Jurassic World Dominion Parent Guide
How much evolutionary advantage do those opposable thumbs really give us?
Parent Movie Review
Following the mass escape of dinosaurs into Earth’s ecosystem, authorities engaged the genetic engineering firm Biosyn to isolate most of the animals in a secure facility in the Dolomite mountains. Now a plague of massive locusts threatens to destroy the world’s food supply - with the exception of the biotech company’s seed crops – and paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) is suspicious. With an invitation from Biosyn consultant Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), she takes Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) to get to the bottom of the issue.
Meanwhile, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) are trying to protect Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon) from Biosyn. The fourteen-year-old is the only known cloned human and is eventually kidnapped by corporate thugs, along with a baby velociraptor named Beta. Now Owen and Claire will have to hurry if they want to find girl or dinosaur alive…
Despite its near-constant callbacks to previous films, Jurassic World: Dominion does a shoddy job of living up to the franchise’s legacy. The soundtrack to the original film is haunting, mysterious, and, at specific times, triumphant and dramatic. This score has none of the mystery or nuance: it randomly alternates between being either loud and bombastic or quiet and forgettable.
As for the visuals, director Colin Trevorrow chose to return to animatronic dinosaurs to give the film some credibility. There’s just one hiccup: the new animatronics look less convincing than the ones in 1993. Steven Spielberg understood the necessity of careful lighting and camera angles to sell his robotic dinos but Trevorrow simply parades them around in the worst conditions, making them look like the mannequins in “It’s a Small World”. They are plasticky, jerky, and completely unconvincing.
Fans of the series have cause to mourn over the fact that this franchise is irretrievably mired in the La Brea-like tar pits of almost unbelievably idiocy. We are a far cry from the harder sci-fi approach of the first film and we’re gaining distance from the more action-focused fun of the second. We aren’t even in spitting distance of the outright weirdness of the third. Where we’ve found ourselves instead is fully marooned from reason, storytelling, and entertainment, slowly sinking into a pit of frustrating clichés and pointless characters. Since the screenwriters can’t articulate the point of the story, dialogue is almost exclusively exposition and all nuance is gone. None of the characters sound like real people, the bad guys would be more at home in a James Bond film, and the protagonists have all the appeal of the soggy leavings in an industrial dumpster after pickup – and the filmmakers leave us to wallow in it for an unforgivable two-and-a-half hours.
The movie’s writing is so bad that not even the cast can save it. Chris Pratt wanders around trying to sound macho and holding his palm out towards multi-ton prehistoric predators as if that will protect him from being eaten and Bryce Dallas Howard has been reduced to looking nervous and screaming anytime something comes within thirty feet of her. Even the legacy cast of Laura Dern, Sam Neill, and Jeff Goldblum can’t seem to get this bloated, festering story off the ground.
Worse still, this film has become bitterly ironic. The original Jurassic Park is a film (and book) about corporate recklessness in the face of potential profit. The dinosaur park fails because the creators were “so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” In much the same vein, the producers of this sequel have abandoned any consideration for whether these films have a story worth telling and have focused primarily on one thing: box office earnings. Unaware of their own hubris, the filmmakers have condemned their unfortunate audience to boredom and frustration. Overriding greed has taken the name of a beloved story and associated it with years of pointless stupidity and millions of wasted dollars.Directed by Colin Trevorrow. Starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, . Running time: 156 minutes. Theatrical release June 10, 2022. Updated June 9, 2022
Watch the trailer for Jurassic World Dominion
Jurassic World Dominion
Rating & Content Info
Why is Jurassic World Dominion rated PG-13? Jurassic World Dominion is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some violence, language, and intense sequences of action
Violence: Several people and animals are eaten by dinosaurs. A ship sinks and several cars are wrecked with unseen but presumably fatal consequences. A man catches fire. A swarm of insects is set alight and starts several other fires.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are six scatological terms and occasional use of mild curses and terms of deity. A sexual hand gesture is used.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None.
Page last updated June 9, 2022
Jurassic World Dominion Parents' Guide
The film discusses genetically engineered plants to go with the resurrected Cretaceous predators. Why are GMO plants so controversial? What are the nutritional and agricultural benefits of genetically modified plants? What are the concerns relating to them? How have corporations abused GMO seed crops? What have the consequences been across the planet? How have corporate patents on specific strains of plants hurt farmers?
How did the original film portray its dinosaurs? What did the older films do better? Is there anything you think this film did better?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton is, in my opinion, even better on the iconic film adaptation and well worth reading. His follow up, The Lost World isn’t quite as solid but still manages to be an entertaining read. If you’re a fan of Crichton’s techno-thriller stories, you might enjoy The Andromeda Strain, Sphere, Prey, and Next. The prototypical novel about man wrestling with forces he cannot control is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
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In all honesty, the only good movies in this franchise are Jurassic Park and The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Jurassic Park III is…technically watchable, and occasionally fun, but not nearly up to the standard of the first film. Every film in the Jurassic World series is worse. Other films about humans meddling with forces beyond their control include King Kong, Alien, The Mummy, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994).