Jurassic World: Dominion roars into cinemas concluding the iconic Jurassic saga that has spanned nearly 30 years. Director Colin Trevorrow returns to direct the final film in the “World” trilogy, which he first started back in 2015. Trying to please both generations of fans all while wrapping up the 6-film saga is no easy task, but thankfully Trevorrow delivers.
Set a few years after the events of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, dinosaurs now roam the earth – and humanity is learning to live with its new prehistoric neighbours. We follow our favourite Jurassic World duo, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), who have relocated to a secluded snowy cabin in an attempt to protect their adopted clone daughter, Maisie (Isabella Sermon). Unfortunately, things don’t stay peaceful for very long, as Maisie decides to venture out past the safe confines of her home where she is met by mercenaries who are tasked with kidnapping her. The mercenaries snatch Maisie, forcing Owen and Claire to track her down before it’s too late.
Since the introduction of dinosaurs into human society, the newly founded genetics company Biosyn has become the leading name in dinosaur research and preservation. Their work on dinosaur genetics is hoping to help both humanity and dinosaurs alike. After discovering that a genetically modified locust responsible for decimating crop fields across the midwest might possibly be linked to Biosyn, Dr Ellie Sadler (Laura Dern) is called in to investigate. Realising the magnitude of the situation, she sets out to enlist the help of some old friends – Dr Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Dr Ian Malcom (Jeff Goldblum) – to help prevent a worldwide ecological disaster.
As these two stories play out over the course of the film, we slowly start to realise that they are more connected than it first seems. With Owen and Claire racing against the clock to find Maisie while Alan, Ellie and Ian are discovering the intentions behind Biosyn’s research, both groups of characters are thrust together concluding in an epic final showdown.
Jurassic World: Dominion bringing back old cast members to reprise iconic characters from a mega franchise isn’t anything new; just within the past few months we’ve had Ghostbusters, Top Gun and Star Wars guilty of this in an attempt to attract fans from all generations and cash in on the current nostalgia craze. Sometimes this clash of eras can feel a little ham-fisted, but thankfully Trevorrow handles the meeting organically – making sure characters from both the ‘Park’ and ‘World’ era are given plenty of screen time and importance so that no fan should feel poorly done to.
As the film goes on, we start to build quite a large roster of new and old characters as well as multiple storylines. Writers Emily Carmichael, Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly perfectly balance both plots making sure to never overcomplicate things for the viewer. The film’s action set pieces shot across a variety of diverse locations and well executed character moments kept me engaged for its lenghty 146 minute runtime. Ironically, Jurassic World: Dominion’s strength doesn’t lie in its dino-action, which there is still plenty of, but rather its Bond-like espionage and action that take our characters all across the globe.
The second act motorcycle escape from raptors through the streets of Malta was a real stand out scene. The set design and stunt work evoked an adventurous, Indiana Jones vibe which I always enjoy. Owen and – new character to the franchise – Kayla (DeWanda Wise) are teamed up for a decent chunk of the film and play well off each other, which in turn leads to Kayla quickly becoming a valued member of the group. Wise manages to hold her own as a kick-ass, former air force pilot even against her more well established co-stars.
Cinematographer John Schwartzman impressed me with some stunning shots, including a suspenseful underwater escape featuring Claire and a monstrous, cataract-ridden feathered dinosaur. Both practical and visual effects are in top form throughout the film, which were sometimes spotty in previous instalments.
The main selling point of Jurassic World: Dominion is easily the return of the 1993 iconic trio – Dr Ian Malcolm, Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler. I am pleased to say it feels like no time has passed. Everyone is back in full force, and may I say – looking great for their age. The ever-lovable Jeff Goldblum, whose awkward comedy helps to elevate every scene he’s in, steals the show. I’m still not sure where Ian Malcolm begins and Jeff Goldblum ends though; in fact I’m not even sure Jeff Goldblum knows.
As the credits rolled on the film, I did however have this sense that the ending didn’t quite wrap up the saga in a way that felt absolute. It still seems as if there are many more stories to tell in the Jurassic cinematic universe and I’m not sure if that was intentional or not. Who knows, maybe in 20 years we can revisit the franchise with an older Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard passing the torch onto an even newer generation of paleontologists, paleobotanists and mathematicians.
Jurassic World: Dominion cements itself as a thrilling end to the Jurassic saga which is sure to please fans of both old and new. The film delivers plenty of hair-raising thrills, spine-tingling scares and heart-pumping action to have audiences hooked. This final instalment is easily the best of the Jurassic World trilogy, however it never reaches the heights of the original Jurassic Park. With all that being said, I still feel Trevorrow can close this chapter with his head held high.
Rating 8/10 – you can also see our interview with Director Colin Trevorrow at this link.