There’s a lot of discussion about the final installment of the Jurassic Park/ Jurassic World franchise. Some people love it, some people hate it. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing it in advance, and here are my thoughts.
Jurassic World: Dominion is the final planned film in the 30 year franchise. It brings back core characters from the original movies and the new cast. It has a lot of work to do, and moves quickly. Honestly, it did everything I, as a fan of this series since Michael Crichton’s novel, wanted for the final film. If you’re a fan of this series and it’s characters, you’ll enjoy this one.
There’s a lot to love about this one for a long time fan, and it’s more than just the dinosaurs. There’s the plot of Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott taking over for Cameron Thor) of BioSyn, the man who paid Dennis Nedry to steal genetic material from Jurassic Park and put in motion the events that culminated in the park’s breakdown, returning. Dodgson has the genetic material he coveted from InGen, he has Dr. Wu (BD Wong in the role he’s reprised since Jurassic Park) and leverage over him to keep producing more creatures, and he’s willing to pay to capture anything he wants and kill anyone who disagrees with him.
Side note: Dodgson is every tech bro CEO who loves to plan and intimidate. He’s a flake and a sociopath played brilliantly by Campbell Scott. My tech industry sister loved it!
Young Maisey (Isabella Sermon) revealed as a clone of Charlotte Lockwood in the previous film, is in danger as the only human cloning experiment in the world. Dinosaurs are being bred and sold on the black market. And in the background is the urgency of a swarm of genetically modified giant locusts killing any non-BioSyn crops. The film has much to say about the ecological impact of invasive species, genetically altered and copyrighted seed, and the ethics of cloning — all modern ethical dilemmas we face today. Dr. Wu wants redemption, Dr. Grant (Sam Neil), Dr. Sattler (Lara Dern), and Dr. Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) want to stop the locusts, and Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) want to find the kidnapped Maisey. The film pushes into a more science fiction venue, and makes multiple nods to Indiana Jones and other action films in the process.
Now I will add that there are moments that I found a bit cheesy. The references to previous Jurassic films felt forced or like retreading, but the bulk of the film feels new. I’m the cases of retreading, things didn’t go as expected. But I still dock a point for it simply because it might get under some viewer’s skin as it did mine.
The set design is gorgeous. The new additions to the cast were fantastic, particularly DeWanda Wise as chaotic good pilot Kayla Watts. Mamoudou Athie is also a standout as Ramsey Cole, who I worried about at every turn! The dinosaurs look fantastic, with new and old favorites mixed in — I even spotted places with practical effects in the style of the original film. Some dinosaurs have feathers! Something long awaited by fans and scientists alike! I admit it, I squealed.
Overall, a lot of care and respect was put into this one, and I have no doubt the fans will love it.