Just like that, we seemingly reach the end of the 'Jurassic' era. What better way to bring things to a close than by recruiting some old friends, upping the action three or four notches, and raising the stakes? 'Jurassic World Dominion' does wrap things up in a big way, but not everything works.
Isla Nublar is no more, and dinosaurs coexist with humans. In 'Jurassic World Dominion' fans new and old get their fix – as two linear storylines run alongside each other: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and Justice Smith ('Jurassic' newbies if you will) make up part of one, while Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum (iconic, familiar faces in the franchise) make up the other. It's a thrill to watch the two groups slowly come closer and closer together, and it's genuinely fun to see Sam, Laura and Jeff back in their roles. When everyone eventually crosses paths, there's nothing else to say but #SquadGoals.
Unfortunately, the pacing is off in 'Dominion'. There are moments of intense chaos – a stunning chase through Malta is shot with meticulous care and gets the heart pumping – but elements of the storyline tend to fall flat. When you head into the cinema, it's worth the reminder that this is a two-and-a-half hour film: the longest in the trilogy.
The acting performances in 'Jurassic World Dominion' are nothing to write home about – the film's appeal is primarily in that which, technically, does not exist: the towering, terrifying, stars of the show: the dinosaurs. The visual effects here are pretty extraordinary.
The creatives behind the 'Jurassic World' films know how to hold a scene and squeeze for emotion, too. Many of us are still thinking about the brachiosaurus in 'Fallen Kingdom'. This is a particularly effective technique when, for a chunk of 'Dominion', you find yourself on the edge of your seat. . . Until you're not. Suddenly, everything is still, you are staring into the eyes of a creature which could rip you apart in mere seconds, and feeling as though you might shed a tear. A heart-wrenching score from Michael Giacchino heightens the emotion. It's these moments, in my opinion, which are the stand-outs of the 'Jurassic' films. Sure, it's fun to watch massive prehistoric animals ripping through modern architecture and putting lives at risk, but it's incredibly endearing to remember that they're living, breathing creatures – simply trying to adapt and survive in their environment.
A beautiful score, familiar, iconic faces, moments of stillness and swelling emotion and some top-notch special effects make 'Jurassic World Dominion' an enjoyable watch. Plot pacing feels jarring at times, and the length may be an issue for some viewers. Overall, it's a solid enough conclusion, but by no means the best effort in the franchise.