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Jurassic World: Dominion Review Part 1

Too many unanswered questions and gaping plot holes in the grand finale

Like so many kids in my generation, one of the things that prompted my interest in science was the iconic movie, Jurassic Park, and also, like so many kids of my generation, Jurassic Park Three left me furious. Once the dinosaurs started talking, I was out.

Then came Jurassic World, and I was left unimpressed but unoffended, so I called it good enough. And the last movie in the second trilogy left me in a similar boat. It fixed one of the big issues I had with Jurassic Park Three, so I can’t really say this is a bad movie. That being said, it is an excellent example of bad writing. The problem with the film is that it’s convoluted, and a convoluted script forces itself to depend on contrivances. It’s not like Dr. Strange in the Multi-verse of Madness in the respect that there is an ever increasing sense of unease as the plethora of inconsistencies slowly mount up to the point that you might lose track of what’s happening, but if you dare to watch Jurassic World: Dominion a second time, you begin to notice a thing or two, then those two turn into twenty, and it becomes work to ignore all the issues.

The movie starts off with fishermen on a boat having their catch attacked by a giant swimming dinosaur. This leads to a news report, explaining how dinosaurs have gotten loose from the islands, and are now roaming the entire planet. This opens a wide door to a multitude of issues and questions, namely, why in world are people putting up with it? Bizarrely, half the footage shown on these reports is of people being attacked, particularly kids, and yet, there’s no discussion among any of the characters about how to wipe the creatures out. You’d think, at least, some of humanity would, understandably, want to take their planet back, but the question is entirely ignored. Instead, we hear a good deal about an underground smuggling operation for dinosaurs, which makes sense, but the questions of who’s buying these dinosaurs and why they’re being bought are not addressed. There are no new offshoots of Jurassic Park or Jurassic World, so what are all these buyers doing with the dinosaurs? It’s not like they make good house pets.

This leads us to the introduction of one of our heroes, Claire. She’s rescuing dinosaurs from smugglers, and on this particular excursion, she snatches a baby Triceratops. And here is one of the first instances of the terrible dialogue in this movie. As Clair and her assistant, Zia, are running through a field with the baby dinosaur, Franklin appears in a white kidnapper van, opens the back door, takes one look at the dinosaur, and begins telling them he doesn’t want to take the creature, which doesn’t make any sense. It’s established that they’ve been doing this for a while, so why is he arguing with the two of them now? And why burst through a fence with a kidnapper van, if he didn’t think they were kidnapping something?  

Anyway, Claire and her posse get away. Then Zia and Franklin tell her they’re out. So, Claire returns to Montana to join Owen and Maisie, who are hiding from the government. In the previous film, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, it’s explained that Maisie is a clone, created by one of John Hammond’s business partners. This partner had taken the methods used to recreate the dinosaurs and applied them to cloning other creatures, including humans. Needless to say, there are a variety of shady agencies who would consider Maisie a valuable commodity. So, our heroes, Owen and Claire, have taken on the role of Maisie’s parents while living in seclusion.

Of course, Maisie, being a teenager, is unhappy with this arrangement and frequently sneaks off to a nearby town. This creates conflict between Maisie and her surrogate parents, and I’ll give you one guess what happens. That’s right! She gets kidnapped. There is also a subplot where Blue, Owen’s raptor from the previous two films, is conveniently living in the forest nearby, and her baby gets kidnapped too for . . . reasons. What the raptor is doing there? How did it get there? I have no idea.

Clair and Owen then go to visit Franklin, who is now working for the CIA, and he uses his connections to figure out where the kidnappers are heading, and they rush off to find their child.

This brings us to our B-Plot. Ellie Sattler from the first and third movies in the franchise is investigating a plague of locusts, but not just any locusts, locusts the size of your forearm. They’ve been eating everyone’s crops, except for one particular variety, that being, the seeds produced by a company called Biosyn. Biosyn studies Dino DNA, so Ellie infers, correctly, that the company has used prehistoric DNA to create the giant monstrosities, and thereby, is ridding America of their competition. If it sounds like things are bound to go wrong with this horrible plan, you would be right in that assumption. But here’s the funny thing about the B-Plot. This whole situation amounts to an apocalyptic catastrophe because, wonder of wonders, the swarm gets out of control and starts jumping continents, and presumably, will start eating everything, but yet, the problem is hardly mentioned. Narratively, it’s just an excuse to shoehorn the original cast into the film, and as happy as I was to see them, a worldwide dilemma should probably get a fair amount of screen time to establish the stakes. Since the consequences of this genetic experiment are hardly shown, it felt like the original characters weren’t doing much throughout the film.

At any rate, Ellie manages to recruit Alan Grant, our hero from the first and third movies, and explains that Ian Malcolm, our hero from the first and second movies, is working for Biosyn and wants her to extract a DNA sample of the locusts inside the company’s lab to prove that Biosyn created the engineered insects.

And once again, here is another plot-point that doesn’t make sense. This entire operation is meant to be done covertly, but for whatever reason, she needs a witness for the extraction, because the DNA wouldn’t be enough proof, for . . . reasons. Obviously, this is just an excuse to bring Alan Grant into the story, but it would’ve been more believable had she just said she wanted back up, someone she could trust, because sneaking into a secret lab might be considered dangerous, but that would make her show weakness or something.

The story continues in the next review.

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 Review Part 1