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Movies & TV

11th Jun 2022

Ranking all six Jurassic movies from worst to best

Rory Cashin

Three Parks. Three Worlds. Six big dino movies. Some great, some… not so much.

Now that it has jumped the Park, and ended the World, what could be next for the Jurassic series? Will it follow the Mario naming route and give us Jurassic Galaxy? Maybe it will change it entirely, and a decade or two from now we’ll get Cretaceous Park, or Triassic Park?

Regardless, we’ve currently got six dino-movies to rank, from worst to best.

Starting with the worst…

6. Jurassic Park III

We have written before about how this threequel very nearly killed the franchise, with director Joe Johnston (Jumanji) replacing Spielberg to tell the story of Doctor Alan Grant (Sam Neill) being tricked into helping find a young boy lost on the dino-island. It is an incredibly messy story filled with two-dimensional characters, and after a certain point you just start taking the dinosaurs side in all of this.

Despite all of that, it is somehow still a pretty fun watch, but also features the single worst scene in any of the Jurassic movies…

5. Jurassic World Dominion

There is only one reason that the latest movie isn’t at the very bottom of the pile, and that reason is Bryce Dallas Howard. As we said in our review, the sixth (and final?) entry in the Jurassic franchise is A LOT, to the point of being TOO MUCH. There are the plots for three more movies in this one alone, giving none of them time to breathe.

However, it does deliver Bryce Dallas Howard’s character a worthy ending to a magnificent arc, and she is front-and-centre in the movie’s best sequence, which might also be the tensest Jurassic scene since the kitchen attack from the original entry.

4. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Getting in J.A. Bayona (The Impossible, A Monster Calls) to direct this sequel was a great idea, except they gave him two halves of different movies to direct, which he then had to somehow smush together. Both halves have some great moments – the hamster ball volcano escape, the creepy inverted bedroom invasion – but the gear shift from “JURASSIC WORLD IS EXPLODING!” to a haunted house horror is whiplash inducing. And everything to do with the cloned girl is thunderously dumb.

3. The Lost World: Jurassic Park

Hindsight is a beautiful thing sometimes. When it was released in 1997, The Lost World was seen as a far inferior sequel to the landmark original, but time has been nothing but kind to the Spielberg’s follow-up. Sure, some of the plot points don’t make a huge amount of sense (how did everyone on the boat get killed if the T-Rex was still locked up?), and the second worst moment in history of the Jurassic movies (see below).

But it also contains some of Spielberg’s best work, including that cliffside double T-Rex attack, and the sneaky high grass moment with the Velociraptor pack. Putting Goldblum in the centre of the action was a clever move, as was pairing him with a very fun Julianne Moore.

2. Jurassic World

14 years after the wet fart that was Jurassic Park III (and six months before The Force Awakens, so before legacy sequels were truly in fashion), we finally got to see a dinosaur-filled theme park in operation… for a little while. Bringing the perfect amount of science to the science fiction, a genetically modified – and particularly homicidal! – dinosaur is smart enough to break free and goes on a rampage, much to the terror of the characters on-screen, but to the delight of us in the audience.

1. Jurassic Park

If you want to be really reductive about it, then this is Steven Spielberg remaking Jaws… but with dinosaurs. However, in adapting Michael Crichton’s brainy blockbuster novel, Spielberg made some incredibly smart moves: an interesting, eclectic cast of character actors, taking his time getting to the action (in a two-hour movie, it is 58 minutes before the paddock fences go down and the T-Rex gets out), and the cutting-edge mix of practical and visual effects.

On any given day, Spielberg’s top five movies of all time can feature completely different movies in a completely different order, but somewhere in there, Jurassic Park is a constant.

Jurassic World Dominion is in Irish cinemas right now, and all five previous Jurassic movies are available to watch with a NOW Cinema Membership.

Clips via MrJtlorg & Movieclips

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