‘Jurassic World Dominion’ Draws Mixed First Reactions and Largely Negative Reviews

UPDATE: The review embargo for “Jurassic World Dominion” lifted on Wednesday, and quite a few critics are wishing for the series to go extinct.

The final film in the “Jurassic World” trilogy currently has a 43 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, based on over 70 reviews. In a pan for Indiewire, critic Siddhant Adlakha wrote that the film is a sequel “whose images convey little meaning, other than that which they borrow from other movies, and the result is one of the worst big-budget Hollywood blockbusters since, well, [Colin] Trevorrow’s “Jurassic World.”

Although the first social media reactions for the film following the premiere were mixed, there were a few positive responses. With many blockbuster premieres, the early reactions tend to be overall more positive than critic reviews, which often express a broader range of opinions. With “Dominion,” the film has largely received negative reviews from published critics.

Los Angeles Times chief film critic Justin Chang criticized Trevorrow’s direction, and called the film “under-imagined” and “overlong.” He also criticized the film’s incorporation of original film stars Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum, calling it a “A fan-service coup that almost compensates for the dim reality of how little they’ve been given to do.”

New York Times critic A.O. Scott said in his review that the film was “a little better” than its two predecessors, but called the film “crowded,” and said the film’s dinosaurs “Rarely produce moments of Spielbergian awe.”

Although reviews were largely negative, some critics gave it more positive notices. For USA Today, Brian Truitt gave it three out of four stars and wrote that the film was the best “Jurassic” film since the original 1993 movie. For BBC, Nicholas Barber criticized the length of the film, but praised the action sequences and said it was “Jam-packed with silliness, spectacle, intrigue, romance and just about everything else.”

After the North American premiere of “Jurassic World Dominion,” first reactions to the dino-centric sequel poured in online, with entertainment writers calling the follow-up everything from a good hit of nostalgia to downright bad. As with most sequels in the “Jurassic” series, “Dominion” is being met with a mixed response.

Universal has positioned “Dominion” as a finale for the franchise, organizing a round-up of “Jurassic” stars old and new. The film reunites Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum, who all starred in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 original. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard return after starring in 2015’s “Jurassic World” and 2018’s “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” while series newcomers DeWanda Wise and Mamoudou Athie also join the cast of the new entry.

“Dominion” picks up after the events of “Fallen Kingdom,” with dinosaurs now roaming the Earth and forcing the human race to closely guard their position as the apex predators of the planet. “Jurassic World” director Colin Trevorrow returns to helm the series finale.

Although “Jurassic World Dominion” doesn’t hit North American theaters until Friday, Universal has already given the sequel a limited global rollout in 15 international markets. The sequel grossed $55.4 million at the international box office over the weekend, with its biggest starts coming in Mexico and Korea.

Variety senior artisans editor Jazz Tangcay commended the film, calling it a “roaring fun adventure.” Tangcay also stated that the dinosaurs “are bigger and better than ever.”

Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis called the film “nostalgia on overdrive,” while cloaking his exact opinion on the sequel under his foregone conclusion that “it’s going to make so much money.”

Critic and Variety contributor Courtney Howard summed up her reaction with “BAD,” stating that “Dominion” marks a franchise-worst in quality.

Digital Spy’s Ian Sandwell called the film “underwhelming for a finale,” though he highlights the reunion of Neill, Dern and Goldblum’s characters as a strength of the film.

Collider’s Perri Nemiroff dug the follow-up, highlighting Bryce Dallas Howard’s performance as a highlight of the film.

Insider’s Kirsten Acuna recommends giving the original “Jurassic Park” a rewatch before rolling out for “Dominion.”

Gizmodo and io9 senior reporter Germain Lussier called the film “overindulgent and pointless,” with the dinosaurs serving as little more than “window dressing” for a couple drab plot lines.

See more reactions to the “Jurassic” finale below: