Jurassic World Dominion First Reviews: A Franchise Finale Full of Fan Service and Dino Action

Critics say the final Jurassic film is far from the best, but it does a few things we've never seen before and die-hard fans should enjoy it despite its flaws.

by | June 9, 2022 | Comments

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If you love dinosaurs, Jurassic World Dominion has a lot of them, and if you love the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World movies, it has a lot of characters from each, as well. The sixth feature installment of the nearly 30-year-old franchise is the biggest and longest, if not among the best, according to the first reviews. Die-hard fans will get a lot of what they want, plus an infusion of globetrotting action, while audiences expecting a smart sci-fi blockbuster will be disappointed. Big and brainless: that sounds fitting for a dinosaur movie, right?

Here’s what critics are saying about Jurassic World Dominion:

Will Dominion please die-hard Jurassic fans?

Jurassic World Dominion is an epic thrill ride and satisfying conclusion to the arc that started almost 30 years ago with Jurassic Park. – Danielle Solzman, Solzy at the Movies

Dominion is far from a perfect movie. But how low of a rating can you really give to a film that had you grinning from ear to ear from start to finish? – Amelia Emberwing, IGN Movies

Trevorrow has lost sight of what made cinephiles fall in love with Jurassic Park and what’s made that film such a crucial part of our pop-culture discussion nearly 30 years later. – David Gonzalez, Mama’s Geeky

Image from Jurassic World Dominion

(Photo by ©Universal Pictures)

Where does it rank in the franchise?

Jurassic World Dominion is an improvement from the last Jurassic World installment. – Caitlin Chappell, CBR

It recovers well from the pitfalls within Fallen Kingdom to deliver a far more entertaining conclusion. – Edward Douglas, The Weekend Warrior

Dominion has more in common with 1993’s Jurassic Park than 2018’s Fallen Kingdom as it revels in the magic of what made the original a success. – Kirsten Acuna, Insider

This [is] the best Jurassic movie since the original in 1993, but that doesn’t mean this one’s not, much like its predecessors, a hot mess. – Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

Of the three Jurassic World movies, Dominion is the least silly and most entertaining. But that’s not saying much. – Peter Debruge, Variety

It’s far from the worst — that (dis)honor still goes to Jurassic Park III. – Casey Chong, Casey’s Movie Mania

Will dinosaur fans be happy?

Jurassic World Dominion does not disappoint the dinosaur aficionado in all of us. – Christie Cronan, Raising Whasians

There are some peaceful and beautiful moments which will delight anyone who is or was a dinosaur kid at heart. – Caitlin Chappell, CBR

The amount of new and returning dinosaurs is worth the price of admission… Jurassic World Dominion has to have the highest dino-per-scene ratio of the entire franchise. – Kyle Wilson, The Lamplight Review

We’ve gone from 15 minutes of dinosaur footage in the first film, relying on a combination of animatronics and CG, to having full shots of dinosaurs every couple of minutes… Dialing back the dinos doesn’t really appeal to me. I have a feeling that’s the same for kids as well. – Aaron Neuwirth, We Live Entertainment

Unfortunately, a whole lot of the movie’s 2-hour and 26-minute run time isn’t about dinosaurs, but when the prehistoric creatures are on-screen, it’s impossible not to have a good time. – Jamie Jirak,

Image from Jurassic World Dominion

(Photo by ©Universal Pictures)

Does it rely too much on fan service?

The latest Jurassic movie, for better or worse, does everything it can to spelunk to depths of fan service previously thought unreachable. – Cory Woodroof, Nashville Scene

It is basically one big collection of Easter eggs and shout-outs to the earlier films. – Ard Vijn, Screen Anarchy

Yes, we get nostalgic Easter Eggs and references to the first Jurassic Park, but mercifully fewer than I expected with most of them confined to the third act. – Scott Mendelson, Forbes

It’s everything one has come to expect from a Jurassic movie. When I come to one of these movies, I expect plenty of fan service. – Danielle Solzman, Solzy at the Movies

Are there any surprises in the script?

The first two-thirds, especially the whirlwind first half of this (admittedly overlong) 146-minute picture plays like an overstuffed checklist of stuff we haven’t seen in a Jurassic movie. – Scott Mendelson, Forbes

Jurassic World Dominion earns brownie points for at last taking a risk in breaking the franchise formula to explore new ways to execute dino mayhem. – Kyle Wilson, The Lamplight Review

The film is a mishmash of regurgitated bits and pieces of what has come before. – Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews

Image from Jurassic World Dominion

(Photo by ©Universal Pictures)

Is it great to see the original cast back together?

If you’re coming just to see the return of Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Alan Grant (Sam Neill ), and Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), you won’t be disappointed by their amount of screen time. – Jamie Jirak,

[Their] return is as delightful as one would expect after missing them together on-screen for nearly 30 years. – Amelia Emberwing, IGN Movies

The chemistry of Sam Neill and Laura Dern warm the screen like a cozy blanket while also giving relief from the dull teen angst happening at the Grady/Dearing cabin. – Kyle Wilson, The Lamplight Review

I’m ecstatic that the chemistry between the OG3 and the duo of the Jurassic World eras is both natural and magnetic. – David Gonzalez, Mama’s Geeky

Jurassic World Dominion could have easily existed without Owen or Claire at all. Seeing Dern, Neill, and Goldblum back in the saddle again feels far more exciting than anything that Pratt or Howard are called upon to do. – Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

How is the new cast?

DeWanda Wise steals the show with her spunky portrayal of a former Air Force pilot, Kayla Watts. – Casey Chong, Casey’s Movie Mania

My instant favorite character [was] DeWanda Wise as Han Solo, I mean as Kayla Watts. – Nell Minow, Movie Mom

The standout newcomer of the bunch is Wise as Watts. It’s rare to see a woman who is both badass and funny, and her presence on-screen is extremely welcome. – Jamie Jirak,

The true breakout of the film is DeWanda Wise…a welcomed addition to the cast and adds a level of badass, whit, and charisma missing from the previous two entries. – David Gonzalez, Mama’s Geeky

Mamoudou Athie, in particular, is a true stand-out, delivering a charismatic performance… It’s a shame that it took until the third Jurassic World movie to meet these [new] characters. – Caitlin Chappell, CBR

Image from Jurassic World Dominion

(Photo by ©Universal Pictures)

How is the action?

Most of the first hour becomes a Jason Bourne-type chase sequence across Malta – but with dinosaurs! It’s big, it’s stupid, it’s really fun. – Kyle Wilson, The Lamplight Review

One dino chase, in particular, feels like a moment out of a Mission: Impossible or Bourne movie, which is as thrilling as it sounds. – Jamie Jirak,

Trevorrow wanted to show us what he can do emulating a Bond-style chase sequence except for the pursuer(s) turn out to be Atrociraptors. – Casey Chong, Casey’s Movie Mania

The action set pieces are some of the best since the original. – David Gonzalez, Mama’s Geeky

What about the visual effects?

The visual effects once again remain one of the franchise’s standouts… The use of practical effects is certainly welcomed for someone who considers the original a masterpiece. – David Gonzalez, Mama’s Geeky

The combination of animatronics and CGI isn’t as seamless as I would expect this time around since Trevorrow and his team [did] a great job in Jurassic World. – Casey Chong, Casey’s Movie Mania

In 1993, Jurassic Park revolutionized visual effects, so it is really surprising, after 30 years of technological evolution, to see several shots in this sixth edition where the live-action and dinosaurs don’t appear to be on the same visual plane. – Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews

Image from Jurassic World Dominion

(Photo by ©Universal Pictures)

Is the movie enjoyable if you don’t think too much about it?

This is the essence of a summer movie… Just pass the popcorn and enjoy the chases. – Nell Minow, Movie Mom

I was relieved to see a “new” mega-bucks movie that looked like a mega-bucks movie. – Scott Mendelson, Forbes

Viewers don’t care if these films are good or bad. Audiences just want a fun romp at theaters and Dominion delivers. – Kirsten Acuna, Insider

Man watches dinosaur movie, man notices glaring flaws in dinosaur movie, man still enjoys dinosaur movie. – Cory Woodroof, Nashville Scene

Jurassic World: Dominion opens in theaters on June 10, 2022.

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