Jurassic World has had a bumpy road to the trilogy’s final film. After the critical and financial success of the first Jurassic World film, the franchise followed up with the unconventional sequel Fallen Kingdom. While J.A Bayona’s horror-fueled dinosaur romp received a mixed reception, it still set up a potentially world-changing third film. Enter Jurassic World: Dominion. Colin Trevorrow returns after his successful stint on the first World film to close the trilogy out. Complete with legacy characters from the original trilogy and an ambitious story, does Dominion end the trilogy with a bang?
The short answer is; not the way you expect. While Jurassic World: Dominion boasts lofty ambitions and a stellar cast, Trevorrow’s Directing and the script don’t necessarily live up to the expectations and concepts set up at the end of Fallen Kingdom. Now that Pandora’s box of genetics has been opened and Dinosaurs are now co-existing with the human race, where does the world go from here? Dominion answers that question with brief news montages and a couple of encounters with dinosaurs in the wild. Other than that, the film barely does anything to really make viewers feel the weight of Dinosaurs now co-existing with humans in the modern-day world.
There are small glimpses of promise in the concept, such as the Malta set piece which is no doubt the highlight of the film. Trevorrow and co. clearly had a fun time re-imagining a seedy underground black market but with Dinosaurs. This small scene in an otherwise dragged-out movie shows the promise of Jurassic World Dominion and makes what follows in the film pretty disappointing.
However, credit must be given to screenwriters Trevorrow and Carmichael, who manage to balance a plethora of characters quite nicely. To be more specific, the main casts of the World and Park franchises and how their stories eventually intersect. Although it’s cleverly balanced, it, unfortunately, isn’t very engaging. Laura Dern leads the Park cast in a BioSyn conspiracy that threatens to cause an ecological disaster. Meanwhile, the World cast attempts a rescue mission of the daughter and dino that eventually leads them to cross paths with their generational counterparts.
Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum are as charismatic as ever. Moreover, watching them reunite helped to make Dominion a little more tolerable. Unfortunately, the BioSyn plot development paired with the weird antagonist makes for something that barely feels like a Jurassic film. On the other side of the story, the world cast of Pratt, Howard, and Sermon introduces a new familial dynamic. Put together at the end of Fallen Kingdom, this trio feels incredibly forced. The family dynamic is some of the most superficial put on screen, and Pratt’s usual stoic nature in these films barely keeps him afloat this time around.
Bryce Dallas Howard, though, manages to feel genuine enough in all of her scenes that she is no doubt one of the better characters of the film. Her relationship with Owen isn’t coming from a contrived “will they won’t they” but rather a genuine sense of partnership. Maisie Lockwood is the other big plot point of the film. One with such an odd place in the story I would rather not spoil.
In regards to the dino action, compared to the other two installments in this trilogy Dominion is significantly lacking. There are some entertaining sequences, like the Malta excursion. However, there aren’t enough dinosaurs to justify the film’s lengthy runtime. There is a focus on genetics and the consequences of tampering with nature. However, that is not something that is represented through dinosaurs. Fairly odd considering the film is titled Jurassic World.
Overall, Jurassic World Dominion tries to tie two generations of dino-park adventures into one while also trying something new. There are some great performances from old and new cast members alike. Moreover, the action sequences and dinosaur action is entertaining when it happens. However, These lofty ambitions make for a disjointed story. One that more often than not becomes too slow and does not amount to anything. The film more or less ends the way it started, an exciting concept that is yet to be delivered. – Ernesto Valenzuela
Grade – 6/10
Jurassic World: Dominion is Now Playing in Theaters