‘Jurassic World Dominion’ review: bone-headed cash-in takes dino series towards extinction

Will there be more films after this trilogy-ending flop? Let's hope not

At the end of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom herds of lab-grown dinosaurs eagerly galloped and flew from captivity towards human civilisation. The scene was set for an extremely exciting showdown. But rather than pump up this premise for an unforgettable blockbuster of carnage, Fallen Kingdom’s sequel, Jurassic World: Dominion, explains away the anticipated man versus beast battle with a short TV newsreel about dinosaurs causing car crashes. It’s underwhelming – and a sad way to bookend the trilogy.

While humans and dinosaurs co-exist in sort-of harmony, former velociraptor trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Jurassic World theme park manager turned dino-protection zealot Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) have apparently reached full harmony following their ups and downs during the previous two films. Claire lives in hiding in the Sierra Nevada mountains and has adopted Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon), the granddaughter of Benjamin Lockwood (partner of John Hammond who created the first park). Teenager Maisie is temporarily frustrated at not being allowed to live a normal life but is soon kidnapped by dastardly Rainn Delacourt on behalf of dinosaur broker Soyona Santos who is working for evil tech genius Lewis Dodgson, CEO of Biosyn Genetics. Owen and Claire head to Malta, seemingly to track down Maisie but this turns out to be a red herring and they have to hot-foot it to Biosyn’s dinosaur-filled HQ. If all that sounds needlessly complicated, it’s because it is.

Jurassic World Dominion
Laura Dern (front) and Sam Neill (right) make their return to the franchise. CREDIT: Universal

Meanwhile, a swarm of mutated super-locusts are destroying crops across Texas and threatening a global food shortage, with original Jurassic Park hero Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) called in to investigate. She links up with old pal Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and the pair head to Biosyn where chaos theory boffin and fellow ‘90s Park survivor Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) is now a senior figure. Eventually, the two groups of goodies converge to rescue Maisie, tackle evil Dodgson and deal with various rampaging dinosaurs – as well as genetically modified locusts.

Many will wonder why locusts form such a big part of a film about dinosaurs and they’re right to. No one books a ticket for a Jurassic Park/World film to look at insects, no matter how terrifying they are. The other plot thread – the kidnapping of Maisie to check her genetic make-up and help advance evil Dodgson’s world domination and/or solve problems created by scientists is barely comprehensible. Two story strands with neither making sense nor inspiring much excitement do not a good blockbuster make. The cast try gamely, with old hands Dern, Neill and Goldblum the best of the bunch. But they have such risible dialogue to say that you can’t help feeling sorry for them. Some genuinely exciting action sequences save Jurassic World Dominion from being a complete turkey – a thrilling raptor versus motorbike chase is one of the highlights. Otherwise, the trilogy exits with a whimper rather than a roar.

Details

  • Director: Colin Trevorrow
  • Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, DeWanda Wise
  • Release date: June 10
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