‘Jurassic World Dominion’ Review: Ultimately a Waste of Actors’ Talents and Audience’s Time

Well, at least this franchise is finally extinct!

“Jurassic World Dominion” is the conclusion of the “Jurassic World” trilogy and sixth film of the “Jurassic Park” franchise. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard reprise their roles from the last two films, while Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, and Sam Neill return from the original trilogy. Colin Trevorrow, who directed the first “Jurassic World” and wrote the sequel, returns to the director’s chair. In the film, dinosaurs have been unleashed into the real world and now live among humans.

I really loved the first “Jurassic World” back in 2015, but the 2018 follow-up “Fallen Kingdom” was a big disappointment. I had no reason to expect “Dominion” to be any better, but the return of the trio gave me a bit of optimism. The end result is a film that is boring way more often than a movie about dinosaurs should be, though there are a few fun nuggets sprinkled here and there.

I really appreciated how the new species of dinosaurs they introduce have feathers, as since the “Jurassic World” films started they discovered dinos were likely a lot more like birds than reptiles. The designs are cool, and we get our obligatory T-rex fight in the climax. The issue is the film spends far lore time on the human characters than the dinosaur ones.

The original trinity of Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, and Sam Neill are back and ready to turn in “I need a new beach house” performances. Goldblum has some fun quips but all three of their side quests feel inconsequential compared to what Chris Pratt’s Navy guy and Bryce Dallas Howard’s… Claire, have going on, trying to rescue a kidnapped girl. Both Pratt and Howard, while not fully mail things in, are ready to do other projects at this point.

The film’s biggest problem is it doesn’t feel like an epic conclusion to an entire saga. It plays like a contract-mandated finale, and much like Disney’s “Star Wars” trilogy it’s clear there was not a pre-planned story arc for the trilogy. And it’s a shame, because I truly do think the first “Jurassic World” is one of the best summer blockbusters of the 2010s.

Seeing the trio of Neill, Goldberg, and Dern (plus BD Wong, the only character with anything resembling character development in this whole trilogy) reunite for the first time since the first outing in 1993 does offer fleeting drops of nostalgia-based dopamine. Despite this, though, “Jurassic World Dominion” sends the Jurassic era out with a whimper instead of a roar. Die-hard fans of the series will likely get enough kicks, but it’s a pretty depressing end to one of the biggest franchises in Hollywood’s history.

Critics Rating: 5/10


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