- Directed by Colin Trevorrow
- May 23, 2022 (Mexico City) / June 10, 2022 (US)
Four years after the eruption of Isla Nublar, locusts are devastating crops and an evil corporation is trying to track down Maisie Lockwood.
Jurassic World Dominion is certainly a movie considering its length but I am not sure if it is a Jurassic Park/Jurassic World movie. In a film series focused on dinosaurs suddenly the main problem becomes genetically engineered locusts. Who thought that was a good idea? People tune in to see dinosaurs. Specifically they watch to see dinosaurs chasing and occasionally eating people. We don’t get too much of that here. A large chunk of this plays like they wanted to make a globetrotting spy film rather than a movie about dinosaurs.
The story takes place in Italy’s Dolomite Mountains, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and in Malta. Franklin Webb (Justice Smith) now works for the CIA. Barry Sembène (Omar Sy) from Jurassic World now works for French intelligence. And both are more than willing to spill the tea in order to help Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) who spends much of the movie running around in or wearing clothing that doesn’t make too much sense given the particular environment they find themselves in.
Everybody that survived a previous film makes a comeback here since it is the (currently) last film in the series. Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, BD Wong, Justice Smith, Omar Sy, and Isabella Sermon all make a return. Most are extraneous to the story and appear just because this is the (currently) last film in the series and not because the script gives them much to do.
Campbell Scott takes over for Cameron Thor as Dr. Lewis Dodgson from the first film. Forget him? That was the guy that Newman from Seinfeld met with in the very first film. DeWanda Wise plays new character Kayla Watts who is a former US Air Force pilot who helps Owen and Claire for…reasons. Essentially two new major characters in a film chocked full of major characters leading to an overstuffed cast in a story with not enough in it to give everyone something other than fluff to do.
Given that this was marketed as the final film in the series it’s certainly understandable that they brought back Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, in Laura Dern, but their characters really don’t do too much. Jeff Goldblum plays Jeff Goldblum and not Jeff Goldblum playing Malcolm and Laura Dern and Sam Neill are just brought together because that’s kind of what you wanted anyway.
And if you didn’t get that the clone girl is the key to everything then you didn’t watch the last movie. She was a result of the advancements in the cloning process allowed for Jurassic Park so why shouldn’t she be the key to everything in the final movie end make whatever our heroes do ultimately superfluous?
Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong), the cause of so many problems in this series, gets rehabbed. He’s been screwing up things from to one extent or another for apparently nefarious reasons for decades and here he has at some point prior to the movie had an attack of guilt and wants to fix everything. Why? Reasons.
And that is just the general problem in Jurassic World Dominion. Returning and new characters get no arcs. They just show up and just do. This is something for them to pass the time rather than a major event in their lives or in the world. While the implication in this dinosaur movie about locusts is that the locusts could bring about feminine and allow BioSyn to control the food supply, the characters are on an exciting adventure and not trying to set things right.
Nothing has much of an impact because nothing really gets developed. The ending is meh. The comeuppance of Dodgson is a rehash of what happened to Newman in the first movie. And what should have been a strong scene between Ramsay Cole (Mamoudou Athie) and Dodgson was not because they never really developed any relationship between the two. They didn’t even need to be friends or have any kind of camaraderie. It’s just that what the CEO thought there was never came to be displayed on the screen even in a lopsided way.
I do like that they moved the dinosaur from islands that were extremely isolated areas into the general human world. It seemed more than a bit illogical for people to keep going to an island filled with creatures that kept eating people and running amok. The last film forced the narrative hand of humans and people having to coexist. But that does not amount to much here.
Visually the movie looks real good but flashy production values do not compensate for a poorly thought out movie. And this is poorly thought out. It is as if somebody decided they wanted to do something different and ultimately ended up doing something that did not organically grow from anything that came before. The story seems to be making a statement on evil corporations or animal trafficking but then again that’s been more or less the statement of the series from the first movie. It is like they ran out of ideas.
Jurassic World Dominion is a lackluster finale to a film series that deserves better. It avoids much of what people have come to want from the films and lacks a thought through story. Its main saving grace are the cool visuals but little else. The last one left things on a much better note and you could have stopped watching the films there.