Movie Review - Universal's Jurassic World Dominion

The epic conclusion of the Jurassic era.

Jurassic World Dominion is a 2022 science fiction action film directed by Colin Trevorrow, written by Emily Carmichael and Colin Trevorrow, produced by Amblin Entertainment and Perfect World Pictures, and distributed by Universal Pictures. The film is based off of the Jurassic Park novels by Michael Crichton. It stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. This is the sixth and final film in the Jurassic Park franchise, although the third in the Jurassic World franchise. It was preceded by Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.


"You didn't come all this way to catch up, did you?" - Alan Grant

Plot


Four years after the explosion of Isla Nublar, dinosaurs and humans are now co-existing. As Biosyn grows in power, their influence becomes a threat to both humans and dinosaurs. Owen Grady and Claire Dearing must team up with Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler, and Ian Malcolm to maintain the balance of this new Jurassic era.


Legacy Cast / Visuals / Jeff Goldblum / Music / Entertainment Value / Not About Dinosaurs / Disappointing Conclusion / Writing / Overstuffed / COVID Social Commentary? / Action / Villains / Could Have Been Better


Should you go see Jurassic World Dominion?


Final Thoughts and Score


The Sweet


The reason my excitement for Jurassic World Dominion was higher than I would've expected was because of the return of the legacy characters. I know Ian Malcolm had a cameo in Fallen Kingdom, but this is the true reunion of the O.G. three. We haven't seen Alan Grant or Ellie Sattler since Jurassic Park III, and we haven't had Ian in this big of a role since The Lost World. It was fun to see them reunite, and when they band together with our Jurassic World crew, it's awesome. Obviously, they aren't the most iconic characters in the world, so it doesn't hit super hard when they return, but it was fun to see them back in this movie.


The visuals in this movie are also pretty great. There was definitely some practical stuntwork and even some practical dinosaurs, which I appreciated. However, the CGI was great. There were a few times where it looked iffy, but most of the time, it looked flawless. The bigger dinosaurs had better CGI. I also liked the visual flair that Colin Trevorrow brought to this movie. There's a yellow, dirty aesthetic that I feel like was reminiscent of the first Jurassic Park, and I appreciated that.


Ian Malcolm is easily the highlight of the characters here. Jeff Goldblum is easily the highlight of the cast here. He isn't very prominent until the last act of the movie, and his presence in the group just injected a sense of fun and charm that wasn't present throughout the entire movie before that. His calm sarcasm and dry sense of humor worked so well here. It definitely reminded me who the best character in this franchise is.


The music in this movie is not as good as the original, but it's still really great. Michael Giacchino has just been on a roll lately with Spider-Man: No Way Home and The Batman, and he composes another great score with Dominion. It incorporates notes from John Williams's theme that will bring on the goosebumps, but it's definitely it's own thing, and it added to the swelling thrills of this film.


This film also has an element of fun to it. Big, blockbuster action movies are dumb fun. From Godzilla vs. Kong to Aquaman, a lot of these big budget action films are incredibly stupid, but I just enjoy them. Dominion is an entertaining movie. If you are a sucker for Chris Pratt riding on a motorcycle next to dinosaurs or planes getting torn apart by pterodactyls, you will be entertained by this film.


The Sour


About twenty minutes into Jurassic World Dominion, a horrifying truth dawned on me, and I actually wrote in my notes "Is this movie about dinosaurs?"


And the answer to that question is no. The main plot of Jurassic World Dominion has literally, and I mean literally, nothing to do with dinosaurs. Fallen Kingdom sets up an awesome conclusion to the franchise as dinosaurs stalk the Earth amongst humans. Dominion doesn't take that plotline anywhere. Instead, it focuses on an evil science company. You can literally take the dinosaurs out of the movie, and it's the same thing minus a few action scenes. How on Earth are you going to make the final Jurassic Park movie not about dinosaurs? I'm absolutely stumped. I'm so confused. They use the dinosaurs for action sequences and nothing else. They completely lost sight of what the Jurassic Park franchise is. They have this big final showdown between two massive dinosaurs, but it doesn't mean anything, because it's a complete non-sequitur from the main story. This series is ABOUT dinosaurs. All five movies before this have been ABOUT dinosaurs. This movie is NOT ABOUT dinosaurs. I feel like if I keep repeating it, it will make sense to me, but it doesn't. I'm so disappointed by this.


And, because this movie isn't about dinosaurs, Dominion doesn't feel like the epic conclusion that it was made out to be. Sure, Rise of Skywalker isn't great, but at least it ends the Star Wars franchise in a way that feels massive in scale. Dominion is actually a relatively small-scale movie. It's a more contained story than you'd expect. And the ending doesn't feel like it's a wrap-up to the franchise. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Universal says "Just kidding!" and announces Jurassic World 4 sometime in the next month, because this movie is bound to gross a bucketload of money.


Because the main story was so frustrating, all of the other little things bothered me, too. The writing in this film is extremely corny. They actually make fun of one character at a certain point for saying something corny, but then they continue to just say the most cringe-inducing one-liners the world has ever seen. I was not a fan of this screenplay at all. I would absolutely nominate it for a Razzie.


The film also feels way too overstuffed. There's a pretty big group of characters to the point where this movie almost feels like an ensemble, and there's like, four main plotlines. There's one involving the cloned girl from the last movie. There's one involving Alan and Ellie. There's one involving Owen and Claire. There's one involving Ian and Biosyn. It bogs the movie down a lot. I was not a fan.


I was also really confused about a few lines in the film that seemed to be hinting at a social commentary about COVID. With dinosaurs now roaming the Earth, there's talk of an "ever-changing world" and "adapting to this new environment", and it seems like that was an allegory for the coronavirus. Maybe I'm the only one who thought this, but it was super weird, and I have no idea why they are teasing us with a social commentary about COVID in Jurassic Park 6.


The action in this film, while fun at first, eventually becomes tiring. There's a long chase scene near the middle of the movie that I found enjoyable, but then the action becomes repetitive. There's probably about ten dinosaur encounters...per character. There's last-minute saves. There's so many cliche moments. And the action isn't even that exciting. It's literally just a dinosaur chasing a human and then that human sticking their ass out and holding their hand out in the shape of an L to tame the dinosaur. I was rolling my eyes.


The movie also has a cliche evil scientist as the villain. The dumb action movies tend to have dumb villains: Godzilla vs. Kong had this same problem. The villain is a billionaire that owns this seemingly nice tech/science company that is secretly evil and doing bad things to the world. It was dumb. Now, I was a little less negative on this guy when I found out he was actually kind of behind the events of the first movie, but I still think that this was a generic and lame villain.


What makes me so upset about Dominion is that it could've been better. Just make the last Jurassic Park movie about dinosaurs! Have it set right after Fallen Kingdom. Give us the immediate aftermath of the dinosaurs roaming the Earth. Bring back Alan and Ellie in a more meaningful way as they help figure out what to do with the dinosaurs. Jurassic Park is a franchise about dinosaurs. Why, oh why, don't you just make the last movie an epic showdown between man and nature???


Should you go see Jurassic World Dominion?


I wish I could recommend this one, but Dominion is simply a bad movie and an even worse Jurassic Park movie. This is an extremely disappointing finale to the Jurassic Park franchise. If you like dumb action movies, you may get a kick out of this, but otherwise, there's better things to spend ten bucks on (like Top Gun: Maverick. That's a sequel to a movie about planes. And guess what? It's about planes, too! It's also a genuinely amazing film. Sorry. This is a total rabbit trail).


Final Thoughts and Score


Jurassic World Dominion concludes the Jurassic Park franchise in lackluster fashion. The legacy characters are fun to see, but I just don't understand why you would make the last film in the Jurassic Park series not about dinosaurs. Also, on a filmmaking level, this movie isn't that good.


I will go Sour here. Age range is 8+.


SWEET N' SOUR SCALE

Sweet (Great) Savory (Good)

Sour (Bad)

Moldy (Terrible)


"Jurassic World Dominion"


Fun Factor: 7/10

Acting: 7.5/10

Story: 1/10

Characters: 5.5/10

Quality: 4.5/10


Directed by Colin Trevorrow


Rated PG-13 for science fiction violence and action, language, frightening images, disturbing themes, thematic elements


Released on June 10, 2022


2 hours and 26 minutes


Chris Pratt as Owen Grady

Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire Dearing

Isabella Sermon as Maisie Lockwood / Young Charlotte Lockwood

Sam Neill as Alan Grant

Laura Dern as Ellie Sattler

Jeff Goldblum as Ian Malcolm

DeWanda Wise as Kayla Watts

Mamoudou Athie as Ramsay Cole

Campbell Scott as Lewis Dodgson

BD Wong as Henry Wu