Returning characters, stalking dinosaur thrills and nostalgia bait is not enough to carry Jurassic World: Dominion to conclude this iconic franchise. The essence of Jurassic Park was pitting humans against dinosaurs and watching the characters escape from impossible situations. As the Jurassic Park/World franchise went on we were treated to less dinosaur vs human scenarios as it started to lean more heavily on human vs human situations with dinosaurs sprinkled in, unfortunately Jurassic World: Dominion falls into the latter and retreads the franchise’s worst aspect.
Jurassic World: Dominion is filled with easter eggs and fan service to trigger our inner nostalgia from the franchise’s earlier films, however due to a messy and questionable screenplay it is not as effective as it should be. It is baffling how this film failed to capatlise on the intrigue of dinosaurs coexisting with humans which we saw being set up at the end of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, instead we are given a globe-trotting adventure to stop genetically enhanced locust’s from destroying the world’s food supply while conveniently setting up the franchise’s old and newer cast to come together. Once again the mastermind behind these genetically enhanced creatures is another billionaire who has created their own company, something that has been seen throughout the entire Jurassic World saga. Not everything is bad with this film, it is most certainly an improvement from Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom largely due to the return of the core original cast members and an amazing high-octane chase throughout the streets of Malta.
The original trio of Ellie Sattler, Alan Grant and Ian Malcolm portrayed by Laura Dern, Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum are all fantastic in their roles and their chemistry with one another is exactly the same as it was 29 years ago. Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire Dearing gives her best performance as this character and is easily the best out of the core Jurassic World cast. Chris Pratt as Owen Grady offers nothing interesting to his character other than an unstoppable man who can go toe to toe with the dinosaurs. Isabella Sermon as Maisie Lockwood has a larger role in this film yet her facial expressions don’t quite match the emotions that she is trying to portray. The eventually union of the old and new cast seems seamless as each character gels with one another perfectly as we see the characters split off into groups, the interactions while they are in these split groups is enjoyable as each character learns something new from one another and manages to avoid cheesy and cringe worthy one liners that we have seen throughout other films in different franchises.
Jurassic World: Dominion still utilises CGI and practical effects when bringing the dinosaurs to life on screen. While at times the looks of the dinosaurs look fantastic most notably on the carnivores it does however feel like a big let down and a gigantic step backwards since the original film released 29 years ago. Arguably the best aspect visually for this film is the dinosaur valley we are introduced to which holds many different and unique environments that we see the characters and dinosaurs interact in; the valley boast a vast jungle center before we venture into a vast snowy and icy plain, and towering above this amazing valley is a foggy airspace where the intimidating flying dinosaurs are lurking. Michael Giacchino returns once again to score this film where he retains his Jurassic World theme yet he fails to captalise on the iconic theme of the Jurassic Park films. In what is meant to be the final film of this franchise one would expect to hear the classic theme that we all know and love, I can safely say that the film would have benefited largely if were were to hear the soft piano keys of the iconic theme in the closing moments of the film as one last attempt to capatlise on the nostalgia.
Jurassic Park stomped into our lives 29 years ago and Jurassic World: Dominion fails to end the franchise on a roaring high but a rather soft whimper. Jurassic World: Dominion was a great trip down memory lane as it plays off the nostalgia of the earlier films in the franchise, yet I couldn’t help but feel underwhelmed when it came to the closing moments of this film and closing off this iconic franchise.