If you saw Jurassic World Dominion this past weekend—and the film’s very large box office suggests that you did—I’m so sorry. If you haven’t yet, please let me save you some time by answering all the questions you could possibly have about the staggeringly bad final installment in the Jurassic World trilogy, including whether you should take time and spend money watching it. (Short version: no.)
When you did your FAQ on Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, you wrote “I am actually looking forward to Jurassic World 3, which should theoretically be a post-dinosaur apocalypse movie, which honestly sounds pretty cool.” So, did Dominion live up to your expectations?
Not really, mainly because it’s not about a post-dinosaur apocalypse world.
Wait, then what is it about?
Locusts, mainly. Also that little clone girl from Fallen Kingdom. But mainly locusts.
What? This is a Jurassic World movie. I saw dinosaurs in the trailers.
Oh, there are certainly dinosaurs. They just… don’t matter. They chase people sometimes. Idiots still bring them to places where they will kill a bunch of people if they get freed, and then the dinosaurs get free and kill a bunch of people. But this is a movie about the least interesting, most unnecessary part of Fallen Kingdom—the clone of the daughter of Sir Benjamin Lockwood, buddy of original Jurassic Park founder John Hammond, a guy that no one ever bothered to mention until the last movie.
Hmm. I guess I vaguely remember a little girl clone? But she just got chased by dinosaurs for a little bit, I think.
Correct! But now she’s the most important person in the entire world.
…because she’s a clone?
Yeah, kind of, but because that means her genetic code can stop the locusts.
How the hell does that work?
I don’t have the faintest clue, but neither does the movie. Presumably, it has something to do with her being the key to solving all illnesses forever, but we don’t learn that until the 3/4-mark of the film.
What the hell is up with Dominion?
Okay, let me set the scene. There are dinosaurs everywhere around the world. Some people are selling them on the black market, some people are illegally breeding them, but mostly they’re just kind of everywhere. Yet somehow, dinosaurs have only killed 37 people in 2021.
Well, there couldn’t have been more than a hundred dinosaurs let loose in Fallen Kingdom.
Agreed, but now there are a ton and they’ve somehow spread all over the world. Doesn’t matter, though, because—locusts!
Who gives a crap about locusts?
Well, Dr. Ellie Sattler—Laura Dern, reprising her role from the Jurassic Park movies—does, because they’re giant and eating all of America’s crops. At least the crops not using with Biosyn seeds, Biosyn being the franchise’s newest mega-corporation.
Please don’t do that thing where you pretend for even a second that a giant corporation in a Jurassic movie isn’t completely evil.
I won’t. I mean, “sin” is literally in its name. Also, the company is willing to destroy the world’s food supply and let billions of people around the world starve to death just to make some cash. It’s the most heinously evil company in the Jurassic movies, which is saying something. It’s also an evil company’s stupidest plan in a Jurassic movie, which is saying even more.
Did they think no one would notice the only crops in the entire world the locusts were sparing were from Biosyn?
Apparently not. Anyway, Sattler enlists her good friend/former romantic partner/co-star Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) to infiltrate Biosyn to find proof that the company is behind the locusts, with help—and an invite—from Biosyn’s arbitrarily hired chaos theory guru Dr. Ian Malcom (Jeff Goldblum). Her cunning plan: to find and collect a DNA sample of the locusts at Biosyn, while Grant serves as a witness.
Hold on a second.
So Sattler is getting a DNA sample from a locust at Biosyn—a sample she could have theoretically taken from any locust in the world, but her “proof” is that her former lover, and not an impartial third party, saw her get it at Biosyn.
Don’t worry, none of this plot matters. The other plotline follows World’s Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), who live in the woods with the teenaged and increasingly surly clone Maisie, whom Grady and Dearing have absolutely kidnapped and are now more or less holding her against her will, although the movie posits this as a good thing, since it’s for her protection.
I understand that we shouldn’t root for evil corporations to kidnap and experiment on teenage girls, but “solving all illnesses forever” seems like a pretty worthwhile cause.
Ah, but Biosyn CEO Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott) doesn’t want Maisie for that. He just kind of wants Maisie for… reasons? Biosyn scientist Henry Wu (B.D. Wong), who was evil in the original Jurassic Park and last two World movies, wants Maisie because he suddenly feels bad that he bioengineered a bunch of mega-locusts that are going to cause tens of millions of people to starve to death, and he needs Maisie’s genes to kill those same locusts. So goons capture Maisie (and Blue the velociraptor’s baby), and then Owen and Claire chase after them.
Is the Owen/Claire storyline good?
It does involve some dinosaurs, so it definitely has an advantage over the Park crew. They track Maisie and her kidnappers down to a black-market dinosaur bazaar in Malta, where there’s a gun fight and Owen frees a lot of dinosaurs as a distraction and the dinosaurs chase him through the city and presumably kill far more than 37 Maltese citizens after he leaves.
Well, I guess that’s something.
I mean, the whole Malta section of the movie doesn’t amount to anything since Owen, Claire, and new character/pilot Kayla Watts (DeWanda Wise) have to go to Biosyn headquarters, and its protected dinosaur reserve, to get Maisie anyway.
Sounds kind of like a park.
Looks almost exactly like a park! Anyways, Owen, Claire, Kayla, Sattler, Grant, and eventually Goldblum run and/or hide from several thousand dinosaurs individually or in groups until the two generations of Jurassic stars come together…
…at which point they run and hide from dinosaurs together.
What’s the big, dumb, extra-deadly dinosaur the evil corporation created this time?
I beg your pardon?
You know, in Jurassic World and Fallen Kingdom, they made up two hilariously deadly dinosaurs for the “hero” dinosaurs to fight.
Oh, you mean the Indominus Rex—which not only was extra-deadly but inexplicably was given Predator-abilities despite only being a park attraction—and the Indoraptor, a hybrid between the Indominus and a velociraptor created to be even smarter and deadlier than its forebears, despite the fact regular ol’ dinosaurs had proven themselves to be more than sufficiently deadly for decades.
Actually, there’s not one! I guess the giant locusts sort of take the place of a genetically engineered monster, especially when they’re set on fire en masse but somehow escape into the sky so they can fall like flaming meteors for a shockingly long time—
—but the “villain” dinosaur is the very real Giganotosaurus, which may have been bigger than the Tyrannosaurus Rex in real life but is definitely bigger in the movie. Luckily, the “heroic”(?) T.Rex teams us with the also-real Therizinosaurus to tag-team the Giganotosaurus. Then the T.Rex and Therizinosaurus high-five and become best friends.
Well, they don’t try to eat each other, which is what you would think would happen in a movie that pretended to treat dinosaurs at least vaguely realistically. But, as it turns out, the moral of Jurassic World Dominion is that really, all the dinosaurs wanted was best friends.
Again, what on god’s green earth are you talking about?
After we’re told the locusts will eventually be taken care of and Biosyn will be held accountable for its bio-sins, the movie ends—and I shit you not—with a voiceover about how we all just need to learn to co-exist with each other over footage of dinosaurs and regular animals hanging out together. A lot of footage.
I—I don’t believe you.
Pterodactyls and birds, flying together. Whales and that giant alligator dinosaur, just palling around in the sea. Elephants and triceratops, tromping along the savannah. Horses and some other dinosaurs I forget, riding majestically on the plains.
I have no words.
That’s fine. It’s about the stupidest thing I’ve seen in a movie in the last five years. Just predators and prey, happily chilling out together, not eating nor being eaten. Because they’re friends, you see. Even the peanut-brained dinosaurs have learned how to co-exist. Why, oh why, can’t humans?
Ugh. Okay, this all sounds bad, but is the movie at least dumb fun?
I guess that depends. Do you like the Jurassic Park and World movies?
Don’t go see Dominion. Do you like dinosaurs?
Don’t go see Dominion. Do you like locusts?
No, of course not.
Well, that’s a shame. Do you like watching a 70-year-old paleontologist and 50-year-old paleobotanist moonlight as corporate spies for some reason?
Fine, fine, I get it.
Look, if you want dinosaur action, go watch any of the other Jurassic movies. There’s nothing in Dominion that you haven’t seen before, including a shocking number of utterly massive dinosaurs that inexplicably manage to sneak up on the main characters for maximum (yet unearned) tension. And there’s so little of it!
That’s a real shame.
You’re telling me! I stand by my statement that watching a movie about a world where people suddenly had to adapt to the resurrection of dinosaurs would be cool, but that’s an idea that’s never adequately explored. There’s that chase scene in Malta, but then the movie stays resolutely in the park—er, “dinosaur reserve.”
Think they’re going to make a sequel?
They’ve billed Dominion as the end of the World trilogy and the end of the Jurassic hexology, but the film has made nearly $400 million since its release, so I’d say it’s not out of the realm of human possibility. Just remember that if a sequel is made, dinosaurs and animals should all be BFFs and all illnesses have been cured forever thanks to Maisie the clone girl and a ludicrous twist so far out of left field it landed in a neighboring ballpark.
No. It doesn’t deserve to be told.
Sort of sounds like that could be applied to the entire movie.
Your words, not mine.
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