When you think of classic Jurassic Park/World characters, Claire Dearing would be way down most peoples' lists. It's true, she's no Alan Grant – Dominion's biggest lesson is that nobody in the modern era ever gets close to the magic of a character like Grant – but I've always thought that she has gotten a rough ride of things. The cold-hearted executive often dismissively nicknamed Claire Moneylady by fans has the most growth of anyone in the entire series, and while Dominion's plot falls apart if you think about it for even a minute, it finally gives Claire her well deserved moments to shine.
Dominion is all about Maisie Lockwood, the clone girl from Fallen Kingdom, which is such a disastrous waste of the dinos in the real world premise that it still annoys me to just type it out. However, at least in doing so, it brings out more of the tenderness in Claire that has been growing ever since her icy Moneylady origins, and gives Bryce Dallas Howard a greater platform to shine as an actor. Given Howard's ability to capture the humanity at the heart of action in The Mandalorian, I'm still slightly regretful we don't live in the world where Universal trusted her to direct the World finale, but at least BDH fans will leave theatres satiated… if still a little confused that the finale to one of the most iconic movie series in history revolved around the clone girl Maisie Lockwood.
Claire is the most human character in this story, with very grounded motivations that allow her to play off emotions and people rather than just acting against dinosaurs. That said, the movie also gives her a handful of action sequences to let her shine to her fullest. Claire has the tensest sequence in the whole movie, as well as encountering this entry's most interesting new dinosaur. Dominion takes time to give its due to Alan, Ellie, and Ian, but so much of it feels like Claire's movie and if it had only done that with a plot slightly stronger than damp cardboard it might have had a chance. I wrote in my review that it feels more like a goodbye than a movie, and after finally seeing what Jurassic World can do with Claire, it's a farewell that's bittersweet.
It's very clear that Dominion understands exactly what it has with Owen and Claire, even if it vastly overestimates how much we care about Maisie (no, I won't give it a rest) or Blue. Owen is a pretty generic action hero, so he gets pretty generic action. You know the deal. He rides motorbikes. He runs. He holds his hand up and all dinosaurs bow before him. He's Owen Grady. But Claire has more depth, so she gets more depth offered to her. She's the emotional heart of the Lockwood arc, and if you find any reason at all to care about Maisie, it will be because you care about Claire. She's alone a decent amount of the time, trusted to carry the movie on her back, while her later pairing with Ellie is inspired. It could come off as a very empty 'let's get the girls together', but the two of them have fantastic chemistry together, drawing a little more out of each other and helping them become more rounded.
Claire Dearing has always been the heart of Jurassic World, and Dominion finally lets her beat. Though destined to always be overlooked in the Jurassic canon, Claire getting her moment three movies in feels like as good a note as any to end on.
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