sense of danger around the premise of the film, as the dinosaurs have escaped the island, and will be among humans. This idea seems intriguing and amps up interest, but the question remains: Will it salvage the franchise and undo the mistakes of previous sequels?