I’d like to start this review with a disclaimer. Dinosaurs never tickled my fancy. As a kid, I watched Jurassic Park in the cinema with my grandpa and came away unimpressed. I don’t think T-Rexes are cool, or that raptors are awesome. I pretty much went into watching Jurassic World Dominion with expectations neutral.
I didn’t expect to be blown away, but I sure as hell didn’t expect an engrossing movie that’ll keep me at the edge of my seat.
After spending about two and a half hours watching the movie, I can honestly say that Jurassic World Dominion wasn’t what I expected.
Is that good or bad?
Read on and find out.
What is Jurassic World Dominion?
Jurassic World Dominion is the latest movie in the Jurassic World series (which is itself a sequel to the Jurassic Park trilogy). It’s the last movie in the Jurassic World trilogy, which means it’s out to tie up all the loose ends the first two movies (and to a certain extent, Jurassic Park) established.
Directed by Colin Trevorrow (who also directed the first two movies in the trilogy), the movie stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and the stars of the Jurassic Park series.
Since I’m too lazy to write up everybody, here’s who’s who from the movie’s IMDB page.
The film’s not going to win any awards for its acting but for the most part, it’s fine so don’t worry about it.
As befitting the last film in a trilogy, Jurassic World Dominion assumes you’ve watched the other movies in the series, both the Jurassic World movies and the Jurassic Park trilogy. It is essential because the movie draws upon material, motivation and plot points from all the movies prior.
That’s because Jurassic World Dominion is as much its own movie as it is a way to send off the current trilogy with a ton of fan service.
Jurassic World Dominion picks off years after the events of Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom, with dinosaurs loose upon the world. They’re now pretty much everywhere; in the air, on land and in the oceans.
For the most part, mankind has started to learn how to cohabit with them. For the most part. There’s a thriving black market trade in dinos apparently despite them being so readily available.
As for the humans, Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady is now living in seclusion with Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire Dearing, raising the young clone of Charlotte Lockwood (now calling herself Maisie).
Maisie’s a fugitive and a source of fascination for the world at large, so the duo have taken it upon themselves to become her adopted parents and take care of her in a remote location.
Chief among the people who are looking for Maisie are Biosyn, a new company (like InGen in past films) that seems to have popped into the world zeitgeist with benign intentions…though in actuality, they’re up to no good.
…or so the film would have you believe.
Here’s what the CEO of Biosyn’s doing.
He’s bio-engineered a new, hardier breed of locusts (spliced with dino DNA) that’ll eat anything but crop grown from Biosyn seeds.
Yup, you read that right. Think about the plan for a damn second.
That’s not evil, it’s plain stupid.
How long does Biosyn think they can pretend to be innocent when the world notices everything BUT Biosyn stuff gets destroyed? Who do you think people blame?
On top of that, if everybody else has their crops destroyed…how the hell will there be enough food to feed even Biosyn workers?
For a company that’s filled with brilliant thinkers and futurists, it just seems a totally stupid play for world domination.
I honestly think that it’s a completely stupid plan that’s concocted just to throw together the three Jurassic Park alumni for what will probably be their last on-screen hurrah together. Fan service to the max.
I do have to admit it was cool to see Dr Grant, Sattler and Malcom back together. I just wish that it could’ve been with a more interesting premise fueling their reunion.
Ironically, while the focus is on the old school cast and Maisie, the film completely glosses over Henry Wu.
This was the guy who succeeded in cloning dinosaurs! He was in the first damn film!
Henry Wu had a total character arc in the movies and games; going from a brash and egotistical man with a God complex (Jurassic Park) to a (now) penitent old soul who just wants to right his wrongs. He’s grown more in the course of the films than ANY of the characters, yet he’s just a periphery figure in the plot.
Jurassic Park/ World should’ve been his story from the start.
Instead we get a barely there story with 2D, cookie cutter characters and flimsy motivation.
Seriously…what’s the point of kidnapping Maisie when Henry could’ve done as much with just her blood? He makes it abundantly clear it’s just her DNA that he needs!
Hell, couldn’t they just do the experiments with strands of hair? Why couldn’t Biosyn just approach Owen, offer him cash and say they want Maisie’s hair and/or blood to create cures for diseases and stop a bio-engineered locust swarm?
The whole film feels tired, and safe. Despite the characters being in danger regularly, I never got the feeling that any of them would bite it. Deaths in the movie can’t seem to decide on whether they should be cool or gory and so come off as laughable.
I pretty much laughed every time somebody got killed by a dino. It’s damn hilarious when somebody’s minding their own business and then get chomped suddenly by a rampaging dinosaur.
That’s no way to get the audience invested though, because the movie isn’t a comedy. Sure, it has its comedic moments but going for full-on laughter isn’t probably what the plan was.
Yet that’s exactly what the movie delivers. It’s unintentionally funny…which is bad.
Dino fights are also laughably boring.
They’ve managed to create yet another baddie for the beloved Jurassic Park T-Rex to fight, this time in the form of the Giganotosaurus, which the movie claims is the largest known carnivore to ever walk the earth.
Too bad it’s such a lame ass punk.
It barely appears in the film, and when it does it’s usually going up against the T-Rex in humdrum fights. The finale battle was the limpest finish in a Jurassic series movie I’ve ever seen…and I’ve seen them all.
Also, Blue and her dynamic with Owen is completely non-existent in this one.
That’s one of the biggest downside to the movie because it was the one thing (that really worked) that set apart the Jurassic World movies from the Jurassic Park ones.
She’s in the movie…but only in the beginning and the end.
Without Blue to differentiate Owen from the rest of the cast, he just seems useless. So he trained Raptors and is now a pseudo-father to Maisie…big whoop. What did he do in the movie that couldn’t be done by any other member of the cast?
Even John Williams’ score isn’t up to snuff. It’s great stuff when it works (particularly when it invokes the classic Jurassic Park theme) but the rest of the stuff? Meh.
The Bottom Line.
Jurassic World Dominion is a massive disappointment in multiple ways.
Boring set pieces, zero character development, nonsensical plot with numerous holes, disappointing dino fights…you name it.
The sole bright spot in the movie has to be the return of the Jurassic Park cast. Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum overflow with chemistry and steal the show whenever they’re on.
Not enough to make the movie good, but enough to numb the pain at least.
The worst movie in the Jurassic Park/World series, with the only bright spot being the return of the Jurassic Park main cast.
- Jurassic Park trilogy cast is still awesome.
- Hilarious (mostly unintentional) deaths.
- Some cool locations and setpieces.
- It ends…after two and a half hours.
- Stupid plot.
- Disappointing fights.