The ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ Ending Explained

We dig into the film’s climax and consider how it does and does not complete plot strands that began in the Michael Crichton novel.

Universal Pictures

By Brad Gullickson · Published on June 10th, 2022

Ending Explained is a recurring series where we explore the finales, secrets, and themes of interesting movies and shows, both new and old. This time, we look at the ending of Jurassic World: Dominion. Yes, prepare for spoilers.

Maybe the strangest aspect of the Jurassic World: Dominion ending is how it leaves its audience exactly where the film began. The dinos are loose. Our planetary ecosystem is forever altered. Clone kiddo Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon) assures us that their presence will give human society perspective, “If we’re going to survive, we have to trust each other, depend on each other. Coexist.” That’s a pretty big if, friends. I would have loved it if this supposedly final franchise entry tackled the question.

Co-writer/director Colin Trevorrow uses a fraction of his runtime to consider what a dino-overrun Earth would actually look like, choosing rather to re-do the Jurassic Park gimmick by trapping his characters in the Biosyn nature reserve, repeating the beats from nearly every previous entry in the franchise. As our Rob Hunter put it in his review, “That sound you hear is a giganotosaurus yawning.”

However, Jurassic World: Dominion‘s focus on corporate greed and scientific miscalculation is as essential to the IP as the monsters running amuck. Biosyn itself goes all the way back to Michael Crichton’s original novel and its Lost World sequel. Sure, the genetics company is never mentioned in the Steven Spielberg adaptations, but we certainly saw their evil CEO, Lewis Dodgson, now played by Campbell Scott, then played by Cameron Thor, kickstarting the cinematic chaos.

“Dodgson! We’ve got Dodgson here!”

Dodgson is the sunglassed sneak who gave Wayne Knight’s Nedry the shaving cream canister in Jurassic Park. Terrified that John Hammond’s InGen would surpass Biosyn in the world market, they paid the computer programmer to steal the dino embryo secrets. An action that would ultimately lead to the theme park’s destruction after Nedry shut down security protocols and had his face eaten off by a dilophosaurus.

In Jurassic World: Dominion, Biosyn is up to its old tricks, trying to cheat the system. They’ve hired Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong) to continue his wreckless science, unleashing giant locusts resurrected from the Cretaceous period. These beasties are gobbling up the planet’s food supply, or at least anything that wasn’t grown from a Biosyn seed.

It’s this treachery that catches the eye of Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), causing him to call in the calvary with Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Dr. Ellie Sattler (Larua Dern). Dodgson allows them onto his premises because he craves their celebrity power, and he probably loves the idea of using his dead enemy’s pals to bolster Biosyn. Dodgson’s top priority, nab that selfie, and get them likes.

When the doctor trio proves troublesome, Dodgson must burn the evidence and take flight. His comeuppance for what he instigated in Jurassic Park occurs in Jurassic World: Dominion‘s ending. Deep within the Biosyn tunnels, Dodgson fumbles through the dark and comes face-to-face with not one but three dilophosauruses. As Nedry’s greed resulted in a face full of poisonous vomit, Dodgson’s greater greed receives an even larger dose. His screams are satisfying as yet another shaving cream canister rolls out of his briefcase. What trade secrets does it hold? We’ll never know.

Dr. Henry Wu’s Redemption

Henry Wu bears tremendous guilt for what he unleashed in the first Jurassic Park. Whatever self-professed redemption path he was on in the Jurassic World follow-ups have only strengthened his shame. Throughout Jurassic World: Dominion, Wu poorly attempts to convince Dodgson to renege their giant locust scheme. He can see what’s coming. The end of the world. Dodgson’s cool with that as long as he goes out sitting on a pile of cash, which I guess he does.

For most of the movie, I was waiting for his character to go the way of Nedry and Dodgson. After all, Dr. Wu met a grisly end in the Michael Crichton novel, devoured alive by Velociraptors. BD Wong has previously stated in interviews that he regrets how little care Spielberg’s film gave his character, not even bothering to explain his fate. He’s also said that he hoped Jurassic World: Dominion would finally give him the catastrophic death he so richly deserves.

Trevorrow had other ideas. The director’s righteous fury focuses on the corporate puppet master and not the fumbling scientist who means well. With Grant and Sattler’s help, as well as raptor wrangler Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and his lady love Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), Dr. Wu escapes the compound. He brings with him a genetically modified Cretaceous locust designed to wipe out the plague destroying the planet’s crops. With their eradication, the character is granted a peace he probably doesn’t deserve.

T-Rex Remains King

Do not play the apex predator drinking game when watching Jurassic World: Dominion. You will die if you hit a shot every time the phrase is mentioned. Trevorrow’s trilogy frantically tried to establish a titan superior to the T-Rex, but he finally concedes with this film’s ending. You can genetically modify a monster or dig up a giganotosaurus, but there is no besting the tyrannasur in terms of iconography.

Throughout the film, the giganotosaurus is touted as the beast to beat, and it comes perilously close to gobbling up our protagonists. Trevorrow can’t resist the legacyquel pull, though. If he’s going to toss in shaving cream, he’s certainly going to climax Jurassic World: Dominion with a T-Rex accidentally aiding the humans. Just as the giganotosaurus is about to make Grady and pals into a late-night snack, the tyranassuarus rex from the first film steps into frame.

This time, the Isla Nublar refugee has some backup in the long-clawed therizinosaurus. After the T-Rex is knocked out, the other two brutes bash into each other for a bit, giving our people protagonists a chance to skedaddle. The T-Rex awakens, shakes himself off, and rams the giganotosaurus, who goes flying only to be impaled on the therizinosaurus’s creepy long fingers. Rex takes a beat and gives a roar yanked straight from Spielberg’s similarly triumphant hero shot. Hail to the king, baby.

“Velociraptors and Lions Living Together…Mass Hysteria!”

Those looking for a definitive ending to the Jurassic Park/Jurassic World saga will be disappointed. Maisie Lockwood leaves us with a message of hope as triceratops roam the African plains alongside elephants. These images are supposed to counter the film’s opening shots of compsognathuses pecking at children and the massive mosasaurus snatching an Alaskan fishing vessel’s catch of the day. What they actually do is leave us craving the film we never saw, a real-deal Jurassic World.

The good news, I suppose, is that a legit Jurassic World movie is not off the table. They’ve left the franchise to simmer for a bit. But franchises are never buried. The dinosaurs will return, and maybe the next one will actually pick up from where Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom left us. Velociraptors and lions living together…mass hysteria.

Jurassic World: Dominion is now playing in theaters everywhere.

Related Topics: Ending Explained

Brad Gullickson is a Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects and Senior Curator for One Perfect Shot. When not rambling about movies here, he’s rambling about comics as the co-host of Comic Book Couples Counseling. Hunt him down on Twitter: @MouthDork. (He/Him)

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