Jurassic World Dominion

The world of Jurassic Park roars back to life with Jurassic World Dominion, an over-long, spectacle-driven mess compromised by confounding narrative choices and constant reminders of how this movie pales compared to the Jurassic of the past.


After the conclusion of the last movie, dinosaurs are now roaming the globe, largely unchecked and causing mayhem as humans and dinos learn they make bad roommates. Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) live a humble existence, each adapting to this ecological shockwave in their own way. They’re raising a young girl, who wants more freedom from her protective family unit. She has to live in hiding because her genes may or may not be the key to figuring out how this dinosaur fiasco could help cure diseases and be the key to saving lives. She’s taken and suddenly, Owen and Claire find themselves heading out into this uncertain world of humans and dinosaurs in search of her whereabouts. They’ll need help from a paleontologist named Alan Grant (Sam Neill), a scientist named Ellie Satler (Laura Dern), and a mathematician named Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), who we haven’t seen together since the first Jurassic Park back in 1993.


A set-up as game-changing as the one set up by the end of the last Jurassic World movie, the return of the original cast, the pieces seemed set for this to be a home run. Unfortunately, as for the return of Goldblum, Neill, and Dern, that’s just what they feel like pieces on a game board, dropped into the plot machinations of the Jurassic World series to attempt to fittingly close out this 6-movie journey. Nothing happens to them that changes their characters in any substantial way and while it’s great to have them back, their return lacks purpose within the story of Jurassic World Dominion.


The performances didn’t do anything for me save for the old favorites, Laura Dern, Sam Neill, and Jeff Goldblum. For some reason, though, the newbies, namely Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, get put ahead of the all-stars that are Dern, Neill, and Goldblum. There’s a tender encounter between Dern and a baby dinosaur that was really affecting, every emotion on her face feels pure and honest. She’s just as compelling at that moment as she is letting out a scream as locusts swarm around her. Sam Neill’s gruffness and grumbly demeanor still make him a nice foil to Ian Malcolm and Jeff Goldblum feels right at home as Ian. He walks into this movie like a rock star, holding the attention of an auditorium full of enthralled listeners as he lectures in a black leather jacket. I’ll admit,  it’s plenty of fun to see the original trio interact with the new Jurassic crew, comparing notes on their adventures and butting heads, but be warned, they don’t run into each other until almost 2 hours in.


The lesson of Jurassic World Dominion is elusive. At first, it seeks the answer to whether or not we can handle the consequences of what we do to the natural world. However, then, there’s a thread that’s about parenthood that gets halfheartedly fired off, and by the end, we’re getting an unearned, mawkish monologue on needing to stick together in the face of nature’s fury. I admire the sentiment, but the movie does nothing to impart such a message. Indicative of Jurassic World Dominion’s greatest flaw, the ultimate point of this movie never reveals itself. Without that intention, that compass guiding us through these dangerous dino encounters is absent, and strangely, for a movie about dinosaurs and the threat of extinction, the globe-trotting maneuvers of Claire and Owen start to feel like a trek through a cinematic limbo.

The movie’s a ride down memory lane with plenty of thrills and chills, but ones you’ve probably seen before. Jurassic World Dominion’s ostensibly a relic, frozen in ember, trying to pretend it’s something you haven’t seen already, that can’t help but harken back to more substantial entries in the franchise. What a bummer, these movies don’t go out on a high note, they head towards extinction.  If you’re not a diehard Jurassic fan or a dinosaur obsessive, I can’t say I recommend it. Jurassic World Dominion stomps into theaters on June 10th, 2022.

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