'Jurassic World: Dominion' in theaters everywhere June 10th, 2022.
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS LIGHT SPOILERS REGARDING KEY PLOT POINTS AND CHARACTERS. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!
A clear money grab and undoubtedly the worst of the franchise, what was marketed as an epic conclusion in reality is a pertinent example of how far this series has fallen. At the end of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018), humankind and dinosaurs are forced to coexist on Earth when Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon) frees them from the auction at the Lockwood estate. In the sixth and final 'Jurassic' installment, the writing is empty and corny. It frequently copies lines and sequences from famous movies in the hopes of building something original from pieces of other popular projects. Featuring characters who lack development and relationships that lack establishment, this film relies entirely on targeting your sense of nostalgia to justify its appeal. While escaping dinosaur poachers in the very first scene of the movie, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) shouts over at Zia (Daniella Pineda): “Hold on!” To which Zia replies: “To what?” After rolling my eyes for the first time of many, I knew exactly what kind of movie this was going to be. But hold on I did.
Jurassic World: Dominion abandons the franchise’s golden ‘trapped on an island with dinosaurs’ premise for a wobbly story of spy-craft and genetics. The movie relies heavily, if not entirely, on the novelty of returning characters Ellie Setler (Laura Dern) and Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill). It places Dern and Neill in an overly sappy and frustratingly cheesy rendition of Joan Wilder and Jack Colton's will-they-won't-they relationship in 1984's Romancing the Stone. This movie’s goal is to capitalize on audiences’ love for these specific characters, as opposed to how its predecessors aimed to capture audiences’ love for dinosaurs. The first two installments of this rebooted franchise centered around dinosaurs completely, with them also playing the role of antagonists. But Dominion runs down a path that turns this original idea into a recycled story we’ve heard a million times before:
Protagonists risk their lives pursuing a young girl they’ve grown to love who was created by scientists in a lab and who (obviously) has the potential to destroy the world—or save it.
And dinosaurs just happen to be there.
The best characters in this movie aren’t even played by the actors who raked in most of the blockbuster’s budget. DeWanda Wise shines as pilot Kayla Watts in a supporting role, but coincidentally carries the second half of the movie. Sermon’s Maisie is enjoyable to watch, but ultimately her biggest contribution to the story is an angsty attitude that’s justified the same way it is in every cliche movie: “Well… she’s fourteen.” Cue eye roll. Maisie, being the rebellious fourteen year old she is, often disobeys stand-in-dad Owen’s orders to stay out of town to keep her hidden from kidnappers. But what sort of movie would it be if she listened?
Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Dallas Bryce Howard, Chris Pratt and Isabella Sermon in 'Jurassic World: Dominion'
The big bad in this movie is the same biotechnical company named Biosyn who was responsible for bringing dinosaurs to life for Jurassic World. This movie piggybacks off the outrageous idea they established in the Fallen Kingdom regarding how the process of creating dinosaurs revealed how to genetically modify humans. This discovery led to Maisy’s creation. The secret to the genetic mutation (and salvation) of humankind is in her blood. This knowledge could act as a loophole in curing any disease or ailment. An ambitious quest, Biosyn also aims to control the world’s food chain by genetically modifying locusts to eradicate all grains in the American farmlands. This research happens at the Biosyn headquarters, where we find Dr. Ian Malcom (Jeff Goldblum). Dinosaurs are also there! Goldblum easily steals every scene he’s present for, outshining even Wise and Sermon. His cheeky attitude and biting one-liners are an endearing factor of an otherwise bland setting and story. His comedic relief cuts through the dryness of the film and resuscitates the film during frequent lulls of boredom.
In order to save the world from Biosyn, the gang will need to break into this highly guarded facility to rescue Maisie and the genetic clone/offspring of Owen’s pet raptor, Blue. Can they do it? Find out now! Jurassic World: Dominion premieres in theaters everywhere on June 10th, 2022.