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History as a subject never really comes into its own. It is not only a window into the past, but also a record of the mistakes we once made. In the Jurassic Park films, the characters recognize this as they are intermittently reminded why humans never existed when dinosaurs once roamed the planet freely. Similarly, the first trilogy and the dwindling reception as the films progressed should have been a lesson to the creators of the second trilogy. History unfortunately repeats itself as Jurassic World Dominion is not only the weakest link in the second trilogy but also in the entire Jurassic Park franchise.
Four years after the Isla Nublar incident, dinosaurs live alongside humans, leading to disaster. Speaking of humans, some of them want to preserve the majestic creatures while others, as always, try to make a quick buck. While some resort to illegal breeding and trafficking, companies are developing different plans. One of them selling seeds creates a grasshopper coupled with the dino DNA that feeds on crops not made from their company seed. They put profit before starvation and the death of millions.
The film also brings back its three famous doctors, Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler and Ian Malcolm (played by Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum) to help fight the locust plague. We also have Maisie Lockwood kept away from the world by Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard).
The idea of two species from different timelines trying to coexist in one world is intriguing and a far better reason for a Jurassic Park movie sequel than what its predecessors ever had. We get a cowboy-style introduction to Owen as he lassoes a Parasaurolophus, and we also see Maisie (Isabella Sermon) helping a group of men safely remove an Apatosaurus from their work station. But all of those “cute” scenes don’t last long, as a company called BioSyn, headed by Lewis Dodgson, cranks things up a notch and a series of incidents lead Owen and his family to team up with the doctors to save himself to rescue and uncover the true motives of the company.
The biggest selling point of this film is the fact that Dern, Goldblum and Neill get back together after the first film which came out in 1993. Despite the fact that the scenes involving the three of them don’t make up some of the best dino sequences in the movie, the trio are rarely together. Goldblum, who plays the eccentric chaotic Ian, only appears in one scene in the first half and only returns in the climax. Alan and Ellie are far more appealing; One of them is divorced while the other has apparently remained single over the years. You know what that means. Claire, Owen and Maisie have their own little adventure, or misadventure to be precise, when Owen’s bird of prey, Blue, finds her way to her cabin in the woods and brings a new baby with her.
Dominion relies more on nostalgia and callbacks for its humor and emotion. It’s fun to see Ian don his signature leather jacket, and when Alan is asked if he knows anything about the voltage on the park’s electric fences, you realize it’s a callback to the first film. The film is a visual spectacle, sure, and in the tradition of previous films, the creators used animatronic dinosaurs. Alan even pokes fun at them for “always coming from the side” when attacking people. The original Jurassic Park movies had a good mix of humor, action, and tasteful jump scares.
While the first two films in the second trilogy managed to retain a certain percentage of that fun, this final film in the entire series just doesn’t quite get that mix right. Even the much-anticipated T. rex-turned-franchise mascot ends up having a boring fight with a larger Gigantosaurus, and the outcome of this brawl is easy to guess. Overall, this film isn’t the fitting finale this three-decade-old franchise deserves. What should have been a nostalgic farewell to the creatures ends up being a product that defies a checklist of everything fans loved about the franchise. Jurassic World Dominion is the worst thing that’s happened to dinosaurs since the asteroid wiped them out.
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill