JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, DeWanda Wise, Mamoudou Athie, BD Wong, Isabella Sermon, and Campbell Scott
Director: Colin Trevorrow
No matter how hard they try with these new installments, nothing comes close to how magical the original film is. This outing has a few fun popcorn action sequences, but the script and some of the acting is just flat out horrific. Even with bringing back the original cast and having an eagerly anticipated concept, it’s somehow the second worst movie of the franchise behind Fallen Kingdom. It’s a dinosaur movie with no particular interest in dinosaurs. They needed to bring this franchise back to its Amblin-adventure roots, but instead they delivered a poor Mission: Impossible ripoff with dinos.
When this franchise is at its best, it’s a mix of horror and fun. Sadly, Jurassic World Dominion doesn’t have either of those elements. This is a far-too-long film with brutal dialogue, a weak story, and disappointing performances from actors capable of much better. If this movie were just the storyline of the legacy characters, it would have been serviceable; However, far too much focus is spent on the (uninteresting) Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard side of things. Admittedly, the Jurassic World trilogy hasn’t been great, but I never thought the finale would be this bad. It’s time to let this franchise die.
In the franchise’s sixth and reportedly final installment, Jurassic World Dominion doesn’t deliver an ending as much as it delivers a lazy tribute to what came before it. So many scenes are cribbed directly from the previous movies (not to mention one sequence that plays like The Bourne Raptors) that it feels more like a fan-made Youtube recap. It lacks thrills, the humor doesn’t land (a couple Jeff Goldblum gems notwithstanding), and even the dinosaurs are yawn inducing. Add in a heavy-handed “coexist” message forcefully tacked on the end, and you’ve got an overlong shrug of a movie that ends with a fart noise.
There are many instances of characters saying “what?” throughout Jurassic World Dominion, which is exactly what you’ll be thinking as the first act ties up the stench of Fallen Kingdom. No one, not even OG’s Laura Dern and Sam Neill, can bring back the Jurassic Park wonder. Eventually though, standouts DeWanda Wise, Mamoudou Athie, and, of course, Jeff Goldblum, bring the film to a watchable place: specifically, likable characters running from dinosaurs. Director Colin Trevorrow couldn’t get us to love anything on screen, but at least the newcomers reminded us of the franchise’s potential. Still, the series should end on this not-good-but-not-horrific note.
Jurassic World Dominion is a fittingly terrible end to a terrible trilogy. Director/co-writer Colin Trevorrow apparently listened to none of the criticisms of the previous two entries, and if he did, it seems like he doubled down on those complaints because the characters are somehow less interesting, the story makes less sense, and everything is unnecessarily overcomplicated. The presence of the legacy characters is a little cool, but the novelty wears out quickly. This is easily the worst of the three films, and I’m genuinely impressed by how they butchered such an easy premise. I felt absolutely no fear or attachment to anything.
An unremarkable end to an ill-conceived trilogy, Jurassic World Dominion doubles down on all the mistakes of Fallen Kingdom, then adds another half-hour. It wastes not only fan service, but the viewer’s time. What little story there is stretches well past its logical endpoint as we follow non-dimensional characters through some largely terrible performances. The legacy faces have absolutely no necessity to the story being told apart from one plot point, while the dinosaurs – yes, the dinosaurs – are put on the backburner. No amount of fan service can redeem a lackluster narrative, especially when what makes it meaningful is squandered.
There are a multitude of storylines in Jurassic World Dominion, which is precisely the movie’s main problem. Bringing back legacy characters and having multiple action sequences are pointless if there is absolutely zero focus to them. It may be fun popcorn fodder and there might be some good ideas here, but they’re drowned out by the rest of the noise. And, oddly enough, it feels like there are less dinosaurs than ever before. This series finale will go down as a pointless footnote to what was a once promising legacy franchise.