Every Main Character In Jurassic World Dominion Ranked Worst To Best

The latest "Jurassic World" film came saddled with a lot of expectations — more than it could ever bear, truth be told. Following the audacious ending of "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," there is a new world order in place, with the human population learning to live alongside the dinosaur survivors of Isla Nublar. While this has the potential for an entirely new kind of story set in this world, the film quickly reverts to the same template we've seen several times before.

The main reason people see the "Jurassic Park" films is for the dinosaurs. Yet, in the past, the series has given us some of the greatest film characters of all time, and "Jurassic World Dominion" features a much larger main cast than either of the preceding films. This means things get a bit crowded, and unfortunately, the combination of stars from both series of "Jurassic Park" films gives the whole thing a disjointed feel, with the dinosaurs often feeling like an afterthought.

That being said, there are a few characters that make an impression. Here is our list of the main characters, ranked from worst to best.

12. Barry Sembene

To director Colin Trevorrow's credit, with "Jurassic World Dominion" he does make an effort to establish some continuity with the other films in the series. Early on, we get cameos from Franklin Webb (Justice Wilson) and Zia Rodriguez (Daniela Pineda), but the one that makes the biggest impact is Omar Sy as Barry Sembene, Owen's velociraptor trainer friend who we haven't seen since "Jurassic World".

Since the fallout from the closure of Jurassic World, Barry has been recruited by the CIA (along with numerous other park employees) and acts as the point of contact for Owen and Claire as they search for Maisie (Isabella Sermon) when poachers kidnap her. Sy is effortlessly cool as Barry, bringing a lot of natural charisma to the role (and we would happily watch an entire film following his team tracking down illegal dino-smugglers). Unfortunately, he is woefully under-used and doesn't get much characterization beyond what we know of him from his first appearance. It would have been great if he had accompanied the heroes through the rest of the film, but sadly, it wasn't to be, hence his low placing on this list.

11. Soyona Santos

The most memorable part of the film is the action-packed sequence set in Malta, where we find a black market for buying and selling dinosaurs. It's a vibrant, witty sequence that shows the many nefarious things the criminal element is using the dinosaurs for (organizing dino fights, roasting smaller dinosaurs on a spit, and selling herbivores off as luxury pets).

Dichen Lachman's enigmatic Soyona Santos fits right in with this colorful environment. She seems like she has walked right off the set of a James Bond film, immaculately dressed and equipped with a high-tech gadget that allows her to weaponize Atrociraptors to attack whomever she chooses. She's the one who coordinates the kidnapping of Maisie and is unflappable in the face of the CIA and dinosaurs, calmly negotiating a higher reward from BioSyn while evading the film's heroes. 

Like Barry, she would be higher on our list if she'd returned later in the film. As it is, she inexplicably returns to the crime scene to get herself arrested. She adds a welcome degree of campiness to her scenes, and it would have been great to see her developed a bit more. As it is, her appearance is limited to the best sequence in the film, which isn't too terrible as far as consolation prizes go.

10. Maisie Lockwood

Leaving aside the retconning and reverse engineering of her backstory, the development of Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon) is one of the more disappointing plot threads in the film. Introduced in the previous film, she is the genetically engineered clone of Benjamin Lockwood's (James Cromwell) daughter who is introduced as his granddaughter. As the person who released the dinosaurs into the world, you would think she would have an interesting arc in this film, potentially grappling with her conscience over the consequences of her actions or coming to terms with her new identity. Unfortunately, this is barely touched upon, and her storyline is ultimately frustrating.

Isabella Sermon is particularly strong in scenes without dialogue (especially in a nice early sequence in which she helps to gently encourage an Apatosaurus to get off the road), but it's just a shame she is let down by cliched characterization. Rather than having any personality, she's just depicted as a stereotypical sullen teenager, and she has zero chemistry with her surrogate parents. Also, the meandering plot thread regarding the truth of her biological origins, while fine on its own, kills the momentum and essentially serves as a distraction from the dinosaurs. Let's face it,  that's the main reason we go to see a "Jurassic World" film.

9. Henry Wu

BD Wong's Dr. Wu, the one constant throughout the "Jurassic Park" and "Jurassic World" films, has had a sketchy progression throughout the new trilogy. Initially introduced in a very brief appearance in the original "Jurassic Park," he next appears in "Jurassic World" as a fairly mercurial and intellectually arrogant character with a yuppyish look. He then becomes more naive and idealistic in "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom". 

In "Jurassic World Dominion," we find Wu at his lowest ebb. He seems to be living in the lower depths of the BioSyn lab where his concerns about the bio-engineered locusts are casually dismissed by his new employer, Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott). Bearing more than a passing resemblance to the reclusive Howard Hughes, he has a sheepish demeanor and a vaguely hippyish new haircut that is entirely at odds with his prior characterization. The film attempts something of a redemption arc for his character, as he is faced with a crisis of conscience over the consequences of BioSyn's actions.

Wu is both fascinated by Maisie's existence and mortified by Dodgson's callous attitude towards the natural resource crisis created by Dodgson himself. That subplot gets abandoned very quickly, and once again, Wu disappears into the background for much of the film. However, he still does his best to atone for the hubris he displayed in the previous films. Still, it would have been more satisfying if he paid for his ignorance and ambition with a heavy dose of poetic justice.

8. Ramsay Cole

Introduced as the protege of the villainous Lewis Dodgson, Ramsay Cole (Mamoudou Athie) is the first person Alan and Ellie (Sam Neil and Laura Dern) meet when they arrive at BioSyn's headquarters. Initially, he is a vaguely sinister presence in the film, casting a watchful eye over the two paleontologists as they sneak around looking for proof of Dodgson's nefarious activities. His true motivations are left ambiguous until it's revealed that he is working undercover to bring BioSyn down from the inside.

Mamoudou Athie is effortlessly cool in the role, and his character is enigmatic and calm under pressure. Even after he's revealed as the whistleblower, it seems like he could still be a villain, and honestly, this might have been more interesting given the lack of human antagonists in the film. As it is, his role becomes confused as the film progresses. It seems apparent to everyone but Dodgson that Ramsay is the one who has been spying on him, and yet, he eventually just tells Dodgson to his face, only to face zero repercussions for his betrayal. He simply walks away.

Ramsay doesn't have the personality or vulnerability of Franklin Webb from "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," and his true agenda is kept obscure for most of the runtime. Still, Athie makes him an interesting character. It's just a shame that he doesn't make more of an impact on the story.

7. Lewis Dodgson

"Dodgson! We got Dodgson here!"

Another character returning from the first film, albeit played by a different actor with Campbell Scott replacing Cameron Thor, Lewis Dodgson is the character who provided Denis Nedry (Wayne Knight) with the fateful can of shaving foam and is the overarching villain of Michael Crichton's novels, so it's exciting to see him finally play a significant role in the film series. 

Scott's depiction of the character is sure to be divisive, but for us, he just about pulls it off. He makes Dodgson an ineffectual tech genius who is nonetheless utterly clueless when it comes to communicating or empathizing with his team. He has a disarming way of delivering dialogue, accompanied by a combination of sighs, hums, and verbal tics that make him instantly unlikeable. It's just a pity that the script lets him down, making him ruthless but singularly ineffective as a villain. He isn't imposing or sinister at all and is surprisingly myopic. He fails to spot that Ramsay has betrayed him, and when he does work it out, nothing comes from it.

Nevertheless, he's an intriguing character who bears a strong resemblance to any number of tech start-up gurus, but he's ultimately a pretty feeble antagonist, especially following Rafe Spall's overtly villainous baddie in "Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom." Dodgson's end serves as a neat bit of mirroring with Nedry in the original film, but it would have been nice if he had done something more to deserve his fate.

6. Owen Grady

How do you put Chris Pratt in your film and make him unfunny? 

The former velociraptor trainer at Jurassic World, Owen is now in hiding with his surrogate daughter, Maisie, spending his time wrangling Parasaurolophus in the wild while on horseback, and being utterly hopeless at being an adoptive parent. After two films insisting that this is the coolest character ever to walk the planet, Owen is uncharacteristically dour and somber, with a pretty flat performance from Pratt. Like or loathe him, he was a charismatic, dynamic presence in the previous films, but now, perhaps as a result of this film's unwieldy cast, he barely registers as a character anymore. It seems like he's phoning it in.

He might not exhibit the personality of the previous films, but he does throw himself into the impressive stunts, running, jumping, and climbing trees with ease. The motorcycle chase is genuinely thrilling as he evades a pair of Atrociraptors and performs an incredible jump onto a plane.

Also, the hand gesture he does to calm down dinosaurs gets old very quickly. This was introduced in "Jurassic World" as a way to pacify the Velociraptors that he had specifically trained, but now, it somehow works on all dinosaurs? It happens way too frequently and provides the basis for a particularly hackneyed attempt at pathos towards the end of the film.

5. Ellie Satler

The biggest selling point in Colin Trevorrow's film is the return of the three stars of the original "Jurassic Park" who are reunited for the first time in nearly 30 years. Of the three characters, Ellie Satler (Laura Dern) is the one who has changed and matured the most since her last appearance in "Jurassic Park 3". Still working as a paleobotanist, she takes an active part in investigating BioSyn's role in the decimation of crops by bio-engineered giant locusts. Tracing the insects back to Dodgson's research facility, she recruits her old flame, Alan Grant (Sam Neill), to help her in a scene that emulates the introduction of John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) in "Jurassic Park".

Now separated from her husband (much to Grant's interest), Satler drives the story forward in a way she was never able to in her previous appearances, taking a far more dynamic role than Grant, who is very much along for the ride. She has kept herself up-to-date in a way that confounds both the old-fashioned Grant, and to a lesser extent, Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), and Laura Dern is great playing against her old co-stars.

It's especially nice to see her re-establish her fondness for cute herbivores, and her chemistry with both Grant and Malcolm feels consistent with when we last saw the three of them together. The moment she describes Malcolm "sliding into her DMs," much to Grant's confusion, is one of the few laugh-out-loud moments in the film. It's a shame that she somewhat fades into the background as the film goes on, but her final reconciliation with Grant is a lovely moment for the two characters — even if it reeks of fan service.

4. Claire Dearing

Bryce Dallas Howard's character, Claire Dearing, remains incredibly annoying (and it's still unclear why she isn't in jail for her actions in either of the previous films), but she does get some character growth in "Jurassic World Dominion." She is finally shown to feel genuine remorse for her role in the rebooted park's failure and the new ecosystem, and her clumsy attempts to communicate with the sulky Maisie are touching even as she works through some truly clunky dialogue. 

The problem with her character is that once again, Howard and Chris Pratt are pretty unconvincing as a couple. As such, Howard impresses most in scenes in which she is on her own and attempting to make her way back to the others. Her encounters with the dinosaurs are much tenser, largely because she is more fallible and more likely to get eaten than the impossibly competent Owen. The scene in which Claire must evade the incredibly creepy Therizinosaurus is the most memorable and unique dinosaur set-piece of the series, with Howard wordlessly conveying her terror as she quietly submerges herself in a pool of water to avoid detection.

3. Sam Neil as Alan Grant

The expert paleontologist and hero of the very first "Jurassic Park," Alan Grant is a little more weathered, a little more grouchy, and a little more bemused, but he's still very much the same character. He remains awkward around other people (especially children) and reluctant to get involved in anything that takes him away from his beloved fossil digs.

True to character, the only reason he gets involved is Ellie Satler, who he is still clearly besotted with. Like Satler, Grant gets less to do as the film goes on, but he's also more overtly comic than in his previous appearances. Sam Neill brings all manner of subtle mannerisms to his character, making him a wryly comic, often hapless hero. He's still a technophobe who relies on Satler to guide him and is reluctant to touch the giant locusts. Still, he proves his mettle when he and his companions are confronted by a pack of Dimetrodons in the tunnels beneath the laboratory. There is another nice moment later on when Grant puts aside his differences with Ian Malcolm, grabbing his arm and saving him, even though he still finds him deeply irritating.

2. Ian Malcolm

Jeff Goldblum's iconic rock-star chaotician is given much more to do than in his previous cameo appearance in "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom." Thankfully, he's still the same idiosyncratic Ian Malcolm, albeit a tad more louche than before. He takes a much more active role in this film, and of the original cast, he is the one who stands out the most, as he effectively saves the day on several occasions while remaining the funniest character in the film. He also gets in a characteristically pointed rant directed at the venal Lewis Dodgson, his erstwhile employer, who he's been quietly gathering evidence against while working as BioSyn's resident philosopher.

Goldblum constantly improvised, and while it's still unclear how many of his ad-libbed lines made the final edit, it informs his playful performance. In a genuinely funny moment, he notices that his shirt is unbuttoned, but in a meta bit of commentary on how old he's gotten, rather than draw attention to it and pose dramatically as he did in "Jurassic Park," he just bashfully buttons it up. His standout heroic moment is also one of the few such scenes that doesn't seem manufactured. Instead, it provides a neat arc for his character. Malcolm remains calm and collected as he faces down the Giganotosaurus.

1. Kayla Watts

Introducing a new addition to the cast who then steals the film from under the noses of the ostensible heroes shouldn't be allowed in the final film in the series, but DeWanda Wise's laconic mercenary, Kayla Watts, emerges as the most interesting character in the "Jurassic World" trilogy. In a series in which we are constantly informed how cool certain people are (ahem, Owen), it's refreshing to meet a character who is just naturally self-possessed and level-headed in a way that doesn't feel manufactured.

Kayla Watts is introduced as a pilot hired to transport illegal goods (and dinosaurs) for the nefarious BioSyn. Initially ambivalent, she has a change of heart once she witnesses Maisie being transported and then comes face to face with the desperate Claire. She is responsible for some of the film's best moments. Wise plays her character completely straight with a dry delivery that elevates some particularly corny dialogue.

As she is not part of the core group, her encounters with the various dinosaurs have unpredictability and tension that is absent from similar scenes with the series regulars. With a similar military background and a passing knowledge of dinosaurs, she also makes a much more plausible and fitting partner for Owen than Claire. It's also worth noting that Chris Pratt has a great deal more chemistry with Wise than he does with Bryce Dallas Howard. In the same way that we now view Pete Postlethwaite's honorable mercenary, Roland Tembo, as one of the best characters in the franchise, Kayla is the standout character of the new trilogy, and honestly, it's a shame she wasn't introduced a film earlier!