1 1/2 Stars

Jurassic World: Dominion (2022)

Merely a dumb minion.

Had I been born approximately two or so years earlier, I would have fond memories of the original Jurassic Park in the theaters during its original release. Alas, I was six, so I had to wait until home video. After the promise of a series revival of sorts with 2015’s highly entertaining Jurassic World, the series was on its last little Dino legs when the highly disappointing Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was released in 2018. I hoped life may find a way to bring the series home to a somewhat satisfying conclusion. 

In the third and final installment of the Jurassic World trilogy (and possibly last in the Jurassic saga), Jurassic World: Dominion indeed brings the series home…to extinction.

Years after the events of Fallen Kingdom (which apparently starred Geraldine Chaplin), the world has been officially infested with various forms of dinosaurs. In fact, in the obligatory opening news feed, we see the number of Dino related deaths for the past year at 37 (meaning there are more deaths by mass shooters per year, but nevermind that). Owen (Chris Pratt) is still with his girlfriend Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), and are now the adoptive parents of Maisie (Isabella Sermon), the cloned daughter from the previous film and is not a typical rebellious teenager. She is being sought after by the bad guys, along with Beta, the baby raptor of Owen’s former pet (I don’t know if that is the right word but whatever) Blue.

Meanwhile, elsewhere (there are a lot of location jumping in this film: Ethan Hunt and James Bond did not do this much), there is an apparent large amount of giant locusts (you read that right). I’m talking locusts that are probably slightly less the size of a full grown pit bull. This is where the filmmakers try to bring it their first bit of nostalgia, as the familiar Dr. Ellie Satler (Laura Dern) is called in. Of course, she needs the help of her former love interest Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill). They investigate a tech company called Biosyn, a company that is doing something with dinosaurs that is supposed to be good for the world but (no shock) is hiding something. The head of the company is Lewis Dodgeson (Campbell Scott), who has also hired two more points of nostalgia points: Henry Wu (BD Wong) and Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum).

Okay, it is understandable that fans of these movies don’t go in for the human characters. These films are hardly known or remembered for having human antagonists with much character depth. They go in for the creatures and CGI. Again, I get it. That said, when it comes to the human characters, would it hurt if they said something of interest? The dialogue here is basically amateurish and unmemorable (the exception, of course, being Jeff Goldblum). The fault does not fall on the actors (I mean, come on, it’s Laura Dern for crying out loud! Plus, Campbell Scott is the son of George C. Scott!). The fault is clearly that of Colin Trevorrow (who helped with the script as well as directed.) 

Parents, there is no sexual content. The film is PG-13 mainly for scares (for a Jurassic film, the violence still seems somewhat toned down). If your kids have seen any of the other Jurassic Park/World films, they are fine here.

I may be mistaken, but the cinematic nostalgic train really started moving along when we got a new Star Wars Trilogy. Sometimes the train ride has been smooth (such as the more recent Top Gun: Maverick) and sometimes bumpy (last year’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife). With Dominion, the Jurassic franchise has become evocative of the famous train crash scene in The Fugitive (1993).

This is not a clone of any of the better Jurassic films, but merely a dumb minion.


Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

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