I was able to see Jurassic World: Dominion on June 9th at 4 pm and I give it a rating of a 10 out of 10. This film checks all the boxes that I felt were important or needed to be addressed and offers suitable amounts of closure for these points that satisfied me. It’s a story-building upon thirty years worth of established story and should be judged not in terms of it episodically, but how well it continues and resolves those hanging threads – which it does satisfyingly so in my opinion. The Main Points I would like to touch upon below detail the high points I personally have felt were the most important for the film to cover:
1. BioSyn and Dodgson – This is one of those long-standing threads that has remained unresolved since the first film. It’s great we finally get a resolution and the resolution is BioSyn is up to the same thing they did in the novels virtually. If anybody remembers Dodgson in the original novel he’s coming from the incident in South America where he was responsible for a rabies outbreak. He did this without the knowledge and consent of the people in Chile. In the films where he’s doing something similar with the Locusts (genetically modified from prehistoric DNA at that) and causing them to attack Non-BioSyn GMO crops. This is a great use of the mythos and I applaud TPTB for this. The other thing is that it felt like a reference to Crichton’s other work, Prey. Prey had a case of nanobots running amok and devouring plants and animals and causing all sorts of real-world kinds of issues. I felt it was strongly implied that these locusts would eventually start attacking and eating animals, even humans. So this is a great connection to Crichton’s other works here and hits a more of a sense of authenticity for me.
2. Sequel Acknowledgement – It’s great we get so many JP3 references and even TLW. I appreciate the fact we’re not ignoring what has come before. You get to know what happened with Ellie after JP3 and even more, you get to know her kids are grown and she had a divorce. It’s nice to see Grant and Malcolm again and going back to my authenticity argument you get Malcolm who is notoriously temperamental with people acting like Malcolm.
3. Good balance of exposition, story, and action – The 2-hour and 46-minute run time is used adequately and balances the exposition and story portions properly with the action. If you’ve been paying attention to the previous five films with the story, the nuances, and the details I felt like this film was the reward for all that. Weakness in the previous films is the imbalance of the exposition, story, and action. You either have too much action, a little bit of story, and little to no exposition (JP3) or you have a good amount of action, a good amount of story, and little to no exposition except for where it is really needed and even then it is lacking. Dominion felt like it fielded all this properly and I was really happy to feel rewarded finally for having all these met properly for me.
4. Allegorical Meanings and “the moral of the story” – Too many people think these films are just about people and dinosaurs and that’s never really been the case. The dinosaurs are a storytelling tool to get people to think about the corporate misuse and abuse of science along with other issues such as animal rights/ethics, conservation, climate change, and more aspects of real-world issues. It deals with the hubris that humanity has in thinking it can overcome and even market that ability to overcome these issues. These issues are always politicized and the experts are frequently ignored either due to avarice or greed put forth by entrepreneurs or politicians. This film is properly illustrating that point like the others and finally sends it home.
The other things did make me enjoy it even more:
-The return of Grant, Sattler, and Malcolm and the characterizations feel authentic enough to believe it is them.
-The fate of Sorna revealed
-The fate of the TLW Rex family
-Grant and Ellie getting together
-BioSyn and Lewis Dodgson are dealt with and done so in a way that is echoing Crichton’s style.
-Maisie’s timeline is cleared up a bit more and its ethics/implications of it are explored a bit more in-depth
-Fun new characters like Kayla Watts and Soyona Santos
-Redemption arc for Henry Wu (I felt this was a good point to hit)
-DILOPHOSAURUS IS BACK
-We get a Therizinosaurus and it’s pretty damn cool.
My last thing here is I want to mention the feeling of finality in this film when compared to the others. It feels like the story is complete now and this makes me happy, but it also means other stories can be told now with other characters and other areas of the world with people cohabitating with this dinosaur situation that has taken the globe. Those could be either self-contained or something altogether new that builds up into something else. Tying the last major thread that was left open makes it so we can have more story potential for something new and different now. So this is why I gave it a 10/10, and it may drop a point or so on additional viewings. But I do consider it one of the best of the new films and applaud it so much for being the movie we’ve needed to tie things up completely. I feel it gives something to the people that have been paying attention to the nuances of the series from its inception to now and that’s why it is a good film to me.
I also want to elaborate a bit more on the BioSyn plot and the parallels with the Crichton novels with it here. The giant locusts are the most Crichton-esque type of plot we’ve gotten in 20+ years except for the first and second films (roundabout on TLW since it differs so much from his original work and goes into a different direction altogether). The hybrid stuff in the new trilogy is also another Crichton approach here too I’d have to say as well. So it makes sense to go this route and if people would listen to the dialogue they’d hear the fact they’re spliced with prehistoric DNA. The prologue even shows some large locusts too implying that these are extinct animals revived as well.
As I mentioned, Dodgson does something similar in the novel with rabies in South America in the novel. So it makes sense he’d do something like this – on a global scale – eventually. It’s why I felt this was such a good plot point to help tie everything up. His characterization is different in the film than in the novels as he is shown to be more of a Steve Jobs type, but he is still despicable in the same sense and just as morally and ethically challenged as he is in the novels and that’s the carry home. Honestly, people need to really go back and read the novels here to get the nuances that Dominion has presented to genuinely appreciate this film. It has some great nods to the source material presented in it in terms of characterizations among all of the characters presented in the source material while inventing some interesting dynamics that are new. I have no doubt a second viewing for me will still be enjoyed. I felt this film works as a decent and wonderful bookend to the series and gets what the series has always been about – human avarice and hubris. Sure people aren’t going to like it, but I would say that has to do with the fact of them not wanting to think and comprehend what is before them. The series is more than just dinosaurs, it uses them as a tool and a way to get people to be more cautious in matters of public policy and capitalism with scientific endeavors.
I would challenge anybody with an overly negative review to look again at this and they need to try to understand and comprehend what is seen before outwardly decrying it once more and they need to do it by changing their perspective by understanding the source material and comprehending the greater message presented in it. Most reviews have been written by taking the film at face value and this is a horrible mistake. Of course, the film has faults but is a miracle at all it got made especially with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions we just went through. Then again I’ve been here since the beginning and I get that people don’t see the franchise and the story the same way I have come to see it and that’s okay. I just would hope people understand this movie brings definitely some much-needed closure to the Park trilogy and wraps up the World trilogy while also leaving the door open for standalone stories and other standalone narratives later.