REVIEW: Third ‘Jurassic World’ is mostly a waste of time

Mr. Trevorrow, after careful consideration I’ve decided not to endorse your trilogy.

Colin Trevorrow is back in the directing chair for “Dominion,” after writing the second “Jurassic World” film and helming the first. This movie picks up several months after the conclusion of “Fallen Kingdom,” with dinosaurs now living among humanity, for better and for worse.

Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), who worked at the Jurassic World theme park are now looking after Maisie (Isabella Sermon), who was orphaned in the previous installment. Drs. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) meanwhile, reunite to investigate a large locust species that are destroying crops, which are linked to the company Biosyn, which has its own dinosaur research.

“Dominion” seems like a massive waste of potential. While I found the ending of the last film, where the characters allow dangerous dinosaurs to be let loose on the world after they were contained, to be absolutely moronic, it at least should have set this movie up for some mayhem.

This film should have featured the dinosaurs as a threat rampaging around cities and efforts to take down the dangerous ones. Make it a “Jurassic World War” basically.

Hell, the character Ian Malcolm even says at the end of the last movie “welcome to Jurassic World.” In this film, though, instead of something epic, there’s just a fear of crops disappearing because of locusts engineered by a sinister company.

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Courtesy Universal Pictures.

Ultimately, audiences are treated to only one really good action scene actually set in a city where some raptors chase our heroes. That’s a major disappointment in a film pushing two hours and 30 minutes.

In fact, a majority of the film’s action and scenes of adventure are set in a laboratory or in a nearby dinosaur preserve that’s closed off. What’s the point of having this premise of dinosaurs being across the planet if nearly nothing is going to be explored with it?

Not only is this a lame direction considering the implications of the last movie, it also leads to action scenes that just do what’s already been done in other “Jurassic” films. That’s not the only unfortunate thing about the film’s story, though.

There’s also the fact that the film’s main threat is related to an evil company with a plan related to crops. It’s such an underwhelming plot point.

Character-wise, “Dominion” doesn’t offer that much. Owen and Claire worked in the first “Jurassic World” as a sort of Han and Leia couple but their psuedo-married life doesn’t work as well here. Their role as parents in this one doesn’t fit well, either, which is too bad because it’s really the only characteristics they have here.

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The film doesn’t do all that much with the character Maisie, either. Does she feel conflicted seeing news reports of people killed by dinosaurs knowing she let them out? Is she more intelligent since she’s the clone of a brilliant scientist? The movie certainly isn’t interested with any of those questions.

The film also brings back the original trio of Ian, Ellie and Alan, but doesn’t really have much to do with them. The film only brings them back for nostalgic purposes.

Sure, it’s cool to see these characters again, but all of their scenes feel calculated, where they don’t really have any agency and are only there to recreate the old instead of making something new.

“Dominion” has few redeeming qualities to make it worth seeing on the big screen. There’s barely enough to warrant recommend seeing it at home.

It’s true that there is some entertainment value included, a scene on the streets of  Malta being a major standout. But the film as a whole doesn’t have much to offer. 2 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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