Posts Tagged ‘Sam Neill’

Three Meals Away from Anarchy

Jurassic World: Dominion

Director: Colin Trevorrow

Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Campbell Scott, Omar Sy, Isabella Sermon, DeWanda Wise, Dichen Lachman, Mamoudou Athie

Running Time: 2 hours 26 minutes

Film Rating: 7 out of 10

To round off the reboot trilogy of Jurassic World which started in 2015, director Colin Trevorrow returns to the director’s chair for the third and final instalment Jurassic World: Dominion reuniting the new cast Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard with the cast of the original 1993 Jurassic Park film consisting of Oscar winner Laura Dern (Marriage Story) as Ellie Sattler, Sam Neill as Alan Grant and the ever quirky Jeff Goldblum as Ian Malcolm.

In the 2022 version, Dinosaurs mix freely with humans in a bizarre social world however something is amiss when giant locusts start attacking the food supply in West Texas.

Campbell Scott (The Sheltering Sky) plays a peevish version of a Steve Jobs type character, Lewis Dodgson who runs an extremely shady Biosyn Tech company in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy and is involved in all sorts of weird genetic engineering, playing God with creatures which just become more lethal and uncontrollable as the story unfolds.

Dodgson and his gang of thieves kidnap Maisie Lockwood from the guardianship of Owen Grady and Claire Dearing played respectively by Chris Pratt and by Bryce Dallas Howard.

In the meantime Sattler and Grant investigate the splurge of these giant locusts at the highly sophisticated Biosyn Tech company headquarters, where literally everything goes wrong including letting loose some Apex predators.

Dodgson’s greedy fascination with genetic engineering and dinosaurs sees him become a pathetic villain. Unfortunately, Campbell Scott is not a strong enough actor to play a convincing villain. For Jurassic World: Dominion, the producers needed a really charismatic actor to play the evil villain who is akin to Hugo Drax in Moonraker.

Before the entire world’s food supply gets threatened, Sattler realises that the mutation of the locusts need to be stopped before the general population is three meals away from anarchy.

The first half of Jurassic World: Dominion is really action packed particularly the chase sequence on Malta however the second half in the Dolomite Mountains is nothing original and is really the same group of characters being threatened by scary dinosaurs. The kids will love it!

DeWanda Wise is fantastic as the kickass aeroplane pilot for hire Kayla Watts and Mamoudou Athie is equally good as the only honest employee left at BioSyn. Audiences should look out for Dichen Lachman from the Animal Kingdom TV series as the ruthless henchwoman Santos.

Judging by how packed the cinema was, Jurassic World: Dominion is not a bad summer blockbuster film and gets a film rating of 7 out of 10.

If audiences enjoyed the first two films, then they will love this one. The third installment has all the ingredients of an action packed exotic film filled with dinosaurs, fascinating side characters and sweeping shots of unbelievable locations from Malta to Texas to the Italian alps.

Neon Inspired Family Feud

Thor: Ragnarok

Director: Taika Waititi

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Anthony Hopkins, Jeff Goldblum, Idris Elba, Tessa Thompson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Karl Urban, Ray Stevenson, Scarlett Johansson, Luke Hemsworth, Sam Neill, Taika Waititi

New Zealand director Taika Waititi was Oscar nominated back in 2005 for his Live Action Short film Two Cars, One Night.

Marvel Studios recruited him to inject new life into the Thor films and that he certainly does with Thor: Ragnarok, a neon inspired family feud of mythical proportions featuring Thor played again by hunky Australian actor Chris Hemsworth along with his pesky brother Loki played by Tom Hiddleston and new addition to the family Hela played with vampish delight by Oscar winner Cate Blanchett (The Aviator, Blue Jasmine).

Thor returns to Asgard only to discover that Loki has banished Odin, their father to a virtual retirement home. Upon a brief visit, the brothers discover that Odin, wonderfully played with a sombre delight by Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs) has got an elder daughter Hela who was banished from Asgard for being the Goddess of Death and wreaking havoc on the nine realms.

Cate Blanchett relishes her role as Hela, the Goddess of Death, inspired by Maleficent and certainly quite intent on destroying her defiant younger brothers.

Thor and Loki land up on a weird dystopian outer planet overseen by the demonic Grand Master, a superbly camp performance by Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park, Independence Day), who immediately instructs Thor to fight in a massive arena against a formidable beast: The Hulk. Enter Bruce Banner aka The Hulk, played with bewildering amusement by Mark Ruffalo (The Avengers, Foxcatcher, Spotlight).

Eventually Thor gets Loki, The Hulk and a hard-drinking Valkyrie played by Tessa Thompson last seen in the HBO series Westworld, to return to Asgard to defeat the demonic Hela who is assisted by a reluctant henchman Skurge played by Karl Urban (Dredd, Star Trek and The Loft).

The only criticism is that the middle section of Thor: Ragnarok detracts from the film’s central narrative, which is essentially a legendary family conflict.

Thor: Ragnarok is a fun-filled comic book film which thankfully does not take itself or the characters too seriously and is a clear indication that Marvel films are definitely trying to create memorable characters for the lucrative toy manufacturing market just before Christmas.

As with all the latest Marvel films, franchise opportunities abound. Thor: Ragnarok is light-hearted and hellishly entertaining. Audiences should look out for a great cameo by Benedict Cumberbatch reprising his role as the illusive Doctor Strange.

If audiences enjoyed The Avengers and the first two Thor films, then they will definitely savour Thor: Ragnarok which is comically inspired from another Marvel hit franchise, The Guardians of the Galaxy.

Thor: Ragnarok gets a film rating of 7.5 out of 10.

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