At The Movies: Jurassic World saga winds down to a sprawling, messy end

A still from the film Jurassic World. PHOTO: UIP

Jurassic World Dominion (PG13)

147 minutes, opens June 9

2 stars

The story: Four years after the destruction of the dinosaur habitat on Isla Nublar, seen in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018), the creatures now live all over the earth, millions of years after they first became extinct. They live in niches that are seen as dangerous by some but ripe for exploitation by others. Dinosaur behaviour expert Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and former executive Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), with the child Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon), live as a family in isolation but find themselves drawn into a drama involving raptors once more. In another part of the world, scientists Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and Alan Grant (Sam Neill) become enmeshed in a conspiracy involving mathematician Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) and geneticist Henry Wu (BD Wong) and a secret facility in the Dolomite Mountains.

Two reasons to watch this conclusion to the Jurassic World trilogy:

It wraps up a saga

The Jurassic World franchise was always envisioned as three movies, so this final film should be watched, if only for the sake of completion.

They have reformed the original band from the 1993 Jurassic Park original to give the final film a sense of weight and heritage. A couple of beasties also make a return, such as the raptor Blue, as well as a couple of familiar key carnivores.

It is like a Marvel multiverse in which a trick of circumstance allows old characters to meet the new ones.

Building a better villain

The franchise's five previous films drummed into everyone that the real baddies are people, not dinosaurs. No evil character has been as wonderfully memorable as the man from the first two pictures: the late Richard Attenborough's John Hammond, a tycoon who weaponised his Santa Claus twinkle and dream of bringing joy to vacationing families to brush away the warnings of scientists. Who needs facts and logic when the guy who looks like everyone's favourite grandpa says it will all be okay?

New baddie Lewis Dodgson, played by Campbell Scott, is a tech titan clearly modelled on Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Elon Musk. Get a whiff of his messianic smugness and TED Talk-style patter and red flags will pop up all over.

One reason not to watch this movie

Cramming in too much

A Still from the film Jurassic World: Dominion starring DeWanda Wise (left) and Laura Dern. PHOTO: UIP

In its Tyrannosaurus-sized two-hour-20-minute running time, this movie embraces it all. There is a sprawling ensemble of old and new characters, both human and reptile; various global locations; callbacks to previous films; a vast conspiracy and, yes, plenty of carnivore close shaves. This is not so much a movie as sending-off party in which everyone has been invited, even people who do not matter that much, and no one can remember the theme.

Remote video URL

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.