Movie Review: ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ wasn’t what I expected, but everything I wanted

I wasn’t expecting “Jurassic World Dominion” to be about what it’s about, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Jurassic World Dominion cast
From left are Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon) and Kayla Watts (DeWanda Wise) in Jurassic World Dominion, co-written and directed by Colin Trevorrow.

My wife and I’s first date was to see the original Jurassic Park when it was originally released in theaters, and our son now works in Jurassic Park at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, so the whole Jurassic Park franchise means a lot to our family. You could say that makes us biased, but you could also say that means we were expecting a lot to wrap up the franchise, and we got it. 

Jurassic World Dominion movie poster

Based on the trailers, short movie, merchandise, and more that has come out since the second Jurassic World film, I expected the movie to be about them having to round up all the dinosaurs around the world and the conflict that’s created between the “kill them or save them” sides. Yes, there’s some of that in the movie, but those aren’t the main plots. 

I don’t want to get into the plots too much in order to keep the surprises and to keep this review spoiler-free, but I’ll say a lot has happened since “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” I think this is why some people don’t like “Dominion” much. You’re sort of dropped into the current timeline without much explanation to why it’s this way or how we got here. But that doesn’t bother me. Everything was explained satisfactory for me and I just accepted that’s the way it is and I enjoyed it for what it is, a summer blockbuster action movie. (And if you’re missing the extended backstory for the characters between the second and third films, there’s hope. I heard through the grapevine those scenes were filmed, but ultimately cut from the film, so here’s hoping for an extended cut later. )

The action scenes are well paced, and the story moves along well with a mix of the older characters from “Jurassic Park,” Allan, Ian, and Ellie, and the ones we know from “Jurassic World,” Claire, Owen, and some others. There are also some new characters you’ll meet, who I really enjoyed watching. And yes, all the dinosaurs you know and love from across the franchise make an appearance. The only ones missing that I would have liked to have seen are the kids from the original “Jurassic Park” and “Jurassic World” movies.

We can’t talk about a Jurassic movie without also talking about the effects. It seems, like in the previous movies, it’s a mix of CGI and practical puppets. Overall everything looked great. I saw what looked like one misstep when a dinosaur was running through the snow, and at one point it looked like one of the actors wasn’t directly looking at the dino, but these are nit-picky things. 

This movie is generous with the fan service, and I think that’s a great thing. There are not only nods to the old movies, but also to the Jurassic Park/World franchise itself. Sometimes it borders on corny, but I love it! As I said before, this is a big action movie about dinosaurs; just sit back and enjoy it. 

• “Jurassic World Dominion” is rated PG-13 and is available in Real D 3D, Dolby Cinema, and IMAX. It is two hours and 26 minutes long and there are no mid or end credit scenes.

Jurassic World Dominion Ellie with a baby dino
A baby Nasutoceratops, Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) in “Jurassic World: Dominion.

In The Park

You’ll want to head to Universal Parks and Resorts to experience the Jurassic World for yourself. Each park has something unique. Check our videos of some of the attractions below. Here’s our full YouTube playlist.

Universal’s Islands of Adventure is home to a whole land that features both Jurassic World and Jurassic Park attractions. For Jurassic World, there’s the VelociCoaster (often named the best roller coaster in the world) and the Raptor Encounter where you can meet Blue or another raptor. For Jurassic Park, you can ride the River Adventure, play in Camp Jurassic, ride Pteranodon Flyers (if you have a small kid with you), or dine in the Discovery Center, where you can also watch a baby raptor being born, or meet a baby triceratops in person. 

Over at Universal Studios Hollywood you can ride Jurassic World – The Ride, meet a triceratops or raptor, and also dine and drink in themed areas.

Universal Studios Japan also has The Flying Dinosaur roller coaster, and Universal Studios Beijing has a whole Jurassic World land with a cool new Adventure ride and more. Universal Studios Singapore has a Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure ride.

If you want to take it even further, you can stay in a Jurassic World Kids Suite at Loews Royal Pacific Resort in Orlando. 

Of course, they all have Jurassic shopping as well.

Jurassic World Dominion (2022) Theatrical Trailer 2

Full Report from Jurassic World VelociCoaster at Universal Orlando

New Jurassic World Raptor Encounter at Universal Orlando

Jurassic World: The Ride - Full POV at Universal Studios Hollywood

Jurassic World Filming Locations in Hawaii and More - Attractions Adventures

Jurassic Pteranodons Flying Around the Hollywood Sign

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