Plot: What’s it about?
As of this writing, it’s been nearly three decades since we were first graced with Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. Yes, that’s nearly thirty years folks! The film was a huge critical and commercial success and even spawned a new sound mix – DTS. Heard of it (pun fully intended)? I remember seeing it in the theater and even put my feet up on my seat when the raptors were chasing the kids through the kitchen. There aren’t a lot of films that evoke that, or any, emotional response from me. So for this one to do that – it’s something special. We were then treated to two less-than-stellar sequels and it appeared that the franchise might be on its way out. But, lest we forget, this is Hollywood we’re talking about and wouldn’t you know it – we got Jurassic World; something that took place in the same universe, but had fresh faces. The latest installment brings back some very familiar faces – notably Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and Alan Grant (Sam Neill). They’re joined by Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt. Oh and there are dinosaurs, but not nearly as many as you’d expect.
This time around we meet a human clone, Maisie (Isabella Sermon), who’s been kidnapped by a corporation named Biosyn. It’s run by Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott) who wants to study her DNA. Her surrogate parents: Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) set off to rescue her. It’s at this time when we meet Ellie (Laura Dern) and Alan (Sam Neill) who learn that Biosyn has unleashed a new form of insect that melds bug DNA with that of a dinosaur. The bugs then wipe out any crops that aren’t seeded with a Biosyn product. The group ends up at the corporations headquarters where they meet Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum).
Video: How’s it look?
It should come as no surprise that Jurassic World: Dominion looks as good as it does. The Ultra HD format gives the transfer a bit more color, depth and detail when compared to its Blu-ray counterpart. These are all good things when the film deals with dinosaurs. There are some scenes that are truly a spectacle and I can only imagine what they’d look like on a really large screen. Much like Kong: Skull Island, we get a visual array of every color in the spectrum. While the Blu-ray looks good, this is certainly the best-looking Jurassic film of the bunch.
Audio: How’s it sound?
Each and every Jurassic film has sported some sort of DTS track and with Dominion, we’re treated to one of the more robust tracks I’ve heard in a while. This DTS: X track fills the air with so much aura and atmosphere, I was happy the wife was with me when we were watching it. We’ll never know how much sound a dinosaur makes when it walks (or runs) through the jungle, but this mix makes it feel like we’re right there with them. LFE are heavily involved, the front and rear surrounds create a dizzying effect and the front channels help center the action. If ever there was a reference-quality soundtrack, it’s arrived.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Extended Version – An extended cut of the film with 14 minutes of additional footage featuring more dinosaurs, action, iconic character moments and an alternate opening
- Battle at Big Rock – Directed by Colin Trevorrow, the short film takes place one year after the events of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in Big Rock National Park.
- A New Breed of VFX – VFX supervisor David Vickery and the magicians at ILM discuss the incredible visual effects work featured in the film.
- Dinosaurs Among Us: Inside Jurassic World: Dominion
- Together for the First Time – Cast and filmmakers discuss the evolution of the franchise and the special union of characters from Jurassic Park and Jurassic World.
- Underground Dino Market – Join filmmakers for a tour of the amazing dino market set and discover how they brought it to life.
- Mayhem in Malta – A behind-the-scenes look at the Atrociraptor rooftop chase and Owen’s harrowing motorcycle ride through the narrow streets and alleyways of Malta.
- Scary Real
- Spit Take: The Return of Dilophosaurus – Live-action dinosaurs supervisor John Nolan and his team reveal how they created the impressive Dilophosaurus animatronic.
- Inside the Dimetrodon – Learn how the filmmaking team operated the terrifying Dimetrodon animatronic and hear from Laura Dern and Sam Neill on what it was like working with it.
- Creating a Plague – Laura Dern and Bryce Dallas Howard discuss the enormous locusts featured in the movie and the creature effects team reveals how they were created and deployed.
- Passing the Bata…n – Discover the craftsmanship behind the realistic-looking Beta animatronic and hear from Chris Pratt and Isabella Sermon on why they enjoyed working with it.
- Giga-Bite – Go behind the scenes with the cast as they are introduced to the biggest star of the film, the Giganotosaurus, for the very first time.
- Final Night – Witness the emotional final night of filming with the cast and crew.
The Bottom Line
It’s nice to see “worlds collide” in the Jurassic realm of films. While this one wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, I did appreciate seeing the familiar faces of Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill and Laura Dern join the “new guard” with Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. Universal’s disc is, as expected, technically spot on but clear your schedule as the extended version runs nearly three hours.