Jurassic World: Dominion

Isla Nublar has been destroyed and now the dinosaurs created there roam the entire globe, coexisting with humans.  Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) will cross paths with Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) via Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) as they try to determine if humankind will ever once again be atop the Earth’s food chain in “Jurassic World: Dominion.”

Laura's Review: C

At least that’s what one would expect from a film with a subtitle of “Dominion,” but that title turns out to be a bait and switch, as this film focuses more on threat of global famine from giant, engineered locusts than it does dinosaurs.  While it’s enjoyable to see the old guard reappear and new characters Kayla Watts (DeWanda Wise) and Ramsay Cole (Mamoudou Athie) are welcome, the film is a mishmash of regurgitated bits and pieces of what has come before.

Cowriter (with "Pacific Rim: Uprising's" Emily Carmichael)/director Colin Trevorrow ("Jurassic World") picks up where “Fallen Kingdom” left off (those who see the film in an IMAX theater will be treated to a prologue cut out of the final film), with guilty Claire hell bent on rescuing dinos from poachers and illegal breeders before returning home to a cozy cabin in the woods shared with Owen and the young, scientifically special girl, Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon), saved in the prior film.  But Maisie’s fourteen now and quite tired of being cooped up, she disobeys the restrictions set upon her movements and is promptly kidnapped along with Beta, the offspring of Owen’s raptor Blue who shares special properties with Maisie’s DNA.

Meanwhile, the now single Ellie Sattler, who has witnessed the destruction of a wheat field by a swarm of oversized locusts, visits old pal Alan Grant to convince him to join her in uncovering the evil plot she believes is afoot at BioSyn, the company whose wheat seed is strangely impervious to the locusts.  She has an in via Ian, freshly hired by BioSyn CEO Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott), who also happens to be the guy who hired Soyona Santos (Dichen Lachman) to grab Maisie and Beta for Dr. Henry Wu’s (BD Wong) research.

There’s an early news item about humankind learning to live with dinosaurs all over the world that offers more interesting ideas than anything which follows it.  While thankfully we don’t have to watch anyone dodge dinos in a kitchen this time around, the film features numerous chase scenes and big beastie battles.  It also features ridiculously contrived coincidences, like a Jeep which dangles over the side of a road only to drop right into the path of the people they’re looking for in a park of hundreds of square miles, and illogical nonsense, like burned-to-a-crisp locusts being revived by server boot-ups.  And how many times have we seen power issues affect containment or escape?  Add at least three more times here.

In 1993, “Jurassic Park’ revolutionized visual effects, so it is really surprising, after thirty years of technological evolution, to see several shots in this sixth edition where the live action and dinosaurs don’t appear to be on the same visual plane.  Animatronic baby dinos look like…animatronic baby dinos.

“Jurassic World: Dominion” is a cheesy assemblage of cheap thrills for the non-discerning.  It’s most lasting impact, hopefully, will be as a calling card for DeWanda Wise, who makes her ex-military pilot a stylish badass.

Robin's Review: C

I figure, since the original “Jurassic Park” back in 1993 – and I, like everyone else, was bowled over by it – there have been six feature entries into the franchise. That does not count all the video game and spinoffs that it spawned, too, So, going into “Jurassic World: Dominion” I had one thought: kitchen sink. You know, the thing you throw everything into.

That is what I got: an entry into the franchise that brings together nearly all the elements of the previous dino movies and mashes them together into what is said to be the finale in the series. THere is the problem. It may have all the elements but there is no “story.” Instead, we have a pastiche of lame adventures cobbled around an evil, power-hungry oligarch, Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott), who is plotting to take control of the world food supply.

All the familiar faces are here with Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Satler (Lauara Dern) back again, as are Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Clair Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard). And, of course, we get dinosaurs, lots and lots of dinosaurs. There are so many dinos, in fact, that they all begin to run together into a blob of moving menace. Well. Owen is still a Velociraptor Whisperer with mysterious communication skills and that comes into play.

The makers do make two good addition to the cast and story. Isabella Sermon gives her Maisie Lockwood full dimension as a girl who happens to be a clone and is sought after for nefarious purposes. The other addition, DeWanda Wise as savvy “delivery” driver Kayla Watts makes a real impression in what could have been a cliché.

When you come right down to it, “Jurassic World: Dominion,” could have been a whole lot better, but I get the feeling that the filmmakers just do not care. Otherwise, we would have had a better story for the series swan song. Too bad.

Universal releases "Jurassic World: Dominion" in theaters on 6/10/22.