‘Jurassic World Dominion’ review: The worst movie of the series


My eyes are ‘saur. 

After being stomped on by “Jurassic World Dominion,” the please-dear-God final entry in the “to dinosaur or not to dinosaur” monster movie franchise, they’re practically fossilized. 

The awful movie is longer than the Cretaceous Period. At two hours and 26 minutes, the behemoth is the heftiest in the 29-year-old series. But size doesn’t matter — “Dominion” is also the worst. 

movie review

Running time: 146 minutes. Rated PG-13 (intense sequences of action, some violence and language). In theaters.

An hour into this cacophony of CGI and idiocy, Téa Leoni’s cloying shrieks from “Jurassic Park III” begin to sound like a soothing symphony orchestra. Bryce Dallas Howard sprinting through the jungle in high heels in the 2015 film? Oscar-worthy.

“Dominion,” instead of using its exorbitant runtime to wrap up the story — OK, at the end a few people kiss — introduces cockamamie, completely unsatisfying conflicts that are only tangentially connected to dinosaurs. 

The main ruffle is that giant, genetically altered locusts are destroying the planet’s crops — and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and Alan Grant (Sam Neill) battle to bring down the secretive company that unleashed them to make a profit. Yes, the ballyhooed end of “Jurassic Park” is a throwaway episode of “The X-Files.”

Ellie (Laura Dern) fights to bring down a company called Biosyn in "Jurassic World Dominion."
Ellie (Laura Dern) fights to bring down a company called Biosyn in “Jurassic World Dominion.”
Universal Pictures and Amblin En

Godzillas have also proliferated all over the world in the four years since the events of “Fallen Kingdom,” and nobody seems to care.

Brachiosauruses stomp through construction sites and pterodactyls nest atop One World Trade. Owen (Chris Pratt), meanwhile, is raising raptors in the American wilderness. A more irresponsible and negligent plan, I cannot fathom. And yet, he’s our hero. 

In a secluded cabin, Owen is hiding out with Claire (Howard) and Maisie (Isabella Sermon), an orphaned clone of her mother Charlotte, who we met in “Fallen Kingdom.”

When Maisie is captured, along with a baby raptor, Claire and Owen follow her to Malta, where a James Bond-style chase occurs on the island between a car, motorcycle and several raptors. Considering a raptor’s top speed is believed to have been 25 miles per hour, one is taken aback when they suddenly turn into scaly Lamborghinis.  

Owen is chased by a raptor that's as fast as his motorcycle.
Owen is chased by a raptor that’s as fast as his motorcycle.
Universal Pictures and Amblin En

Then they jet to the snowy mountains of Italy with a comic-relief pilot named DeWanda (Kayla Watts). There, dinos are being kept in a protective sanctuary by an actually evil company called Biosyn — the locust dudes, who also kidnapped Maisie — that is allegedly studying them for medical cures. It’s led by Dodgson (Campbell Scott), a character “JP” fans will remember from the first flick, who is now Tim Cook from Apple. Actually the doughnut-shaped compound looks just like Apple’s compound in Cupertino, California.

Nobody is good in this thing. You’d think it would be nostalgic to see Dern, Neill and Jeff Goldblum together again, but they all act like old fogies, and they’re written to sound like morons. Claire and Owen, of course, have always been glorified video-game characters, but they’ve never been as lacking in texture and depth as they are here.

And the dino battles? Toothless. 

Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neil. Laura Dern, Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt unite.
Jeff Goldblum, from left, Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt unite.
©Universal/Courtesy Everett Col

As the “Jurassic” films come to a close, let’s remember that, in 1993, director Steven Spielberg began a special-effects revolution that left viewers in awe of the realistic fanged creatures that came to life before their eyes. “Dominion,” directed by talentless Colin Trevorrow, has no such innovation, wonderment, scale or magic. 

The sound you hear at the movie theater during “Dominion” is not the shocked gasps of the original, classic “Jurassic Park” — it’s mocking giggles.


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