Jurassic World: Dominion, the third and final installment in the Jurassic World franchise pointed out one of the saga’s flaws in the film’s official trailer. For the last three movies in the overreaching Jurassic Park franchise, the main drive of each film has been the same: the dinosaurs have gotten bigger and more ferocious with each passing installment. Now, with Dominion seeing the dinosaurs of Isla Nublar released into the rest of the world, this repeated progression has reached its peak.
Set roughly four years after the events of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Dominion follows familiar characters from the franchise—including Jeff Goldblum’s Dr. Ian Malcolm—grappling with the ramifications of the ending of the previous film. At the end of Fallen Kingdom, many of Isla Nublar’s genetically engineered dinosaurs were released onto the United States mainland, which could have terrible consequences for Earth in Dominion. The fallout of these actions is on full display in the film’s official trailer, with Dr. Ian Malcolm even commenting on the severity of the situation as he’s approached by one of the largest predators the franchise has ever seen – the new Gigantosaurus – saying “Bigger…why do they always have to go bigger?”
In his comment, Malcolm pokes fun at one of the most repeated problems in the Jurassic World franchise: each movie raises the stakes simply by adding a bigger, more ferocious dinosaur into the fray. The plot of both Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom revolved around two separate genetically engineered dinosaurs cited to be more deadly than their predecessor in order to raise each film’s stakes. And, though Dominion‘s Gigantosaurus is not genetically engineered, the instinct to replace previous big bads with something bigger and badder ultimately amounts to a repeat of the same problematic plot points from the franchise’s past films.
In the first Jurassic World film, fans of the franchise were treated to a battle between the predator from the Jurassic Park saga, the classic T-Rex, and the genetically engineered Indominus Rex, said to be even more aggressive than its predecessor. This escalation was then repeated in Fallen Kingdom with the genetically engineered Indoraptor, comprised of Indominus Rex and Velociraptor DNA. With various bells and whistles attached, these movies ultimately have the same antagonist: a dinosaur that’s bigger than the antagonist from the last film. It’s little more than a repeat disguised as a sequel.
With Isla Nublar’s previous inhabitants being auctioned off and another InGen rival seemingly developing their own dinosaurs from the stolen embyros, the Gigantosaurus does have an established origin, but the impulse behind it is the problem. And while Jurassic World Dominion‘s Gigantosaurus may be able to separate itself from past Jurassic Park films, ultimately, the franchise’s final film is tripling down on the same plot beat again. And, at this point, the repetition of this trope feels borderline cartoonish and almost comical.
To answer Malcolm’s question, it seems that the Jurassic World franchise always goes bigger as it may have nowhere else to go. Though the saga’s final installment has the potential to break out of the Jurassic Park sequel problem with its distinct new setting and time-jump, it also seems to be relying on an old bag of tricks all-too-familiar for longtime fans of the series. Hopefully, the trailer’s seemingly self-aware reference means they’re at least aware of the issue, and taking steps to subvert expectations. Ultimately, Jurassic World: Dominion may be bigger than either of its predecessors, both in scale and drama, but it may not be better, and is dangerously close to admitting to this fault itself.
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