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Jurassic World: Dominion Part 4

A bad movie that makes an okay end to the franchise. But does it actually end here?

After Owen and Kayla survive a plane crash, they begin their search for Claire, evading yet another hungry dinosaur without so much as a limp.

What follows is a sequence of random dinosaur encounters, each scene driven by a series of coincidences because all our characters are scattered throughout the valley, and we need them to get together somehow.

The most egregious of these coincidences comes when our entire main cast finally meets. Ellie, Alan, and Maisie are on an underground train to an airport, but the bad guy, Dodgson, discovers what they’ve done and turns the train off. This forces them to wander through a series of caves, but they eventually escape with the help of Ian. They drive down an old dirt road until the writers decide they need to crash. Then they roll down a hill and land right where Owen, Claire, and Kayla are waiting for them. It’s like something out of a cartoon.

The worst part of this sequence of random encounters with dinosaurs and the coincidences it takes to unite the cast is that it’s all unnecessary. Despite the movie’s faults, it did a decent job establishing an A-plot and a B-plot which got all our characters heading to one location. I’m not a fan of a plague of locusts threatening the global food supply in a Jurassic Park movie, but it is a B-plot, and it gets the job done. Since the writers established that all the characters are heading to the same place, all they had to do was lock Maisie in a room near the lab where the locusts are kept. Then our heroes could’ve met while sneaking around the complex. The writers could’ve shaved an hour off the movie, and if they’d wanted, they could’ve had our characters fleeing the dinosaurs while trying to escape the valley. Instead, we get a convoluted mess of scenes, where we spend far too much time watching random encounters with the prehistoric wildlife—which we know will go nowhere because the movie isn’t even close to over—and not enough time seeing our heroes bring down the evil cooperation.

The way the writers solve this dilemma is by making Dodgson exceptionally incompetent. When he realizes that he’s about to be exposed for creating the monster locusts, he attempts to burn the evidence, literally. He goes to the lab where the locusts are kept and tries to incinerate them, but for some reason, a hatch opens up at the top of the lab, and all the locusts swarm out of the building while on fire. This burning plague covers the entire valley. Now, I know I’m not a biologist, but that’s not how locusts work. Regardless, the valley begins to burn, so the bad guy ruins his entire operation all by himself. Our heroes don’t have to do a thing.

While the valley is burning, our heroes reenter the facility to turn on the Aerial Deterrent System, because for whatever reason, Biosyn didn’t reactivate it after the plane crashed, and Owen runs off the find the baby raptor. There is a nice scene where Alan gets to help Owen and Maisie tranquilize the raptor, using the technique Owen has implemented throughout the second trilogy. I’m not sure if the writers meant to do this, but I felt like it was a nice form of closure for his character. Claire and Ellie reactivate the Aerial Deterrent System with Ian’s help, and Dodgson is eaten by the same species of dinosaur that got Nedry in the first film, which I thought was appropriate.

However, when Kayla finds another aircraft, some strange version of a helicopter, she tries to land in the middle of the complex, but Ramsay, the informant who’s been helping Ian, tells her not to land because all the dinosaurs have been herded into the vacant area of the complex thanks to a signal created by an implant inserted into the creatures. This is yet another bizarre moment in the movie because even though they establish that all the dinosaurs are in this mini park centered in the complex, Kayla lands in the middle of all the prehistoric creatures anyway. Why? She’s in a helicopter, and half the valley has been burned to cinders at this point. She could land almost anywhere she likes. Take the helicopter somewhere else! But she doesn’t, and wouldn’t you know it, the second our heroes step outside, they come face to face with a T-Rex. Fortunately, the T-Rex is interested in fighting another dinosaur, and while the two beasts do their best Godzilla interpretations, our characters make it to the helicopter. I should also mention that before they leave, Henry Wu meets them, and Maisie decides that she likes the man after all and agrees to help save the planet from the locusts.

The movie ends with Henry getting the redemption he so desperately wanted by figuring out how to end the plague. Alan and Ellie tell Congress about Biosyn’s misdeeds, Ian and Ramsay inform the press about the cooperation’s “systemic corruption,” and Owen, Claire, and Maisie return the baby raptor to Blue.

Our movie ends in typical Jurassic Park fashion, a pretentious speech about how everyone should live in harmony, and dinosaurs inspire us to do that somehow. I do enjoy these movies, but Richard Attenborough is the only one who ever made those ending speeches tolerable.

What was particularly funny about this sequence is how the movie shows all these prehistoric creatures walking side by side with the other animals. They made the world really look like a paradise . . . if paradise was terrifying. So, I guess you could say it was a happy ending. Just don’t expect the lion to lay down with the lamb anytime soon.

This is an odd movie. It’s not good. In fact, it’s ridiculous, but there were elements of it that I really liked. I’m glad they let Ellie and Alan finally be together. Separating the two of them in Jurassic Park Three was something nobody asked for, and to me, it ruined that film, especially considering one of the main plot points in the first Jurassic Park was Alan coming to terms with being a father. Having Ellie marry someone else was a real insult to the first film, and frankly, I’m glad they corrected the mistake. I also liked that they involved so many of the minor characters from the original Jurassic Park. The idea that Jurassic Park would die with John Hammond was never believable. He was a businessman and had little involvement with the creation of the dinosaurs. He was simply trying to build a park and recreate his flea circus, but this time, he wanted the circus to be real. So, I wouldn’t call the Jurassic World Trilogy good, but it does pay proper homage to the original trilogy and even fixes a few mistakes.

But when it comes to Jurassic World: Dominion as a film, it’s filled with bad dialogue, a plethora of contrived conveniences, and plots that are not fully explored. So, in the end, I have to say it’s a terrible movie in and of itself, but when taken as part of the entire franchise, it’s not a bad ending, provided the series actually ends. But I fear it may not be over. Dr. Ian Malcolm said something similar to this. The studio always finds a way.

Gary Varner

Gary Varner is the Assistant to the Managing and Associate Directors at the Center for Science & Culture in Seattle, Washington. He is a Science Fiction and Fantasy enthusiast with a bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts, and he spends his time working with his fellows at Discovery Institute and raising his daughter who he suspects will one day be president of the United States. For more reviews as well as serial novels, go to www.garypaulvarner.com to read more.

Jurassic World: Dominion Part 4