Which Jurassic Movie Is the Worst Now?

Which Jurassic Movie Is the Worst Now?
Time to take a bite into this franchise. (Image: Universal)

It’s time for the conclusion of io9’s Jurassic Rewatch. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been going through each film in the Jurassic Park/Jurassic World series and viewing it with a set of fresh eyes. Along the way, we made some interesting discoveries and found a new appreciation for a few films in the series.

Then, at the end of each of the articles, there was a ranking. Each film would get added to the list in the lead-up to today’s release of Jurassic World Dominion, the self-proclaimed “epic conclusion of the Jurassic saga.” And so, it’s time to end our own Jurassic saga too with the final ranking of the films.

And because you know what number one is going to be, we’ll start there and work back to revealing which film is now, officially, the worst in the franchise. To us at least!

1. Jurassic Park

Image: UniversalImage: Universal

Was there ever a doubt? Steven Spielberg’s first Jurassic Park is basically perfect. The screenplay is simple, clear, and propulsive. The characters are interesting and dynamic. The music is unforgettable as is the imaginative story. Truly, I feel anyone who doesn’t think the original Jurassic Park is the best Jurassic film is probably just mixing up the titles. It’s that much better than every single other film in the franchise.

In fact, I think if you assigned a number to the quality of every single other film in the franchise and added them all up, it still wouldn’t be equal to the original. It’s that good and that much better than the rest.

Read our full Retro Review of Jurassic Park here.

2. Jurassic World

Image: UniversalImage: Universal

That’s right, we’re starting with some controversy at the very next spot. Now, as I said on the last slide, the drop-off here is considerable. In fact, I don’t even really think Jurassic World is a great movie. But it benefits greatly by being so incredibly connected to the original. It’s almost a guilty by association bonus.

Jurassic World answers the question every fan wondered after the original film. What if everything went right? Everyone was safe and the park not only opened but thrived. It’s a very smart way to revisit the franchise and, for the most part, it delivers on those promises. If anything, it’s a bit too ambitious for its own good, but the ideas and links to the original really make Jurassic World stand out.

Read our full Retro Review of Jurassic World here.

3. Jurassic Park III

Image: UniversalImage: Universal

Yes, I am here with yet another surprise. If you’d asked before the Jurassic Rewatch what the worst Jurassic Park film was, I probably would have said “Jurassic Park III.” I just did not have a single positive memory of it. But watching it again, there is a lot to like in the movie. Mainly that it completely ignores any fluff or exposition that drags down some of the other films, and is just a super-duper simple story about dinosaurs and humans in peril on an island. The action scenes are ambitious and unique, plus, it brings back Grant and Sattler from the first movie! The film is way, way better than you remember it being.

Read our full Retro Review of Jurassic Park III here.

4. The Lost World: Jurassic Park

Image: UniversalImage: Universal

I struggled a bit with this one. The Lost World gets immediate credit, because it’s the only other Jurassic Park film directed by Steven Spielberg. And he’s Steven Spielberg. Right off the bat, you know the film is going to look amazing and have nothing but the best on-screen at every moment. However, The Lost World also feels like a film without an identity. It never solidifies what it wants to be, and presents way too many ideas to feel cohesive and complete. As a result, you get a mess of a movie that has some good moments, but ultimately has to be considered one of Spielberg’s worst. Which still makes it an ok Jurassic movie, but not as good as the previous three.

Read our Retro Review of The Lost World here.

5. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Image: UniversalImage: Universal

Now that you know what number five is you also know what number six is but don’t worry, we’ll get there. First let’s discuss Fallen Kingdom, another movie — like The Lost World before it — where there are too many things going on to really keep things engaging. Half the movie is an island rescue, which turns into an escape, followed by a dinosaur auction and finally, a haunted house movie. Each by itself may have worked better, but all cobbled together, Fallen Kingdom just never inspires the kind of excitement the franchise is known for. And yet, it almost flip-flopped with The Lost World on this list. The two are closer than we’d imagined.

Read our Retro Review of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom here.

6. Jurassic World Dominion

Image: UniversalImage: Universal

And it’s not even close.

Dominion fails on every single level. Is it a good Jurassic Park movie? No. Is it a good sequel to the previous movie? No. Does it justify its existence by having a compelling, interesting story? No. Is it at least a dumb, fun popcorn movie with action scenes that you want to revisit? No!

Choices are made throughout Jurassic World Dominion that boggle the mind. It’s also super long and just when you think things are wrapping up, another dumb obstacle reveals itself. Not even the first full reunion of the three leads of the original can save the film’s offensive banality. It’s just one of the biggest swings and misses in franchise history.

Read our full review of Jurassic World Dominion here… and if you want to see just why it’s so bad for yourself, it’s in theatres now.

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