The Jurassic World trilogy ends not with a roar but with a squeak. Dominion calls upon the stars of Steven Spielberg’s original Jurassic Park to capitalise on the current trend for legacy sequels (it’s arguable that 2015’s Jurassic World, a movie that was both a remake and reboot, started the fad). But the wholesale shake-up required after 2017’s Forbidden Kingdom, an overplotted mess, never appears, and this feels increasingly like a franchise that’s ready for extinction.
This third movie (the sixth including the originals) is set four years after the events of Forbidden Kingdom, which ended with dinosaurs breaking out of a facility. They now roam the Earth co-existing with humans. Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) live a quiet rural existence with their adopted daughter Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon), the cloned child from the last film, as well as pet raptor Blue. Elsewhere, Doctors Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and Alan Grant (Sam Neill) reunite to investigate a plague of mutated locusts targeting food stocks. Both parties’ paths cross as they become the target of villainous corporation BioSyn.
It’s a baffling mish-mash of plots that have little to do with what was promised in the trailer. Like its predecessor, it searches for a reason to exist, and finds little beyond loud set pieces and fragments of interesting lore. In 30 years the franchise has never worked out how to progress the action once the park closed.
It’s lovely to see Dern, Neil and the always-welcome Jeff Goldblum, who’s back as Dr Ian Malcolm. However, their presence also reminds you of better films, and highlights the fact that Owen and Claire have never been particularly likeable. Even Chris Pratt, who has made wackier premises than this work, can barely hide the cringe as he assures Blue he will bring back her baby.
Dragging its cast and the audience through an exhausting two and a half hours, Jurassic World: Dominion feels far removed from the genius of Steven Spielberg’s 1993 classic. Nostalgia only gets you so far, and beleaguered director Colin Trevorrow comes close to ruining a legacy.