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Jurassic World Dominion (2022) – Review: An Entertaining Sequel That Works Best When It Embraces Silliness

June 14, 2022

Quick Thoughts – Grade – B – Jurassic World Dominion is a globe-trotting adventure film that delivers some wonderful dino-carnage. It’s the best of the latest trilogy and it features the Pyroraptor (AKA swimming chicken dinosaur), which is quite possibly my favorite dinosaur featured in the six Jurassic Park films. 

Taking place four years after Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the movie focuses on the franchise’s core characters coming together to stop the villainous Biosyn genetics from causing a worldwide catastrophe that involves giant locusts eating all of the earth’s crops (that aren’t genetically modified Biosyn crops – which is insane because everyone would know who modified the locusts)) and causing massive starvation (it’s bonkers). To do this, they meet up with new characters and travel to an Italian mountain range that is home to swimming chicken dinosaurs, gigantic laboratories, and the Biosyn headquarters. From there, new characters meet legacy characters and together they run from new dinosaurs that want to eat them. It’s silly stuff, but director/writer Colin Trevorrow and co-writer Emily Carmichael know that it’s silly, and they make sure to embrace family-friendly chaos that is occasionally a lot of fun. Overall, it’s better than the lifeless requel Jurassic World and the misguided (but still welcomely different) Fallen Kingdom.

There’s a moment in Dominion that puts a giant smile on my face, and that’s when the’ A-plot kicks off with a promise to a velociraptor. In the years following Fallen Kingdom, Blue the smart velociraptor from the two prior films was relocated to the Sierra Nevada mountain range and managed to have a baby named Beta. Blue and Beta live near Owen, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), and their adopted clone-daughter Maise (Isabella Sermon), who refuses to stay in the cabin after four years of being kept near or inside the home. One day, Beta and Claire are kidnapped by Biosyn thugs, and Owen promises Blue that he’ll return Beta safely to her. This leads Owen and Claire to Spain, where they team up with Barry Sembène (Omar Sy – Returning from Jurassic World) and attempt to rescue Blue and Beta. After a botched rescue attempt at a blackmarket that sells dinosaurs (and dinosaur meat?), Owen and Claire team up with a pilot named Kayla Watts (DeWanda Wise) who flies them to the Italian mountains. This is where they meet legacy characters Ellie Satler (Laura Dern) and Alan Grant (Sam Neil) who traveled to the headquarters to investigate the locust plague. The two groups teamup, and are aided by Ian Malcom (Jeff Goldblum) and Ramsay (Mamoudou Athie), the head of communications for Biosyn. Together, they get stranded in the large dinosaur habitat and find themselves battling new dinosaurs such as the Giganotosaurus (bigger than a T-Rex, and more mean), Therizinosaurus (Freddy Kreuger dinosaur),and Atrociraptors (meaner and bigger than velociraptors). 

It’s a globe-trotting good time that is at its best when it veers toward silliness (AKA promises to raptors). The current 30% Tomatometer score seems harsh and I find it odd that some critics are complaining that there isn’t enough dinosaur carnage. This is odd because there is a wild amount of dinosaur carnage that involves Bryce Dallas Howard clotheslining an Atrociraptor with a metal pole during a chase in Malta. The movie is packed with fun new dinosaurs and despite being filmed during the pandemic, it has a large scale that makes it feel like a Jason Bourne film met a National Treasure movie and teamed up with the Jurassic Park franchise. The legacy characters from the first trilogy are all used well and have a reason to be there, and this trilogy’s cast seem more comfortable with their roles as the franchise has aged (I like Dad Pratt more than cocky dino-trainer Pratt). It’s the sixth film in a franchise that has gotten progressively more silly, what were people expecting? 

Final thoughtsJurassic World Dominion is a likable sequel that features several fun moments that make it worth watching on the big screen.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 20, 2022 9:53 am

    This is one of the few (okay the only one) reviews that have said much positive about this movie. I’ve never been a big Jurassic fan but thought this might be enjoyable but have avoided it because of all the negative reviews. But over the years I’ve found I usually like something when you give it some praise, so maybe I should reconsider. There’s obviously not going to be a lot of plot, but for a show like this I’m in it for the mindless fun and cool dinosaur scenes. But I was afraid it would be like the Jumanji remake and forsake the awesome animals for a bunch of one-liners trying to make it cute. Maybe there will be enough coolness to it?

    • June 20, 2022 10:10 am

      There are some really fun moments and cool dinosaurs! Just know that it’s a silly movie in a silly franchise lol. Not sure why people took it seriously…it doesn’t.

      It’s doing really well across the world, after Fallen Kingdom I didn’t expect that. Maybe people are liking how insane it is? Let me know what you think.

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