Jurassic World: Dominion Review


It’s time to bring the Jurassic World series to a close. It’s been quite the run and while I have yet to find any of these titles to be good movies yet, it’s always neat seeing dinosaurs. You could just say that the films are usually doomed from the start because it’s hard to have a dinosaur film without the dinosaurs themselves eventually running into peril. The animal violence sabotages the film right from the jump and this one is no exception with several hunting scenes. I’m afraid the franchise has overstayed its welcome and needs a new premise like robotic dinosaurs to get to the next level.

The film starts off by giving us a massive info dump about the dinosaurs having taken refuge in all parts of the planet. There is no escape from these dinosaurs and so Biosyn has taken this chance to quickly become one of the biggest companies in the world. Yes, it’s time to rake in those profits like nobody’s business! They were granted exclusive rights to grab the dinosaurs and so everyone else needs to stay back. Naturally they aren’t doing this out of the goodness of their heart though and seem to be doing something nefarious with the insects in their company. If they aren’t stopped quickly then the entire planet could be in danger.

There are two main plots here. First, you’ve got Owen and Claire who are still trying to raise Maisie as best they can, but they seem to have gotten lost in the sauce as in trying to protect her from everything around them, they’ve effectively trapped her in a house. Maisie quickly started to resent this and so she ran off and gets captured along with Blue’s kid. The heroes are in a race against time to find her and so we get a good amount of action here as they get to relive their action hero days.

In the B plot, the 3 main characters from the original trilogy have to try and get proof of Biosyn’s wrongdoings by infiltrating their headquarters. This plot has less action by comparison as they do their best to find out the facts but it’s all a bit more low key. I feel like this is intentional as the old characters do things by the book and it’s a very old fashioned type approach while the new characters are having fancy gun fights and hand to hand combat scenes. Naturally the main plot was typically more interesting. Then eventually the plots converge.

Lets get the obvious issue out of the way first and that’s the animal violence. Within 20 minutes of the film starting you have a rabbit eaten and a wolf murdered. Later on you’ve also got birds taken out and a fox hunted down. Of course eventually this also goes to the dinosaurs as they attack each other and one gets stabbed. It’s inevitable that this would happen with so many dinosaurs around and that’s the real issue here with dinosaur films in general. They are cool to see but of course they won’t stand a chance against properly armed fighters or bigger dinosaurs so someone’s going to get hurt. Each time that happens, the film ends up losing some momentum.

The other biggest issue I’d say is just that the film feels very long. The pacing isn’t air tight and it actually does drag on a bit. The plot with the old main characters can almost get boring at times. There are a lot of chase scenes and everything but when the film slows down, man does it slow down. You don’t care too much about the conversations on the dinos because we’ve heard it all a million times before. You just want to get to the good stuff and the film peaks early in that regard.

The best part of the film is when Owen and Claire confront two of the villains. Owen has an excellent close quarters fight against the knife wielder and it’s the best action scene in the movie. It reminds me of how his fight in the last film was also the best scene. I think it’s time for these films to transition into being more about the hand to hand combat because that’s clearly the best part of these films. I did think Claire was not intense enough in the moment which felt out of character though.

Keep in mind that they are trying to save the kid and it’s a matter of life and death. Owen certainly acted like it with how he was going at the guy and not taking prisoners but Claire’s battle had a lot more comedy mixed in and she was still trying to ask questions and all. I would have liked her to have tackled her villain and got right into the action. It all works out in the end but the villainess really got off easy the whole time.

Owen and Claire do make for solid main characters though. They get the job done and get a lot of good scenes. I do think they made the wrong choice in isolating Maisie as much as they did though. Yeah you’ve got to be careful but wouldn’t it still be better to be in a city environment than in the middle of the woods? Seems to me like being isolated is a bad idea when everyone around the world wants to get you because eventually they would. Just get some fake IDs and a decent disguise and you should be good.

I do think they could have played up the fugitive angle for these two characters a bit more though. In general there’s also more the movie could have done with the whole dynamic of having the dinosaurs on the go too. Having them just randomly running around the world seems like it should have had more of an effect on the planet than what we’re shown. Only around 30 deaths due to dinosaurs?? I find that extremely hard to believe.

These two are joined by Kayla later on in the plot as she gets roped into the adventure. Initially she’s here just for the money but gradually gets a conscience about the whole thing. She’s a decent fighter and helps them out when they’re in a pinch. Without a plane the heroes definitely would not have gotten very far here. As for Maisie, she is quite the rebel in this film and gets everyone into trouble. I’ll give the parents more of the blame here though because she did try to talk things out first several times and it felt like they weren’t giving her any great options.

For the other plot, well Ian definitely steals the show from the 3. He’s just way more of an interesting character than the other two. Ian always tries to find the bright side of things and remains calm even under pressure. His character is always a blast and while he isn’t as much of a field agent as the others, he does come in clutch on many occasions. Without him getting into the company first the others would have had a much tougher time of it.

Ellie and Allen are held back a bit by the inevitable romance which feels like it’s way too late. You can see the romance a mile away but cmon now, they’ve only just gotten reunited after how long? There’s no time for all of that and these two feel like they’ve been out of the game for so long that they’re a bit out of their depth. Their plot just never comes close to being as interesting as the main one.

On their plot you’ve also got Ramsay who gets quite a lot to do. The guy ends up being rather helpful the whole time so that’s good. The B plot has its share of danger and everything but 9 times out of 10 you’re ready to go back to Owen and team. Finally there’s the main villain Lewis and I’m not sure exactly what they were going for with him. He can be rather serious at times and then almost incompetent at other moments. He’s always very hyper/manic so he doesn’t always have time to finish his sentences. He works well as a funny villain in that degree even if I’m not sure how intentional that was which is a bit of an issue.

If he was meant to be more of a serious villain then the film failed but if you’re supposed to laugh at him a bit then that works well enough. He had some of the funniest scenes in the film although I would say Ian was still the most humorous character in the grand scheme of things.

While the movie is fairly lighthearted the whole time, it does have some grim moments like when two kids are attacked by a bunch of locusts. I was actually a little shocked at that because it just comes out of the blue and man, they were not expecting that. Of course you could try to say that they escaped but it was probably all over for them. I would still not call the film particularly violent or anything compared to older ones though. It’s certainly not touching the original films in that regard. Even the dinosaur fights usually happen when it’s really dark so you can’t actually see too much of what’s going on. I like to think that was to hide the violence and not because they’re afraid of how the CG looks.

The movie uses the classic Park theme at one point but for the most part it feels rather quiet. There aren’t any standout tunes at all which is a shame. Good music can really help take you to the next level and it could also have been used to make some of the slower scenes a little more exciting. In fact, that really might be what the film was missing. Throwing in some more good music could have really helped take the film to the next level or at least get a 1 star boost or something.

There’s certainly more to dislike here than to like. There’s also virtually no replay value because of how long the film is and how it ends up dragging instead of really utilizing that length. There are quite a few portions of the film that it feels like you could almost cut out so that it goes along a bit quicker. Now this may not sound good for fans of the original trilogy, but I think a strong case could be made that Ellie and Allen should have been cut out. All you need is Ian for their plot and when Maisie shows up she can take care of the rest. The two characters are almost filler if you think about it.

In a way the biggest way I can tell that the film wasn’t super interesting is I’m already running out of stuff to talk about and usually reviews for films in theaters tend to be on the longer side. There’s usually a bunch more to talk about but I guess that’s it here. At least the T Rex does get to show up and I will give the film props for the dinosaur models. I still think they look cool at least. I liked the one with the claws, that was nice. The film definitely could have used more day-time scenes with the dinosaurs so we could really appreciate how they looked though. A dark climax makes sense for the scary vibes but c’mon, this film isn’t really scary like that.

Overall, Jurassic World ends on a bit of an eh note. I would say this beats Fallen Kingdom for me but it loses to the original Jurassic World. I’m inclined to say Jurassic Park III beats this one as well. This one probably beats the first two though so all in all…that means this one’s roughly in the middle or slightly above the middle. That’s not bad. It’s not a particularly high bar for me though but it’s a start. If you really like dinosaurs then you should still get a lot out of this movie but it really should have been more exciting than how it turned out to be.

Overall 3/10

2 thoughts on “Jurassic World: Dominion Review

  1. I saw this yesterday in 3D, and while I knew reviews for Dominion were bad, I actually ended up liking it a lot. Part of this was perhaps due to low expectations, but I didn’t think it was horrid. Yes, there were a few things I would have liked changed or explained more (Claire randomly blurting out her problems to the first woman she meets who just happened to have seen Maisie, Dodgson baring a bizarre similarity to Apple’s Tim Cook which was distracting, etc.). But I’ll rewatch it and enjoy it just like the others.

    Also, I kind of forgot about it until you mentioned it, but yeah, when the opening said 30 deaths to dinos, I was thinking, “That’s nothing!” You’d think one T-rex could do that easily by stepping on a small town bar or something.

    • Definitely, 30 deaths really seems like they must have forgotten a 0 or 2 especially with how long the dinos have been running around.

      Glad you enjoyed it though. I think without the animal stuff I would have liked it a lot more. Owen and Claire definitely had the most engaging fight for me and I liked the hand to hand fight within the dinosaur ring. Was a nice homage to how it used to be scorpions around the ring but with this in a post dino world, it makes sense to update the stakes

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