Dinosaurs rule the world once more in ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’. Is it epic? Is it the conclusion to the ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘Jurassic World’ franchises, as promised by the tagline? Does Giganotosaurus truly want to watch the world burn? And what does a gig at BioSyn pay when you are a swashbuckling mathematician?
Originally slated for a June 2021 release, but postponed by a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ has been making its way into cinemas across the globe ahead of the US premiere on June 10, 2022.
Reception by audiences and critics has been mixed so far, though the early release has been a financial success; however, monetary profits do not equal quality, so how does ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ hold up?
‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ – the story
Picking up four years after ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ (2018), Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) is still haunted by the past; trying to atone for her mistakes and feeling a deep sense of duty towards the dinosaurs, she has moved on from rallying the public and politicians to more radical measures, raiding illegal dinosaur breeding facilities to expose them and have authorities shut down the awful practices conducted there.
Despite their earlier romantic struggles, Claire and former Velociraptor-trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) have made a pretty nice home for themselves and rebellious Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon), who they’ve taken under their wings after her grandfather’s death.
It isn’t long before their peaceful life is disturbed; Velociraptor Blue turns up at their cabin in the woods. And Blue is not alone; she has a baby, whose origins are a mystery.
Both the baby Velociraptor and Maisie are kidnapped by a bunch of nameless poachers, led by over-the-top bad guy Rainn Delacourt (Scott Haze).
Owen and Claire give chase; with the help of Franklin Webb (Justice Smith) they learn Maisie is headed to Malta, where illegal dinosaur fights are being held by more anonymous, unpleasant people, and dinosaurs are sold for excessive amounts of money, the trades conducted by delightfully devious, and criminally underused, Soyona Santos (Dichen Lachman).
Owen and Claire briefly reunite with Barry (Omar Sy) and find an unexpected ally in veteran pilot Kayla Watts (DeWanda Wise), who agrees to fly them to Biosyn Valley, a sanctuary for recaptured dinosaurs and other resurrected prehistoric creatures.
Parallel to Claire and Owen’s story runs another tale; the one of Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) investigating the mysterious appearance of swarms of gigantic locusts, feeding on crops throughout the United States, destroying harvests as they swoop down and gorge on anything the farmlands offer.
Believing Biosyn is responsible, she asks her former love-interest and old friend Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) for help with her quest for evidence; invited by a familiar acquaintance, Sattler and Grant journey to the dinosaur sanctuary located deep in the Italian Dolomites.
Touring Biosyn’s facility under the guidance of Ramsay Cole (Mamoudou Athie), Grant and Sattler are welcomed by Dr. Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott), who seems more aloof than an evil genius. Alas, do not judge a book by its cover; as with ‘Jurassic World’ (2015) and ‘Fallen Kingdom’, shady stuff is going on right under everyone’s noses, including Dr. Ian Malcolm’s (Jeff Goldblum) who lectures at Biosyn for a handsome stipend, and who extended the invitation to Dr. Sattler.
Will the familiar trio manage to expose Dodgson before everything goes pear-shaped?
Through a series of high-adrenaline adventures, the two groups eventually come together in Biosyn Valley and must not only fight for their own survival, but for the chance to reveal the truth.
‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ – the verdict
The story of ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ begins, of course, in 1993; Steven Spielberg’s ‘Jurassic Park’, based on Michael Crichton’s novel of the same name, enthralled audiences of all ages and demographics. Never before had dinosaurs been so realistically and dynamically depicted on screen.
At the time, critics lauded the visual effects but quite a few were less complimentary when it came to the human characters; they were seen as somewhat two-dimensional, entirely in service of the spectacular animatronics and CGI.
‘Jurassic Park’’s success spawned two sequels; ‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park’ (1997), based on another Michael Crichton novel, and ‘Jurassic Park III’ (2001).
After the third film, the franchise seemed to have been given up on by Universal. Rumors about a possible fourth film, and even a few announcements of it having entered active pre-production, swirled, but it would take fourteen years before the dinosaurs made a successful return in ‘Jurassic World’ (2015) and ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ (2018).
What has endured most amongst fans, almost ironically, is a deeply rooted love for the original characters; Dr. Grant, Dr. Sattler and Dr. Malcolm inspired generations to seek out careers in palaeontology and science.
Dr. Ian Malcolm in particular remains incredibly popular amongst film enthusiasts; and Jeff Goldblum delights in the character’s popularity, having reprised the role not just in sequel films, but a car commercial and the various ‘Jurassic World: Evolution‘ games.
This popularity only made it a matter of time before Grant, Sattler and Malcolm would return to the world of dinosaur escapades. But with five returning leading characters, three returning supporting characters (though two are really cameos), four newcomers, one renewed villain, and Maisie’s story continuing too, do they get a chance to truly shine?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ tries to squeeze in so much everyone’s individual stories are bogged down, even with the gargantuan runtime of two-and-a-half hours.
Most of the time it feels more as if the entire film’s a comedic approach rather than a serious continuation of the series and a re-introduction of beloved characters; Dr. Malcolm talks, but his words, unlike his dire warnings and razor-sharp analysis in both ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘The Lost World’, are hollow, meaningless; even his rivalry with Dodgson can’t reach the heights of the adversarial quips traded with Peter Ludlow (Arliss Howard) in ‘The Lost World’.
And so it goes on; Dr. Sattler and Dr. Grant have surprisingly little to add, aside from their own little mystery-espionage adventure, and are written rather abysmally.
A completely ridiculous subplot is introduced, erasing things we learned (or thought we’d learned) in ‘Fallen Kingdom’ regarding Maisie’s origin story, which is now so muddled and contrived (the “Benjamin Lockwood – John Hammond fallout”-spiel makes no sense at all now), it defies any desire of exploring it further.
Claire and Owen, by comparison, have a more straightforward and slightly more serious arc, and given their history there is a surprisingly touching moment between Claire and Owen on Kayla’s aircraft. Owen, having taken on the role as surrogate dad, is far less goofy, a welcome approach. Both Kayla and Ramsay are appreciated additions to the story, though they get far too little screentime (Ramsay’s character especially suffers from the bloated cast of characters).
The dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals, too, feel underused. Most of them only appear once, dutifully carry out their parts in the story, then are gone just as quickly as Delacourt and Santos.
With the exception of the (very effective) reveal of the Therizinosaurus, the introductions of the dinosaurs are distinctly underwhelming; they aren’t helped by some unimpressive CGI work and highly disappointing animatronics. Not once do they reach the greatness of Stan Winston and his team’s work on the original ‘Jurassic Park’ films.
And though it was heralded as the new big bad dinosaur, Giganotosaurus turns out to be the chillest theropod in the franchise. It lumbers around a bit, and even gives half-hearted chase to our heroes once, but it mainly being absent from the larger part of the film is what stands out most.
By comparison, the mystery of the locusts, admittedly and pleasantly, feels as if it came straight out of a Michael Crichton novel. And some of the humour in the film (“he slid into my DMs”) truly works and draws hearty laughs.
For all its flaws, and Colin Trevorrow’s insistence of them not featuring when ‘Jurassic World’ entered production sometime in 2013, ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ now introduces feathered dinosaurs, some of them first seen in ‘The Prologue‘ (2022); it’s a radical and deeply appreciated step forward for the franchise – the fierce Pyroraptor especially is a fabulously spectacular plunderer, echoing the memory of ‘Jurassic Park III’’s marvelous Velociraptors.
A tighter, more competently written story, shorter runtime and less filler-characters might have made for a better, more entertaining film. Even though the pace is high and everyone’s continuously horse-riding, driving, cycling, running and flying from set-piece to set-piece, I found myself bored at times because it was hard to keep up with the action, and also, about halfway, hard to care for what was going on.
The absence of any tension and playing it safe to please a very wide demographic (of fans) takes away any edge it otherwise might have had.
At times the film’s more ‘Bourne’ or ‘Mission: Impossible‘ than ‘Jurassic Park’ / ‘Jurassic World’. As a friend described it; the film feels very much as if you’re watching a string of excellent video game levels.
Is it epic? No. Is it the conclusion? Also no. The open end, unfortunately, hints at more to come. I’m hoping Trevorrow and Universal Studios will hand over the reins to other writers and directors; preferably filmmakers who aren’t hardcore fans of the original films and therefore capable of taking a step back, critically evaluating what does and does not work, only then to come up with engaging, intriguing stories and characters.
‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ has its heart in the right place, but the execution is dreadful. Though it will no doubt make an obscene amount of money over the coming summer, it’s not destined to become a classic. One thing is clear; dinosaurs will rule cinemas once again and they, unlike that tagline’s promise, are very much here to stay.
Do you agree with this fan review, or do you have a different view? Share your thoughts below, and as always stay tuned to Jurassic Outpost for the latest!
The following is a guest article contributed by Ruann Jovinski of ‘Jurassic Park 4.4’ first published in Portuguese and now translated to English. The review is largely spoiler-free, however small spoilers to follow:
Last Friday myself and a bunch of fans were invited by Universal Pictures to a very special event in São Paulo, Brazil – a visit to the Iron Studio’s owned Jurassic Park Burger restaurant, a screening of ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ (we even got JP tattoos for free, but that’s another story).
Before the movie started, we got to see the trailer for ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’, which was then followed by a very short segment were two minions were confronted by their own version of Rexy.
From there is where the fun began.
Jurassic World Dominion opens with an exposition heavy “Now This” news montage that catches the audience up to speed on how dinosaurs are now free to roam the world and introduces the mega-corporation BioSyn. While one would expect it to be exciting and primarily set up BioSyn, it mostly serves as a Fallen Kingdom recap rather than a striking or needed introduction to the film. This segment feels odd, but thankfully the movie soon finds much sturdier footing: from there we are introduced to two different storylines that have much more in common than we are initially led to believe.
This movie brings back the classic Jurassic Park characters in a huge way, driven by Ellie Sattler. Likewise, the Jurassic World characters are trying to make their peace with the world they helped create as well as take care of Maisie Lockwood – the clone girl who they essentially illegally “adopted “after the events of Fallen Kingdom.
Dominion brings us to a whole new world with many different set pieces and concepts that have never before been seen in the Jurassic franchise. From the snowy mountains of Sierra Nevada to the populated streets of the island Malta and the dense BioSyn Valley in situated within the Dolomite Mountains of Italy. Dinosaurs are free in our world, trying to survive, and humans are adapting to this ever changing set of circumstances. We see illegal trafficking of dinosaurs in black markets, and what happens when dinosaurs wreak havoc in city streets. This is a whole new Jurassic World.
The movie is far from perfect – the plot is bloated, the pacing is horribly rushed, and many of the characters feel slightly out of key – but at least in my humble opinion it is much better than the two previous entries. ‘Dominion’ revisits Jurassic Park’s Techno-Thriller roots diving into the power of genetics like we have never seen before and some of the plots points are for sure something we could easily have seen in Crichton’s work.
I was thrilled and extremely happy to see Dr Alan Grant and Dr Ellie Sattler’s shenanigans throughout the film, interacting with another another, other characters, and of course dinosaurs. The chemistry between Sam Neill and Laura Dern is strong as ever. Jeff Goldblum as Dr Ian Malcolm is another great win – this movie really belongs to the classic Jurassic Park cast.
Outside of the classic characters, the newcomers are also great: standouts would be DeWanda Wise’s “Kayla Watts”, Mamoudou Athie’s “Ramsay”, Campbell Scott’s “Lewis Dodgson”, Isabella Sermon’s “Maisie”. Of course, BD Wong’s Dr. Henry Wu is also back and he’s better than ever. Yes, Dr Wu does get a meatier role and a stronger arch this time – something much overdue. Bryce Dallas Howard gets to flex her muscles as Claire both physically and emotionally as we are presented with a more sentimental and even haunted version of the character. Chris Pratt brings nothing new to Owen – he’s pretty much the same as the last two films, however played a little more seriously and doesn’t lean into out of place levity during serious scenes like in Fallen Kingdom.
As for the dinosaurs, Dominion brings some incredibly new additions to the franchise in the form of the territorial Therizinosaurus, the menacing Giganotosaurus, the tiny Moros and the vicious Atrociraptors. We also get to see some old friends like the venom spitting Dilophosaurus – which feel like a throwback to 80’s films more than Jurassic Park. The Pyroraptor is another standout, though sadly virtually every moment of its scene is in the trailer – this one was criminally underused and it’s insane Dr. Alan Grant never meets it. That would have been a full circle moment to his Velociraptors are birds speech in Jurassic Park.
As I said before the movie is not without it’s flaws, which comes in form of some very odd creative decisions, the lack of crucial dialogue to better explain some of the plot points (this movie often feels like a sequel to a movie we never got) and what I thought were the worst offenders – The animatronics. Yes, there are many (many!) animatronics in this movie and they all ended up looking very rubbery and stiff, looking more like Dark Crystal or Star Wars creatures than the living breathing animals Stan Winston Studio created. Perhaps this is in part the fault of the way they were filmed – but I really thought most (if not all) should have been touched up with CGI, especially the Microceratus.
The soundtrack is quite fun and has its moments, but I also feel Giacchino could have used more of the original themes – after all this movie is the “epic conclusion” of the entire saga and the return of the original characters, which comes with certain thematic expectations.
In general I can say I really enjoyed ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ and I had a great time and I just can’t wait to see it again. It has the flaws of the first two Jurassic World films, but BioSyn driven plot line and return of the classic characters really elevates the fun. It’s hard not to have certain expectations – this was meant to be the close of a series of stories that began in 1993 but ultimately just feels like another sequel. I wish the movie was longer as it needed to flesh out the story and characters, be less choppy, and build more believable stakes. Likewise some of the effects, both practical and CGI, needed more work – it’s unfortunate that some of the CG is weak considering how long they had to work on the film (Blue and Beta are a large offender here).
Ultimately this movie left me wanting more – both in good and bad ways – but most of all good. And thankfully, Dominion is not the end, but a brand new beginning. More will come, and the movie makes that clear.
Stay tuned, as more of our team sees the movie and are allowed to publish reviews new review articles will be added!
Jurassic Outpost has recently partnered with E-WIN Racing, makers of high quality gaming chairs, desks, and equipment. The folks there were gracious enough to partner with us for a review of one of their new heavy duty E-WIN Racing gaming chairs – read on for our thoughts, in affiliation with Caleb Burnett/JurassiCaleb!
This is the E-WIN Champion Series ergonomic computer gaming office chair! It comes with high-density pillows and cushions for neck and lumbar support, and also comes in a few different color combinations. The one we received is a sleek black and red.
It looks so great in the JurassiCaleb studio. It’s upholstered with E-WIN’s stain resistant leather and can be cleaned without damaging the surface. The arm rests can be adjusted and rotated into multiple positions, and the chair itself can be set to a good range of different heights.
One of the best things about this chair is that it completely reclines for both leisurely work and full relaxation. The office gaming chair can be set into multiple positions for anything you need to do in it. Every part of this chair is strong and comfortable, and it is relatively easy to put together. This chair fits in well in a dinosaur and music studio, and feels very solid and grounded.
It’s perfect for both working or just hanging out in the JurassiCaleb studio, and it fits the modern aesthetic and dark colors there. This chair has become a crucial part of Caleb’s workflow and comfort whether working on music, brainstorming a video, or looking at the next dinosaur toy he wants to track down.
The black leather and red accents fit into the JurassiCalebstudio and collection room so well. You can shop their Champion Series Gaming Chairs here, and you can get the specific chair from our review here. Use code OUTPOST20 for a discount on your purchase! Huge thanks to the folks at E-WIN Racingfor sending this chair to us for a review!
This weekend we were fortunate to be invited to Funko’s Hollywood HQ and store for a special event centered around the upcoming legacy game from Prospero Hall and Funko Games: Jurassic World: The Legacy of Isla Nublar. During the event we got to spend time with other great Jurassic folks as well as the people responsible for developing this new game. Read on for our first impressions and exclusive photos of our playthrough!
“A gripping journey of ambition and adventure.”
Our first impression of Jurassic World: The Legacy of Isla Nublar is that it is visually gorgeous from start to finish. The art of the box, instruction materials, gameplay pieces, and more were all inspired by science fiction art, comic books, and B-monster movies of the 1950s. This game is an absolutely massive, intricate story that gives players the chance to experience what it would be like to build John Hammond’s dream from the ground up. Up to four players collaboratively work to set up the Isla Nublar we all know and love, building everything from the Visitor Center to the genetics lab to dinosaur paddocks. View exclusive images of our first playthrough and the special edition “chase” game box cover in the gallery below:
“Welcome to Isla Nublar.”
That phrase is what players are greeted with upon their entry into Jurassic World: The Legacy of Isla Nublar. The game’s title communicates important aspects of what’s in store for its players: A ‘legacy’ board game requires that many decisions you make with your characters and in placing things on the island can be quite permanent. After choosing from a few classic Jurassic characters and a new one or two (with more to be unlocked as you play), the adventures of the game begin. Including the tutorial, the game contains twelve story based adventures with five “rounds” in each. Players must work together to learn how to build their own Jurassic Park while completing objectives, solving puzzles, and running away from newly created dinosaurs. Players are aided by their characters’ unique special abilities, and once you get the hang of it, this game is an absolute Jurassic blast.
“Creation is an act of sheer will.”
Jurassic World: The Legacy of Isla Nublar is a wonderful expedition into what it would be like for players to leave their own Jurassic legacy on the island of Isla Nublar. We were only able to get through a couple of the adventures in our allotted time, but there was already so much to love about this beautifully complex game and the immense amount of interwoven Jurassic franchise lore. Funko Games and Prospero Hall consulted with Industrial Light & Magic, Amblin, and Universal Pictures to create the stunning artwork, instruction booklets and stickers, sculpted game pieces, and game boxes that will keep Jurassic fans and players engaged in the awesome experience they’ve crafted.
“Next time it’ll be flawless…”
We cannot thank the folks at Funko, Funko Games, and ProsperoHall enough for the invitation to this playthrough event and for the experience of the amazing game they’ve put together. During the event we also had the opportunity to speak with the developers and the leading folks at Funko Games about their philosophy and experience when developing this game – be on the lookout for those interviews very soon!
Jurassic World: The Legacy of Isla Nublar is headed to Kickstarter on March 22, 2022, and supporting upon launch reserves your copy of the game. Retail pickups for the game are expected to be announced in the near future. Are you excited for Jurassic World: The Legacy of Isla Nublar? Let us know in the comments below and stay tuned to Jurassic Outpost for all upcoming Jurassic news!
It’s been over 3 years since the original Jurassic World Evolution released on consoles and PC, and the anticipated sequel delivers on the promise of Fallen Kingdom: we’re not on an island anymore (except when we are, but more on that later).
Jurassic World Evolution 2 offers some new updates to the established gameplay from the first title, but will also be immediately familiar to players of the first – perhaps too familiar at times. However, for those unfamiliar with Evolution, it is a park building and management game where you’re tasked with creating your very own Jurassic worlds.
The core gameplay loop in Jurassic World Evolution 2 is all about building park attractions with key operation and exhibition facilities, seeing to guest and animal comfort, all while making sure you remain profitable and don’t run out of money. As you may expect, things don’t always go to plan, and chaos will come into play – from natural disasters like tornadoes and blizzards, dinosaurs growing distressed by their health and needs, and occasionally, dinosaurs breaking free and eating your guests (which is a very quick way to run out of funds).
You can help avoid unhappy dinosaurs trying to escape by making sure you’ve crafted an enclosure meeting their environmental needs, such as making sure you’ve grown the correct prehistoric flora for herbivores to feed upon, have enough water, open space, and other factors such as making sure species cohabitating a particular enclosure actually like one another.
If your dinosaurs break free you’ll need to send in ranger teams to round up the ramping threats before they cause too much mayhem, so it’s important to have them placed close by. While this may be easy in the early stages of your park, it becomes more of a challenge as your park grows and is something that will greatly affect your ability to mitigate the collapse of your park – especially as some maps are quite restrictive in size (but fret not, others are quite large).
Likewise, you’ll want to make sure you’ve researched the best facilities to contain and care for your dinos – such as the new medical center for taking care of sick and injured dinosaurs. As sick dinosaurs can die or spread illness, you’ll want to make sure your mobile veterinary teams can access the species as quickly as possible.
Research is integral to keeping your park well managed and profitable, and will also provide you the means to train your scientists whomst are integral to the core game mechanics. Scientists are hired staff required to be assigned to all management tasks such as aforementioned research, expeditions for fossils and dinosaurs, DNA synthesis, and egg incubation.
Each scientist has three skill categories with associated levels: logistics, genetics, and welfare. The various management tasks, such as sending out a team to look for fossils, have required skills in the category or categories, therefore making sure your various staff are properly leveraged for the tasks ahead is crucial. Likewise, each scientist has a specific perk. Some simply have a higher stamina rate, meaning you can assign them more tasks in a row without them needing a break from overworking, while others may allow for things such as 50% cheaper DNA synthesis or 30% faster egg incubation. You’ll have to make hard choices to make sure you’re saving as much money and time as possible while having enough skill points for the tasks your park requires, and this staff system brings a lot of strategy into the game.
As I mentioned before, the staff can get overworked and require rest. If you’re not careful, the scientists may become disgruntled, causing setbacks in your park such as sabotage. These new functionalities make the gameplay more dynamic as you expand your park, requiring more strategy in your choices as opposed to only arbitrary wait times while tasks complete.
The way you edit the environment is far more dynamic than the first game. For example, herbivores no longer have feeders and rather require the proper plant life to support their diets. While some may feed off of ground fiber and nuts, others will feed off tall leaves. With limited space in each paddock for what you can grow, you need to be mindful about the species you place together so their dietary and general comfort needs (which include things like open space, the amount of rocks, and more) can sync up.
Then, of course, there are the park guests – the people you want to keep happy to fund your dino-park escapades. Their comfort in the park boils down to amenities such as food, shopping, and restrooms, the placement of emergency bunkers, transportation, and of course attractions. Your star attractions are the dinosaurs, and you want to make sure you have the other desired amenities in close proximity to them. Viewing galleries are a primary way for guests to see dinosaurs, and the placement of the galleries is key to make sure the guests actually have sight-lines on the various species. Guests also don’t like to travel too much by foot, so researching and placing structures such as hotels and monorail stations around your focal dino-hubs really helps maximize the success of your park.
Each level features different environmental locations with different sizes and shapes, sometimes including narrow choke points where building and movement will be restricted. Making smart use of that space to fit all the needed structures, pathways, and dinosaur paddocks is crucial. If you’re not careful, you can easily build yourself into a corner where the needed facilities cannot fit. This will affect profit, guest comfort, and your ability to properly care for the dinosaurs – this can become even worse if disaster strikes.
Another great feature is the ability to pause time and assess a situation while assigning tasks within the park or choosing building placements. When a park is large, a lot can happen at once, and this feature allows you to manage many occurrences simultaneously before resuming the action and letting your choices play out. Likewise, you can speed up time by 2 and 3 times, allowing for tasks to complete in a blink of an eye. Be careful though – if things start going wrong, every second counts.
While many of these elements existed in the first Jurassic World Evolution, there are many small quality of life adjustments across the board which make the gameplay more dynamic, and in theory, more fun.
Unlike the first game, Evolution 2 offers 4 different modes of play: Campaign, Chaos Theory, Challenge Mode, and Sandbox.
Campaign mode picks up after the events of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, with dinosaurs now free in the mainland across various wilds in the US and elsewhere. The story picks up with Owen Grady and Claire Dearing now employed by the United States Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) working to help humans and dinosaurs successfully co-exist. The United States Government is concerned by the potential threat dinosaurs pose, and have set up many departments to help keep a close eye on the dinos. These include the DFW and another key player: the newly formed Dangerous Species Division (DSD) of the CIA. While the DFW and DSD cooperate together, there is some tension and distrust between the government agencies, particularly as the CIA isn’t the most forthcoming about their activities with dinosaurs outside of those the DFW directly assist with.
The single player mode marks the largest departure from Jurassic World Evolution and frankly even Evolution 2’s core gameplay mechanics. Rather than building parks, worrying about guest comfort, and profits, you’re simply tasked with tracking down nuisance dinosaurs and containing, observing, and relocating them – just as normal, non-prehistoric nuisance animals are often dealt with.
As such, the levels are divided into distinct playspaces within each map: the “buildable area” for creating and maintaining the DFW’s facilities and the “wild area”. The wild area consists of large expanses of wilderness where you cannot build but can take direct control of ranger teams to drive and fly across, tracking down dinosaurs, capturing them, and bringing them back to your containment facility that you build. Primarily you will build simple operation facilities such as paleo veterinary centers, paddocks, and observation platforms for the DFW to study the dinosaurs. Essentially, you want to make sure you have the right size paddock with the right terrain inside for the dinosaurs’ comfort, and once you’ve done that, you’ve got nothing else to worry about.
As such, you wont utilize most of the game’s core gameplay features and building options in the single player which, quite frankly, is a bizarre choice in a park building and management game. In fact, the the entire single player feels like a short, snappy narrative driven tutorial for a larger game that Frontier forgot to include. The story ends abruptly, only running a few hours, with a narrative that feels like it’s just setting up the first act. While the campaign of the first Jurassic World Evolution admittedly could drag, it was much larger and felt more content complete. The sequel’s main story can be beat faster than it takes to achieve a 5-star rating on some of the challenge mode locations.
It truly feels like rather than adjust the story to account for the fact that Jurassic World Dominion was delayed, they kept the initial set up and cut the rest of campaign that would intersect too closely with the upcoming film. The story makes mention of a third party and unknown location (seemingly alluding to BioSyn), and it seems like things are just getting ready to explore that thread when the credits role unceremoniously.
If you’re a player more interested in the narrative single player campaign be warned: campaign feels more like a small expansion to the first game rather than a standalone sequel experience. While the new environments are gorgeous, you won’t spend much time in them within the context of campaign. Some levels, such as Pennsylvania’s beautiful Appalachians, aren’t even featured in the various sandbox and challenge modes.
Chaos Theory mode feels like a secondary campaign, only smaller in story scope. It does offer some expanded narrative “what if” situations which are introduced with absolutely stunning intro cut-scenes narrated by Jeff Goldblum, reprising his role of Ian Malcolm (though he sometimes sounds less like Malcolm and goes into his weird and whimsical Goldblum voice). Each level is its own standalone story with simple premises attributed to the five films: build and open Jurassic Park successfully for the first film, Build and open Jurassic Park San Diego successfully for The Lost World, Create Jurassic World and successfully remain open with the Indominus Rex for the fourth movie. However, all of those quickly become repetitive gameplay with less narrative threads as your task is simply to achieve a 5-star rating with certain arbitrary chore-like challenges thrown at you along the way. This mode is hit and miss, particularly as it limits player freedom and can quickly become a little too chaotic if you make one wrong move. Personally, I found the San Diego level to be more engaging than the other two which just felt like they dragged on too long. I’m pretty sure I spent more time on Jurassic World’s Chaos Theory level than I did the main campaign – most of my star dinosaurs dying of old age before I cleared the level.
The issue in Chaos Theory mode is that it mostly assumes you understand the intricacies of park building and management. While it does introduce you to some basics, they’re not enough to realize the long road you have ahead to reach 5-stars. The mode may have felt like less of a chore had the main campaign done more introductory legwork work to introduce the player to the expanded core park management mechanics, but as it stands, the average player may find the experience overwhelming. Spending hours on a simple ‘what if’ scenario shouldn’t be a trial by fire to learn the games core mechanics – because if you make too many mistakes, you may be forced to start from scratch.
Jurassic Park 3 and Fallen Kingdom’s Chaos Theory modes shake up the formula, and while the other three levels may last too long, these two feel too short. Fallen Kingdom’s plot essentially boils down to returning to Nublar sans a volcanic threat, scanning a few dinosaurs, and then using the removal tool to destroy the pre-built park. It’s weird – and not fun.
Jurassic Park 3 stands out, as it seems to be an actual lore expansion set between the events of Jurassic Park 3 and Jurassic World rather than a “what if”, returning to Isla Sorna to capture dinosaurs and relocate them to Isla Nublar for Jurassic World. This level plays more like the single player where you capture wild dinosaurs and create basic paddocks for their comfort only. As such, it is short, but it is also a fun break with some curious lore implications.
Challenge mode is where the game really shines and seems to find better balance between pacing, mission structure, and player expression. It features entire suite of gameplay mechanics all with the goal of reaching a 5-star rating in various locations, while contending different challenge modifiers (for example, a level where dinosaurs are more prone to sickness). While this may sound similar to the Chaos Theory mode, you have more freedom and less arbitrary requirements, allowing you to build and respond to the various challenges in the way you personally wish. Likewise, this mode offers the full suite of ways to obtain dinosaurs for your park, including finding them within the map, sending expeditions to find fossils, and occasionally expeditions to capture wild dinosaurs transporting them directly to your park. It’s a shame the game’s more narrative-driven campaigns don’t embrace this wider sandbox of gameplay, as it offers a sense of freedom and diversity critically lacking in the campaign and Chaos Theory.
That said, much like the first Jurassic World Evolution, the game still lacks a sense of personal freedom to entirely craft a park as you wish with the many facilities and attractions you would come to expect from the films. While the Gyrosphere tour returns, as does a Jurassic Park and World themed vehicle tour, no new rides or dinosaur themed attractions are present – such as the river tour, Pachy arena, or T. rex kingdom. While some of these additions may seem arbitrary, the idea of this game very much revolves around building your own park – and when each park has the same limited suite of options, it quickly becomes repetitive.
This is an issue the first game suffered from, and by result, it often times felt boring when compared to other park management titles. While this game has some new additions, and thus can be more engaging, many of the changes feel more like lateral moves. This is especially because most of the buildings, features, and dinosaurs are straight out of the first game. In fact, some species featured in the first didn’t even make the cut for the sequel.
A fun albeit small addition is the ability to customize some buildings, choosing from a few presets like Jurassic Park or Jurassic World styled walls, entrances, and decorative displays – while also being allowed to customize portions of the colors and lights. While this doesn’t effect gameplay, it does give the player more forms of expression. Although most of it is hard to notice while properly playing the game in its birds eye view.
Some of the buildings you would expect to have alternative models and skins from various eras – such as the aviary or paddock fencing – sadly do not. And while you can choose skins for your vehicles, including the pre-order and deluxe addition bonuses, in sandbox mode you cannot freely choose any skin. If you want Jurassic World-themed ranger teams, you have to choose that building style for the ranger station, and vice versa for Jurassic Park, only allowing for the bonus skins to be freely swapped in. Curiously, the DFW vehicles from campaign seem to be absent.
The ability to genetically modify your dinosaur returns allows you to adjust things like their temperament, lifespan, and of course, how they look. Each species has a variety of skins – imagine them as basic color presets and patterns. You can apply a pattern to a skin to bring out more complexity, usually resulting more contrasting colors and striping. Sadly, like the first game, you cannot actually preview the skins to know what they create and there is no proper database for all the varieties of species designs in-game.
Some of the legacy dinosaur designs also appear as skins, and they also can result in model changes. These include the Tyrannosaurs with skins from all 3 Jurassic Park films, Parasaurolophus from the two sequels, Velociraptors from all three films, the Brachiosaurs from both Jurassic Park and JP3, Stegosaurs, Triceratops, and more. Some legacy species don’t have skin that directly calls out the film its from – such as Spinosaurus, Dilophosaurus or Pachycephalosaurs – yet they do have film accurate colors achievable by choosing the correct generic skin/pattern combos. Just good luck figuring that out on your first try.
While some dinosaurs are incredibly accurate and offer a fantastic look at their film counterparts, others are lacking or have issues. For instance, Jurassic Park 3 female raptors have great colors, yet sport the quills of the males. The Allosaurus retains its look from the first game, which predates Battle at Big Rock and does not reflect Fallen Kingdom either. This means it’s an entirely canon on-screen species with entirely fictional in-game design. The Pteranodons do not have their Lost World or JP3 skin/models, and sadly the Mamenchisaurus does not reflect its design from the The Lost World which was recently shown in better detail for the first time.
The aviaries are engaging and the flying reptiles can escape from them wreaking havoc on your park – however they don’t offer much in the terms of customization, theming, or shape. The species list is on the small side, but does include the Jurassic World Pteranodons and Dimorphodons. Sadly the Dimorphodons lack the fuzzy filaments called pycnofibres that they sport in the films.
The ability to build lagoons and breed marine reptiles also makes its debut, but these facilities have even fewer customizations and gameplay options.
Despite the various frustrating inaccuracies, when the game looks good, it looks fantastic. However, it’s not always firing on all cylinders in the art department or engine performance. While some levels look gorgeous, with the environments looking rich, realistic, and detailed, others have a decidedly dated and lower detailed look which effects visual readability. The same could be said for the dinosaurs. While some species are so detailed you can see each scale and bump in crisp detail up close, others look waxy with muddier textures. That said, as the game is often played at distance from the dinosaurs, the animation, lighting and environments are what really make or breaks the visual experience.
The game suffers from some noticeable draw distance pop-in, especially with shadows which just blip in and out of existence – which can be very distracting. Likewise, lighting effects turn off and on at various distances, and while that may not be obvious when hovering in one location, as you pan across your park it jumps out more and more. This is very obvious while in “capture mode” which turns off the hud and gives you more cinematic control over the camera.
I played the game on the Xbox Series X, one of the most powerful home consoles out there, and these issues were immediately obvious. While I didn’t play the game on the less powerful Xbox One or PS4, I imagine they’re even more notable. Which brings me to the other, more important point: performance.
When things really get going this game struggles, with huge frame hitches as you zoom in and out or pan over particularly complex areas. Again, I can only guess how it runs on the less powerful machines, but it feels like a certain layer of optimization and polish is missing – further illustrated by the numerous crashes I experienced while playing. Thankfully, autosave meant not much progress was lost, although I do recommend saving frequently.
The game also suffers from frequent bugs, and while most are minor and don’t impact the game some can lead to frustrating results. Sometimes dinosaurs can become stuck in place – they attempt to move, making flying or walking motions, but they go nowhere. This leads to them slowly dying from starvation and dehydration. At the very least, that can sometimes be fixed by tranquilizing the dinosaur and relocating them. However, it’s not always that easy in an aviary as you can’t exact direct control over the task. You have to let the AI do it by deploying a drone into the aviary, and guess what: the drone can become stuck. There is no easy fix for that – I found myself destroying aviary hatcheries and rebuilding them simply to allow for a new drone that hopefully doesn’t get stuck. Unfortunately this issue popped up frequently, enough to deter me from flying reptiles in the more difficult challenge modes if possible.
With so few changes from the first game, a shockingly short and simple campaign mode, and the various performance issues I can’t help but feel this game was rushed and surely could have benefited from a delay to release alongside Jurassic World Dominion – if not further out. I also have no doubt content was removed from the game due to the films delay – I suspect it will be released next June alongside the upcoming sequel – but this sadly contributes to what feels like an incomplete package.
Don’t get me wrong, the game can be fun, but much like the first it has the foundations of a decent park management simulation without the much needed finer level of control, freedom, and variety. The gameplay can be repetitive and oftentimes doesn’t feel rewarding. While the dinosaurs do have more behaviors this time, such as pack hunting, they’re essentially just pretty looking props to challenge you that you can’t really appreciate outside of sandbox mode – where you can turn off disasters, have unlimited cash, and can get up close taking your time without concern of park collapse. Even there, there’s not much to do with the dinos if you’re not interested in building environments and then using capture mode to grab cinematic footage of them. I just can’t help but feel there is some core gameplay element lacking here that would make it all more worth it.
While this game isn’t bad – it’s also not great. I suspect it will find its real home with modders and content creators, but the average player likely won’t entirely get what they’re looking for. Likewise, park management fans may find the gameplay more shallow than they’re used to. This was easier to forgive with the first Jurassic World Evolution, but it’s doubly frustrating with the sequel, which seems more interested in re-skinning the first game than offering a proper evolution and improvement. While I do believe Jurassic-fans will find something they enjoy in this game, if you don’t mind waiting a little, I recommend waiting for it to go on sale.
The park is closed, all the dinosaurs are running free and wild, and Isla Nublar’s fragile living system is losing all stability, falling into anarchy. Meanwhile, 6 teenage campers have been left behind on the island after missing the evacuation, struggling for survival for months. All the while, a new sinister threat creeps ever nearer.
After a decidedly divisive sophomore season that made some questionable tonal choices all while not pushing the story very far, we were anxiously looking forward to seeing what THIS season had in store. Would it be more akin the debut season, more in line with the reality of the feature films, or would it further embrace its animated freedom, and shake the shackles of sensibility and continuity, pushing for over-the-top, and quirky moments?
Releasing on May 21st, we’ve had a chance to watch the much anticipated third season of Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous! Here is our season 3 REVIEW:
Season 3 begins with a high-stakes escape attempt, after many previous failed attempts, that as you can imagine, also goes awry. Frustrated, the campers find themselves scouring the island once again for ways to finally escape Isla Nublar. This leads them to many exciting locations, both old and new. As they explore the island deeper they not only push their own story of escape forward, but uncover many new mysteries along the way – some of which are very much tied to the mysterious new dinosaur codenamed “E750”, which plays a big role in keeping the campers on their toes.
Best of all, some of the story promises larger reaching implications for the franchise in some very interesting ways.
It seems that with every season comes an improvement in animation, and season 3 is no stranger to that. The dinosaurs continue to look, act, and animate more and more like their big screen counterparts, and the lighting and shading on the characters and environments continues to evolve. The set pieces are thrilling yet logical, pushing the bounds of imagination and fun without breaking away from what we’ve come to expect from the films. From swooping hang glider chases to callbacks to The Lost World, the environments and dinosaurs are constantly creating adventure for the campers and the viewers alike.
Speaking of dinosaurs, the trailer teased the all-new Monolophosaurus, a species that has fast become one of our all-time favorites in both design and behavior. They really dig into a naturalistic yet primal behavior for the species, feeling incredibly fresh for Jurassic, yet entirely at home. We would love to see the Monolophosaurus appear in Dominion, and we imagine it is going to be a big hit from its fun scenes within the season.
Then, of course, there is the mysterious E750, which also feels more fresh than you may expect, has some decidedly terrifying scenes, and fun animation that really helps it stand out from past dinosaurs and hybrids. But that’s not all! The season brings back the Dimorphodons from Jurassic World, the Gallimimus, an adorable baby Brachiosaur, and the all-new herbivorous Ouranosaurus which will bring joy to fans of expanded Jurassic media like Operation Genesis. The season is a dino-lovers dream, and the sequences are thrilling, fun, and fresh, without delving into the occasional ‘jumping the shark’ embellishments like season 2.
The characters expand their relationships and understanding of the dinosaurs in this season, while those very concepts are challenged by the presence of the E750. Bumpy continues to be a fun addition to the show, and does not lack her playful personality, yet feels more plausible and grounded than her previous season 2 depiction. She provides not only a sense of security for Ben and the campers, but also a real connection to the dinosaurs for the audience.
The season is filled with growth and tension, and not just the dinosaur kind. Compelling characters are key to Jurassic, even when their stories are not always intertwined with the larger franchise as a whole.
Darius, Brooklyn, Ben, Yaz, Sammi, and Keni’s bond as a group continues to grow, however not without its challenges, as relationships between the group are tested, as are their survival skills. Their development marks an improvement over the second season, where it seemed much of the growth the characters made in season one was backtracked upon so that the characters could more fit their archetypal roles, often played for laughs over logic. While there is no shortage of playfulness in this season, we see real human growth, as the camper’s relationships evolve in compelling ways, while their trauma – from both off the island and on it – drive many of their decisions.
The campers are given some great scenes, with Ben and Darius sharing some truly compelling moments together. Darius still holds on to a sense of blame from dropping Ben during the monorail attack in the first season, while Ben must learn how to once again be a team player from his traumatic estrangement depicted in season 2. This all leads to some interesting dynamics that play out very authentically.
Kenji, Brooklyn, Yaz and Sammy also share some great development, pushing the story further while evolving them as individuals. Further speaking of pushing the story forward, Dr Wu features in the season in some fun ways, as you’ve seen from the trailers. We found that while his appearance may be limited, we’re finally given some insight into who he is as a person, what his motivations may be, and perhaps even how that could be applied to future Jurassic stories – such as Dominion.
While season two omitted a number of story beats setup in the first, the third seems to get the series “back on track” – so to speak – but does lack any form of storytelling outside of Isla Nublar itself. For example: Dave and Roxy were forced off the island in the first season after knowing full well the kids were still out there. Would these two camp counsellors just accept that all of the children perished – or would they still be fighting for their rescue? There is a missed opportunity here, and one we hope is revisited in future seasons! While this season does begin to tie closer to the stories of films, it would benefit from branching storylines and perhaps adult characters to help tie to the live-action universe in impactful and fresh ways.
Another storyline that was glossed over in the second season is Mantah Corp. Originally setup in season one as the potential “baddies”, they were virtually unmentioned in the second season, and this season does not make up for it. The bioengineering company is given a few small mentions, but feels more like a MacGuffin for Sammy, and ultimately leaves a lot to be desired. We really thought the organization would play a much larger role, especially after their intriguing and threatening setup in season one.
Season 3 however does benefit from an extension of the episode count, using the added storytime to the fullest extent. The two additional episodes are some of the best the series has offered so far, with high tensions across a perfectly executed finale. Overall it makes the story finally feel bigger and further aligns itself with the Jurassic World trilogy of movies.
The third season returns to the roots established in season one, the tone is believable, the stakes are high, and the writing is consistent, albeit perhaps held back by a cast consisting only of kids. The latest season doesn’t lean into the cartoon tropes that season 2 introduced, and instead allows the show to better re-appeal to fans of all ages. While perhaps not living up to the tv animation standards established by Avatar: The Last Airbender, Star Wars Clone Wars, and Rebels, Camp Cretaceous has a lot to offer in a franchise full of frights and adventure. This season shows that the show itself has the potential to become a first-class animated show, like the aforementioned outside examples – hopefully sooner rather than later. Camp Cretaceous has certainly proven itself – which should justify a higher budget allowing for larger set pieces, visual variety, and more expansive impactful storytelling.
Camp Cretaceous Season 3 is a true joyride that flies by, and easily stands as the best of the three. From nostalgic moments, to well-crafted set pieces, compelling character drama, and an engaging story, this was our favorite season yet, and we cannot wait to see how the story evolves and where it goes next.
In the years leading up to the release of Jurassic World, there was a dire drought of cool merchandising to collect – however, since 2018 the market has certainly roared to life. There’s no shortage of fun Jurassic merch, so it often takes something special to really catch our eyes.
Thankfully the Captivz collection does just that by featuring the best mini Jurassic World dinosaurs out there.
The new line of Pop ‘N Lock figures comes from Toy Monster, an Australian based company, which is where the line is currently for sale. But don’t worry – international availability is planned for 2021, and these new dinos should find their way nearer you soon!
So, what are Captivz? Here is official description for the Original Collection currently available in Australia:
With a collection of species and duplicates, players can challenge friends to battle rounds based on species, Aggression or Intelligence powers – the bigger your dinosaur army is, the stronger your defence line is and the more chance you have to win points and become the ultimate Captivz champion. Over 15 Pop n’ Lock Jurassic World dinosaurs are roaring to hatch out of slime eggs, including Rare, Ultra-Rare and Limited Edition metallic species. So un-wrap, crack and ooze your way through slime to reveal your mystery species – Pop n’ Lock your dinosaur and then, get ready to battle!
The collection includes: Blue, Blue (Gold), T. rex, T. rex (Silver), Indoraptor, Indoraptor (Bronze), Delta, Baryonyx, Stegosaurus, Sinoceratops, Triceratops, Stygimoloch, Pteranodon, Mosasaurus, Brachiosurus, and Indominus Rex.
They retail currently around 7 AUD (which converts to around $5), and pack a lot of bite for such a small price. As I said earlier, these are in my honest opinion the best Jurassic minifigs out there. Each dino comes in 3 parts for easy Pop-N-Lock assembly, and measure roughly 3 inches long, give or take. In size, they’re comparable to Mattel’s blind bag figures, but feel more solid, and are sculpted with far more detail. Likewise, the paint applications are often very impressive, calling to mind Papo with natural weathering and fine detailing.
And that’s where these figures really impress – not only are most clearly built from the ILM models, sporting eye pleasing accuracy and dynamic poses – they also often sport sharper sculpting and painting details than the core Mattel 3.75″ action figure line. This extra attention to detail shines: these catch the eyes even from a distance, and are easily recognizable to their film counterparts.
Take the Captivz Stygimoloch (one of my favorites), and compare it against the Mattel Attack Pack Stiggy ($7.99 MSRP) – despite the far smaller size and cheaper price, it sports an appearance more authentic to the films (that’s not a diss against Mattel there, but a commendation to the Captivz team). I can’t say enough good things for the detail (plus price), and I really believe Jurassic fans won’t want to miss out on this collection as it expands with new species in the future.
Or compare the Sinoceratops to the Mattel Sound Strike Sinoceratops – despite being dwarfed, its detail is more finely tuned and realistic looking. Captivz also make good use of compromises at the scale, such as the solid black eyes with a white paint reflection detail, which really bring the soul of this tiny dino to life.
While this line has no solid scale, with each dinosaur figure roughly the same size, they do pair quite well with 3.75″ action figures – if you consider them hatchlings. While the line focuses on adult dinos, it does feature one curious exception – the Stegosaurus. This adorable little dino might not fit with the rest of the line, but it looks phenomenal with a surprisingly detailed paint application, and pairs well with Mattel’s human figures, even if wholly unintended.
If you’re in Australia, you can hunt these down yourself at retailers such as Kmart – Otherwise, you can keep checking our site, or check out the official Jurassic World Captivz website here! We’re excited to see how this line evolves going into the future, and will have continued coverage on our site, including a hands on video soon.
Are you looking for new Jurassic Park merch to collect? Let us know what you think of the Captivz line below, and as always, stay tuned for all the latest news!
June 11, 2021. That was the release date announced for Jurassic World: Dominion back in February of 2018, nearly four months before Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom even hit global theaters. Here we are a little over two and a half years later and that still remains the scheduled release date. But could a change for the release date be on the horizon? There has been no official word or announcement for a change, but we strongly feel that something is likely inevitable for several reasons.
Before we dive into why we feel a change of the release date is coming, let’s first note that the date of June 11, 2021 is a perfect date for Dominion as it is exactly 28 years after the original film, Jurassic Park, hit theaters on June 11, 1993. Viewed as the conclusion of a six film story arc, though more films in the series are likely to come, Dominion sharing the June 11th date with the original film gave the fans a little extra nostalgic excitement.
So why might Dominion decide to shift dates? The biggest factor is Covid-19, the virus that has spread around the world causing the current pandemic this planet is dealing with. Movie theaters have closed for extended periods of time, some have re-opened only to close again and some have shut their doors for good as they couldn’t handle the financial blow. Film studios have delayed most films scheduled to hit theaters in 2020 and all films currently under production shut down in March, and only a few have resumed filming.
Dominion was no different as they had to shut down production on March 13th and after spending $5 million for new safety protocols that included testing of cast and crew on a consistent basis and constantly sanitizing the set, production resumed on July 6th. It was actually the first major Hollywood film to resume filming, and a few others started back up shortly after. As of today it is believed that Dominion has only a few more weeks of filming and should be wrapped by the end of October. There have been no major delays since filming resumed in July, but that has not been the case of all Hollywood movies that returned. Shortly after resuming, Warner Brothers’ The Batman had to re-shut down production for a couple weeks after star Robert Pattinson got Covid-19.
The four month delay in filming alone for Dominion had many fans and media outlets speculating that the film might see a delay in it’s theatrical release. Director Colin Trevorrow just last month though told the French entertainment website Premiere that the filming schedule remained right on time despite the four month postponement. Coupled with the fact that filming has seemed to run smoothly since returning and Universal has maintained June 11, 2021 as the release date, it has a lot of people thinking the film will still hit on that date.
So it seems the film itself has enough time to be finished properly in time for June, but there are several more factors that might just knock it out of that spot. Another major reason is all the shifting of films that were scheduled for 2020 that are now in 2021 and other films in 2021 that have been delayed weeks and months. For the most part film studios, when shifting their other films, have steered clear of Dominion’s release date. However some news that broke just a few days ago could be one of the biggest signs of a potential move as Fast and Furious 9, which originally was scheduled for this past May, had been delayed until April 2021 but now has shifted again to May 28, 2021. That is only two weeks prior to Dominion’s release.
That is a potential big deal as Fast and Furious 9 is also a Universal Pictures film and the idea that studio would release films from their two biggest franchises just 14 days apart seems extremely unlikely. Especially not when both films, in a non-pandemic world are all but guaranteed to gross $1 billion+ worldwide. There might be a chance Universal could be OK with the third weekend of Fast and Furious 9 going against the opening weekend of Dominion, but the potential box office haul for both films could take a hit as both films have a similar target audience. That doesn’t seem like something a studio would be willing to risk with two of their own films when they could easily put a bigger span of weeks between releases. Which makes us think that Universal might have already decided to relocate Dominion to a later date prior to announcing the Fast and Furious 9 date shift, but has yet to publicly announce it.
The other big factor is the movie theater landscape itself. Many theaters are struggling to stay afloat and with Disney moving tentpole films, like Black Widow to 2021, some are expected to close and might never re-open. There was talk earlier this year that almost 40% of all movie theaters in China might close permanently and there is a fear that could also be the case domestically. A lot of theaters that are still open, showing the one or two new films that did release recently or pulling classic films out the archive are operating at limited capacity, most seemingly in the 25% range. If the pandemic is not completely over by June 2021, and that means a global vaccine that is deemed safe and easily readily available to everyone, theaters might remained closed or continue to operate a low capacity. For a film like Dominion that would likely be expected to have a domestic opening north of $150 million or possibly even closer to $200 million, that could greatly damage those returns. Would Universal be better to delay the film’s release until after pandemic and get the full opening or settle for an opening that sadly might be 25-50% of what it could have made?
The best possible news for Dominion in this current world we live in is that like we noted above, filming is likely to wrap by the end of the month. As long as filming faces no major bumps during these next few weeks, the film will be in the can and it goes completely into post-production. Productions that are still underway or in pre-production have the biggest uncertainty as they never know if Covid-19 might them and force a shut down or potentially force certain films to never even be made. There will be some relief that that all that will remain is post-production and the sets, locations, tight quarters of filming will be concluded.
If Dominion does indeed shift dates as we feel there is a strong chance it will, when might we see it in theaters? There are a few options that could prove to be more ideal. Could it move one month into July? Maybe not, unless other films move again, as July 2021 is pretty much jammed pack with the likes of Top Gun: Maverick, Minions: The Rise of Gru, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Jungle Cruise. After July, a blockbuster the size of a Jurassic film would likely either shift to the following Summer or maybe go a different route and target the Holiday season.
Universal’s marketing could choose to use the icy locals of Dominion to help push the film into the cold months of November or December. Avatar 2 was originally scheduled for December 17, 2021 but has since moved to December 16, 2022 because of Covid-19 related delays to their production. While the third Spider-Man film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe moved into the December 17th date currently, if Dominion would decide to move there, it is likely Spider-Man would shift again.
The safest move and the one that probably makes the most sense is for Dominion to just move completely out of 2021 and shift an entire year. In May of this year, during the height of the pandemic, Universal made sure to claim the date of June 10, 2022 for an “event film”. It almost feels like Universal might have been thinking ahead for Jurassic, claiming the second Friday in June, just like 1993’s Jurassic Park and 2015’s Jurassic World had. While a full year delay would greatly disappoint fans, especially since the film will enter post-production next month and the release would change from being just 8 months away to 20 months away. But it wouldn’t be an unheard of move in Hollywood right now, films such as Black Widow, Jungle Cruise, Fast and Furious 9, A Quiet Place Part II, Godzilla Vs Kong and Halloween Kills to name a few all moved a year or more due to the pandemic.
Right now the release date remains June 11, 2021, but there are some signs starting to mount that it might not remain there. Do you think it will keep it’s current release date? Or you think it will move? If so, when would be a good time for it to be released in your opinion? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section down below!
It was a digital landscape that sometimes we think time wishes it could forget. Before Facebook or Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr, even before Myspace. It was an age when the internet wasn’t quite in its infancy, but more of an awkward transitional phase, as everyday it seemed new sites, forums and chat rooms came and went.
Today the graveyards of Archive.org are littered with the remnants of this now bygone era and provide a fascinating insight into the Jurassic Park fandom. Full of forgotten fanfics, early rumors of a “Jurassic Park 4” and maybe if you’re lucky some old screencaps and fan art, there is one page in particular that stands out. A place many once heard of and few probably remember, it was only recently that it was rediscovered.
Almost lost forever and forgotten by most, Jurassic Park: England (or “JP:UK” as it was also known) was a website chronicling a labor of love undertaken by British fan Andy Simpson and his quest to create a patch of prehistoric paradise in his own garden. Seemingly inspired by “Jurassic Park: The Ride” and then then recent Jurassic Park III, you can guarantee no expense was spared.
With some reports estimating that Andy spent about £4,000, the attraction included a 20ft. river safari through primeval overgrowth, smoky banks and of course a 15ft. recreation of the infamous “King Kong gates” that loomed over guests in the movie. All of this ending in a home theater where guests could join its creator in a private screening of his favorite films. “I’ve seen Jurassic Park over 300 times!” Simpson told reporters back in 2001. “I watched the films over and over ’cause each time I’d notice new things to re-create.” he also commented.
The attraction itself was by no means easy to build. According to Andy, besides the two years and countless hours needed to construct the massive attraction, it was also required to meet certain standards from the local council in order to entertain guests. Luckily for him however, “Jurassic Park: England” came just short of the required dimensions for some serious urban planning. As, if that wasn’t enough to consider, Simpson had to reach out to Steven Speilberg and Universal themselves for their blessing to use the Jurassic Park name and iconography. With little in his favor and probably as much chance as the cast of Jurassic Park had escaping the jaws of a hungry t-rex, Universal and Speilberg’s company actually reached out to the teenage fan, providing him with everything he needed to properly represent what they created.
Unlike the fictional park, which was only previewed to six selected guests, “Jurassic Park: England” opened to 40 and was met with critical acclaim for such a humble attraction. People gasped with delight as they were towed through the torch lit river and amazed as they came face to face with simulated dangers waiting along the banks. Simpson went on to be featured in countless news outlets including radio, tv, magazines and newspapers. In addition his site showcasing the ride briefly went viral with thanks from an avid community of fans.
What happened to “JP:UK?” Well truth be told, nobody really knows. In a time before social media as we know it today, it was easy for it all to fall into obscurity. The last time anyone heard from Simpson was in 2008 when he last updated his webpage. Perhaps somewhere in a British suburb, in an overgrown garden adorned with plastic skulls are the ancient ruins of this once proud attraction. A real lost world, waiting to be rediscovered, to be explored and maybe even entertain guests once again.
It’s hard to think that anything this huge could be forgotten, but if it’s one thing dinosaurs like the ones in Jurassic Park have to teach us, it’s this: Even the biggest things can be lost to time and reclaimed by the Earth. That’s why it’s important that we make our mark and tell the world who we are. The dreamers, the innovators, the people who do the impossible, keep pushing forward, shine bright and leave your legacy.
This article was written with love and with cooperation from “Big Razzie” and “Jurassic Outpost”.
Legendary actor Sam Neill, who will be returning as famous paleontologist Alan Grant in Jurassic World Dominion, has floated the idea of moving production to Australia or New Zealand to get things back up and running sooner. In an interview with an Australian radio show (Fitzy and Wippa on Nova), Neill revealed Dominion had finished two weeks of shooting before the coronavirus pandemic halted filming. As he put it, the cast and crew are “in the fridge now” waiting for production to resume.
Neill said he was supposed to be filming his parts for the movie in London, firstly at Pinewood Studios, but flew home to New Zealand as soon as things started shutting down. Not wanting to stay down for long, he remarked, “I’d like to think that maybe we can start or restart in this part of the world.” With the tenuous situation in the UK at the moment, Neill “reckons New Zealand or Australia would be the place to bring it” so filming could start back up sooner.
A move down under for Jurassic World Dominion would shake up production quite a bit for the movie. I think one thing is clear, Jurassic World Dominion should not be rushed. Fans want a good movie, not one that rushes to theaters as quickly as possible. Especially in a time where movies have been delayed for months, a move like that from Universal would simply come off as a cheap cash grab ploy.
Dominion was shut-down mid production, halting the sculpting and designing of dinosaurs, creations of animatronics, and creation of complex props and sets. Dominion was shaping up to feature the most animatronic dinosaurs, both large and small, since the original Jurassic Park films, innovating much like the modern Star Wars films. However, should the production move shops, and the release date be adhered to, these will inevitably be sacrificed to save time and money. This extends to more than animatronics, but the entire artistic vision of the film, putting undue strain on Colin Trevorrow and the actors to speed through the production, and it to be more VFX dependent with far less time.
The other issue is simply one of safety. We know that when movie productions start back up, there’s going to be a lot of safety regulations put into place. We have already seen some of the restrictions the UK is planning on using, and they are STRICT. To the point of having actors six feet apart during scenes, with something as simple as a kiss requiring VFX. These restrictions expand to the crew, meaning things must move far slower, with fewer people, and costing more money. Obviously for a franchise with as much ‘chaos’ as Jurassic, requiring intense filming scenes on both sides of the camera, that probably just will not work. Of course we want this movie to be made, but not so much to the point as we are sacrificing the health and well-being of those working on it – nor the artistic vision of the movie itself. It would be much better to resume work on Dominion once we are cleared to go about business as usual, and of course, with a delayed release date.
Waiting to resume back in London has its benefits too. With all this time Colin and crew have time on their hands to think about the story they are telling and how to make it even better. Scripts constantly change in this business, and sometimes for the better – time is not going to hurt this production, but rushing will. Not to mention that if production is moved to Australia, countless employees who expected to have steady work with Dominion will be out of a job (“Don’t you mean extinct?”). It would not be fair to the people livelihood that depending on this large production, and would only disrupt or perhaps throwaway the hardwork they already put into the films development.
Of course, there may be ways to pick up some side work in Australia and New Zealand, paving the way for a full throttle return to London – but a this point it’s hard to see its longterm benefits, at least without a formal delay and proper plan.
All in all, it’s a better idea just to let things sit for the moment. Give the production some time to breathe as the pandemic subsides – it will benefit so many people in the long run. I know we are all chomping at the bit to see this star-studded Jurassic conclusion, but let’s just remember that this virus requires are absence to die out, not our presence. And if we could only step aside, and trust in nature (plus our health care professionals), Dominion will find a way.
Any thoughts on how COVID19 is affecting movie production? Do you think moving to Australia or New Zealand would actually be a good move for Dominion? Let us know in the comments below!