So apparently life found a way to turn this sequel into a steaming pile of dino dung…
The concluding chapter in the Jurassic World franchise, Jurassic World Dominion (no colon), sees the return of not only this trilogy’s main leads, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), but also the original trio of actors from the movie that started it all, Jurassic Park, in Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern). Focusing on the global chaos that ensues after a genetically modified species of locust begins to consume the world’s crops at an extinction-level rate, the people of Earth are also contending with the rise of a vast number of free-roaming dinosaurs that have inexplicably populated the planet and threatened humanity’s way of life. Forced to coexist or die, humans and dinosaurs are faced with an unprecedented event, one that could become too big to contain and too important to ignore, and of course, our protagonists are smack dab in the middle of it.
I honestly felt insulted at how frustrating this movie was for me to watch. A fan of most of the other Jurassic Park sequels (Lost World is highly underrated, Jurassic Park III is perfectly fine, Jurassic World is better than you remember, and Fallen Kingdom’s first half I’ll take…only), I didn’t exactly have high expectations for Dominion going in but also didn’t expect to be let down as much as I was.
A movie that promised more than I figured it could deliver on, Dominion is an experience that not only feels like an afterthought, but preys on our love for the original Jurassic Park in a way that admittedly had me giddy at seeing Alan Grant, Ian Malcolm, and Ellie Sattler, at first, but quickly devolved into a hollow representation and replication of everything the previous movies did better. Wrapped in a sense of direction and scripting that just doesn’t work, this threequel doesn’t have much solid narrative ground to stand on, as the last film’s reveal of human clones and weird familial drama did this franchise exactly zero favors moving forward.
But for as bad as a lot of the movie is, I can’t outright disown it. As mentioned above, the returning Jurassic Park characters were at least fun to see for nostalgia reasons — despite their odd storylines and characterizations at times — and while there was no main dino stalking our heroes and pushing the story forward a la the T-Rex from the original movie, the Spinosaurus from Jurassic Park III, or even the Indominus Rex or Indoraptor from the previous Jurassic World films, there are enough new ones featured in a few scattered set pieces that kept this film from falling apart quickly. Fuck them locusts though.
So while seeing dinosaurs on the big screen may never get old, the shoe-horned nature of returning franchise alums, a plot that simply isn’t interesting, and a filmmaking approach that was perfectly described to me as a movie that has “too many people problems and not enough dinosaur ones,” and Jurassic World Dominion (no colon) is not only a disappointment but a fine mess of a film that doesn’t even deliver on its titular promise.