It may be nearly a year away but Universal Pictures is already getting moviegoers hyped up for Jurassic World: Dominion. The third entry in the current trilogy is set to hit theaters next summer and the studio recently revealed a massive (in every sense of the word) tease for the blockbuster alongside IMAX screenings of F9. It was action-packed and revealing. While we wait for the footage to arrive online, here’s a breakdown of what is currently playing in theaters in the Jurassic World 3 IMAX preview.
Jurassic World: Dominion IMAX Preview Footage Breakdown Warning: spoilers ahead for the Jurassic World 3 IMAX preview. For those who don’t want anything spoiled, turn back now. The footage, it’s worth mentioning, is not just a trailer. It is an extended preview that contains a huge, extended sequence along with what can be described as a brief teaser. Not a lot of narrative is weaved into the preview. Though it does give a general sense of what this movie is offering. And what it’s offering is some wild new ideas. It promises to explore things new to the franchise.
The footage kicks off in the distant past, approximately 65 million years ago. Yes, we are going back to the time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth. It plays like the most expensive educational movie ever produced at first. Sort of like the old dinosaur specials one might see on the Discovery Channel. Only with blockbuster sensibilities. While we see some familiar dinosaurs, it all looks and feels different. The color palette. The landscapes. The brutal nature of the ancient world. Dinosaurs trying to survive in their natural element. All it’s missing is some narration from Richard Attenborough. Even the look of the dinosaurs themselves is a radical departure. Yes, they have feathers. There is an attempt to make these creatures look more scientifically accurate than they have in the Jurassic Park series up to this point.
This chunk of the preview reaches a head when a T-rex, probably the one that provided the DNA for the original Jurassic Park T-rex, gets into a hardcore brawl with a giganotosaurus, a new species to the. The fight looks pretty incredible and packs a punch. It’s violent and big. In the end, the rex meets its demise. We see a mosquito land on its skin, drink a little blood, and fly away. Again, the presumption here is that this mosquito will get trapped in amber and provide some dino DNO for John Hammond to exploit in millions of years.
We are then transported to the present, picking up after the events of 2018’s Fallen Kingdom. As fans will surely recall, the remaining dinosaurs from Isla Nublar had been transported to the mainland and are now roaming free. As we come to learn, this has resulted in, as Ian Malcolm would put it, chaos. A team in a helicopter is seen chasing the T-rex through some greenery in the dead of night. Unfortunately for some moviegoers, she is on a direct path to a drive-in theater. Rexy then storms through, carving up a path of destruction. The outdoor theater is thrown into a frenzy, with everyone desperate to escape with their lives. It is both scary and fun. Director Colin Trevorrow manages to inject little moments of humor amid the carnage. Yes, we saw a T-rex loose in San Diego in The Lost World but this sequence has a radically different feel to it. It’s more convincing.
After that sequence is over, we then move on to what can loosely be described as a brief teaser trailer. We see more shots of dinosaurs out in the real world with humans. It is pure pandemonium. We get a glimpse of a flock of what appear to be gallimimus stampeding through traffic. We see an allosaurus ripping through a camp in the woods. A shot that was actually recycled from the live-action Battle at Big Rock short. The mosasaurs leaps from the ocean to steal a fishing boat’s catch. The clear point of emphasis is that humans and dinosaurs must co-exist now. This is no longer an isolated incident. We then get to the title card promising that the movie will be coming our way next summer.
What Did We Learn from the Jurassic World: Dominion IMAX Preview? Aside from actually seeing some of what Colin Trevorrow has cooked up, we learned a bit, in broad terms, about the movie. Much of what has been hyped up so far is the fact that the entire franchise will be united. The original JP trio, Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum, are returning as Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler and Ian Malcolm, respectively. As are Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard as Owen Grady and Claire Dearing. The old and the new are set to collide. But the footage didn’t show us one single frame of these actors in action. Instead, it tried to paint a picture of the world. It created a feeling. A sense of atmosphere.
There is no way the filmmaking team could have known that drive-ins were going to explore in 2020 as the pandemic raged on. But that moment feels oddly fitting now. To that end, as much as this may sound like a weird thing to say, the preview made this all feel real. Or as real as something outlandish could possibly feel. Fallen Kingdom, in many ways, felt like a means to an end. It did not feel remotely real. This footage, on the other hand, feels, dare I say, grounded. If dinosaur and man were suddenly thrown in the mix together after 65 million years, this seems like a fair representation of the chaos that would ensu. Universal is not going hammy with this one, which would be easy to do, given the concept. They’re treating it seriously, though not so much that it takes the fun out of it.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway is that Universal sees this as a blockbuster in the truest sense of the word. A movie that must be seen on the big screen. A movie worth hyping up a year in advance. A movie that will show audiences something they haven’t seen before. Much like Steven Spielberg’s original Jurassic Park. This is being positioned as a must-see pop culture moment. And if the marketing can be this compelling all the way through, it may well indeed be a genuine must-see, shared pop culture experience. Jurassic World: Dominion hits theaters on June 10, 2022, from Universal Pictures.