"Jurassic World Dominion" stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, DeWanda Wise, Mamoudou Athie, BD Wong, and Omar Sy. Released on June 10, 2022, the film has Owen Grady and the gang dealing with dinosaurs on the mainland.
The film was directed by Colin Trevorrow, who also directed "Safety Not Guaranteed", "Jurassic World", and "The Book of Henry". It is the sixth film in the "Jurassic Park" franchise and the third in the "Jurassic World" trilogy. We tried to warn them about what would happen if they continued messing with God's oldest creations. Now, they pay the price, as the dinosaurs found a new home for them to live and hunt: our world. No one is safe with them roaming around, not even the innocent and their pets. Stupid scientists. "Jurassic World" brought audiences back to the awe-inspiring world of Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park", which introduces them to new characters and a brand new environment: a dinosaur-themed amusement park. But, of course, if it wasn't obvious enough, something went wrong, and the dinos are running loose outside Isla Nublar. Is now a good time for them to leave nature alone? "Jurassic World" was a highly entertaining continuation that didn't match Spielberg's sci-fi classic but retained the wonder, tension, and visual splendor that made "Jurassic Park" a cultural phenomenon. Its 2018 follow-up, "Fallen Kingdom", helmed by J. A. Bayona, was a reasonably watchable sequel that led the human race to coexist with the savage beasts. This long-awaited chapter in the "Jurassic World" trilogy sees Colin Trevorrow returning to the director's chair to conclude the 30-year-old storyline that started in "Jurassic Park". Seeing that I enjoyed the previous films in the dino-infested franchise, it's no surprise that I was eager to see how they will wrap this series…and leave things open for another trilogy if it does well. So was it a fitting conclusion to the era, or were we better off with the franchise being eaten alive? Let's find out.
The story takes place four years after "Fallen Kingdom". The dinosaurs are running loose on the mainland and are now living (and hunting) alongside the human race. One of the surviving humans in this fragile balance is Owen Grady (Pratt), a former employee at Jurassic World attempting to raise his adoptive daughter Maisie Lockwood (Sermon) with Claire Dearing (Howard). They recently discovered that Owen's old velociraptor friend Blue has a baby in its care. When a group of poachers captures Blue's baby and Maisie, Owen and Claire set out on a global mission to rescue them with the help of former Air Force pilot Kayla Watts (Wise). They also gain some additional support from the previous Jurassic Park survivors: Alan Grant (Neill), Ellie Sattler (Dern), and Ian Malcolm (Goldblum).
"Dominion" is what happens when you take the final act of "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" and expand it by around two and a half hours. Combine that with its action blockbuster vibes and loads of nostalgia, and you get a dinosaur-sized experience that an entire island couldn't contain. You know, because the volcano destroyed Isla Nublar in the previous movie. "Jurassic World" has molded itself into a trilogy-like story arc that sees the characters and dinosaurs transition from Isla Nublar to the mainland. Thanks to Maisie's decision to free the dinosaurs in "Fallen Kingdom", the entire world is now the creatures' natural habitat.
The concept is one of the film's most interesting aspects because it represents the reality of people's consequences of reviving and creating dinosaurs for profit. The coexistence of dinosaurs and humans causes a fragile balance that could jeopardize either species. It has heavily been teased in the earlier installments, including "Jurassic World", and people have a lot of chances to stop. But they just keep on doing it. Hopefully, they'll finally learn this lesson after this movie. It's a different scenario that gives the franchise a boost since surviving on a dinosaur-infected island has been done a bunch of times since the beginning. Unfortunately, it also leads to some moments that were done to death in the other global action blockbusters before it. It's not without a few entertaining (and silly) sequences regarding the dinosaurs and human characters, but "Dominion" shows that the franchise's impact is still wearing itself thin.
The story follows two different scenarios from two sets of characters that eventually intertwine with one another. One has Owen and Claire on a rescue mission to find Blue's child and Maisie. The other has Ellie Sattler reuniting with Alan to investigate a swarm of giant locusts, leading them to the heart of a genetic company called Biosyn. I would describe these subplots as this: Owen's mission plays out like any other action blockbuster filled with tiring cliches and set pieces. On the other hand, the scenario involving Ellie and Alan resembles a "Jurassic Park" reunion special and an enjoyable one at that. I can admittedly say that there were a couple of moments that were tolerable for me, including the "Jurassic Park" trio and Maisie's history. But sadly, they're not enough to capitalize on its intriguing background and only settle for standard blockbuster affairs for better or worse.
Colin Trevorrow returns to the director's chair to close the trilogy he started with "Jurassic World". I was impressed with what Trevorrow accomplished in the 2015 sequel, so I was hoping he'll strike gold again with "Dominion". Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Trevorrow maintained the energy of its action scenes as he did with "Jurassic World". However, he struggled to capture the tension and wonder that made "Jurassic Park" a cinematic landmark and the previous "Jurassic World" movies entertainingly heart-pounding. The chase scene in Malta and the Giganotosaurus encounter were the only two sequences I enjoyed the most regarding Trevorrow's direction. The rest of them didn't come close to them. There are also some issues with the editing, which was a bit choppy at times and messes with the tension's flow compared to the previous installments. Regardless, it delivered what people should expect from a movie about dinosaurs: dinosaur fights and humans avoiding being their all-you-can-eat buffet. It's been like this since "Jurassic Park", and it hasn't changed here, even though this movie could've done more with its themes and storytelling.
Chris Pratt is still enjoyable in his role as Owen Grady, as did Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire. The trio from "Jurassic Park" (Dern, Neill, and Goldblum) also did a suitable job reprising their roles as the original characters. These three actors were some of the reasons for the original trilogy's success, and seeing them back together after almost 30 years is enough to make me smile. As for the new characters, I can at least say that they've done what they could to make their presence known amid the main leads' star power. DeWanda Wise delivered some decent moments onscreen regarding her role as Kayla Watts, and Mamoudou Athie did all right as Ramsay Cole, the Head of Communications of Biosyn.
Like the previous installments, "Dominion" has visual effects that consist of CGI animation and animatronics, mainly for the dinosaurs. The franchise is always known for providing both types of visuals for the creatures, so I'm glad the filmmakers kept the trend going instead of taking recent shortcuts. As usual, they offer a solid balance that makes the dinosaurs feel almost realistic, cute, and terrifying. The CGI wasn't anything spectacular, but it effectively represented the dinosaurs' scientific designs and movements.
Overall, "Jurassic World Dominion" delivers plenty of dinosaur mayhem in a new setting but lacks a strong desire to conclude its new Jurassic trilogy on a satisfying note. It's enjoyable in some places regarding its cast, nostalgia, and action sequences. However, it doesn't do much else besides those elements to make its conclusion more impactful than it should've been. Part of that is due to the screenplay full of cliches and silly moments that were done better in other films, uninspired editing, and Trevorrow's middling direction. Compared to the previous films in the franchise, I would say "Dominion" is on the low end of this list above "Jurassic Park III", with the original "Jurassic Park" still reigning supreme in my eyes. It might not save the franchise from going extinct, but I can assume that it might impress people with a thirst for action and dinosaurs, especially ones who grew up watching the Jurassic films.