The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

“Jurassic World: Dominion:” The Extinction of the Jurassic World Trilogy

The trilogy’s third and final installment is the epitome of the word “fine.”
Photo Courtesy / YouTube Universal Pictures

Released on June 9, 2022,  “Jurassic World: Dominion” is the third and final installment of the “Jurassic World” trilogy. Picking up four years after the events of “Fallen Kingdom,” where numerous species of dinosaurs were forced into captivity while in the process of being sold as military weapons, but were freed to roam in the wild by the trilogy’s protagonists,  Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), and Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon). “Dominion” lends itself to the potential overtaking of mankind by dinosaurs, or even a co-existence between the two species.   

Biosyn Genetics, the multinational corporation that houses and studies the dinosaurs in a remote mountainous location, outshines the dinosaurs in a film that indicated a complete human-race takeover. Being titled “Dominion,” meaning supremacy, creates the assumption that the film will result in dino-domination; however, the addition of Biosyn Genetics and its schemes was an unnecessary plotline, overpowering the core of the saga: The dinosaurs. As the dinosaurs were relegated to background characters, it makes sense as to why “Dominion” grossed the lowest of the three “Jurassic World” films, making $143.37 million, whereas 2018’s “Fallen Kingdom” grossed $148 million and 2015’s “Jurassic World”  grossed $209 million. In profit, and in overall comparison, “Dominion” arrives nowhere near the original 1993 classic “Jurassic World”, which grossed $1.046 billion.   

 “Dominion” is the epitome of the word “fine.” Within the world of the film, dinosaurs are the co-stars in their own movie. They lack a core role in the plotline, resulting in substantially reduced screen time than in prior films. There is nothing in this film that comes close to the awe-inspiring first “Jurassic Park” with its iconic T-Rex attack, relatable characters and fast-paced plot. While it includes sprinkles of nostalgia thanks to the reappearances of Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum).After gracing the silver screen in the original “Jurassic Park”, “Dominion” wastes these legacy characters, losing them in an unimportant, poorly written side-plot.   

 “Dominion” was not only composed of a weak script and an unnecessarily long runtime, but of odd pacing. The writing seemed as though it was trying to make the saga more of a dystopian film with the inclusion of supersized, genetically altered locusts that attack farms without Biosyn soil. With the focus of “Dominion” being the breeding of prehistoric locusts as well as several nods to the 1993 original, it lacked the core elements that made the saga iconic, especially a lack of any significant jump scares.  

 Now, the T-Rex in the room must be addressed. Not only were the dinosaurs done a misjustice, but the blatant disregard for the characters of Maisie Lockwood and Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong) was extremely abrupt. The mishandling of Maisie’s plotline – in which she is an exact biological clone of her mother – is brushed aside as trivial. Maisie’s adopted parents, Claire Dearing and Owen Grady, attempt to protect her from third parties, such as Biosyn Genetics, who want to exploit her for genetic as well as financial gain. The parallel between Maisie and the semi-domesticated velociraptor named Blue is prominent, though ignored by the screenwriters. Blue has asexually reproduced and has a child, mirroring Maisie’s relationship with her mother. There are no connections made in the film between these two scenarios which seems to be a haphazard misstep by the filmmakers, as it was barely acknowledged that the two creatures are thematically linked.   

 The misstep of Dr. Wu’s character was extremely prominent as well. Being the geneticist that recreates the dinosaurs in all “Jurassic Park” and “Jurassic World” media, his character is slowly turned into a power-hungry scientist with a God-complex; it is clear why he becomes the antagonist. Being the villain who escapes at the close of “Fallen Kingdom,” viewers were left wondering where Dr. Wu would show up and wreak havoc once more – yet he doesn’t. In “Dominion,” Dr. Wu sees the error of his ways within the final five minutes of the film and is absolved of all wrongdoing. This was a highly poor decision, as he is given an easy way out. It also seemed an easy out for the writers, as Dr. Wu’s storyline seemed as though he were an afterthought. If he is going to be painted as the antagonist, as per the first two installments of the saga, make him the antagonist. Give the audience the satisfaction of seeing him punished for his actions. If his character was going to be redeemed, it should not have been squeezed into the last few minutes of the film.   

 It is not surprising that viewers were left with a bad taste in their mouths after watching the film, considering its lackluster plot, mediocre writing and mishandling of characters, but also because the anticipation and excitement of this film’s release was increased by its producer, Frank Marshall. “I think that Dominion’s going to wrap up this trilogy…we’re not resting on our laurels,” said Marshall. Inevitably, with Marshall enhancing the thrill of dinosaurs being back on screen, viewers were extremely disappointed and dissatisfied with the closing of the saga.  

 Ultimately, the mishandling of the dinosaurs, the characters – old and new – and even the title “Dominion,” were only a few of the aberrations of the 2022 film. It would have been interesting to see an emphasis on the battle between ecological harmony and a genetically engineered apocalypse; however, there were simply too many faults in this dumpster of a finale, piling excessive ideas, images, characters and scarce plotlines in a heap and calling it a sufficient ending.   

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