Which Jurassic Park Film Is Best?

Which Jurassic Park film is the greatest of them all? The first one. That’s the easy part, but how do the other films in the franchise compare?

I decided it would be fun to look at each Jurassic Park film and break them down analytically in various categories, giving a score out of ten for each. That way, we’ll be able to rank the films based on science!

In case you forgot, the Jurassic Park films are:

  • Jurassic Park
  • The Lost World: Jurassic Park
  • Jurassic Park III
  • Jurassic World
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
  • Jurassic World: Dominion

You can check out some of my related blog posts below:

Plot

1stJurassic Park9/10
2ndJurassic World8/10
3rdThe Lost World7/10
4thJurassic Park III6/10
5thJurassic World: Fallen Kingdom4/10
6thJurassic World: Dominion3/10

My original plan was to talk about each film in each category, but I realised that would make this blog post far too long. Instead, I’ll briefly touch on why I’ve rated each one the way I did.

The first Jurassic Park is pretty much as perfect as plots come, and I think Jurassic World and The Lost World did a good job justifying their existence. Jurassic Park III was pushing it slightly, but it wasn’t too bad.

The worst offenders were Fallen Kingdom and Dominion (a phrase I’ll say a lot in this list). Both of them felt completely unnecessary, and Dominion especially had one of the worst film plots I’ve ever seen.

Dinosaurs

1stThe Lost World10/10
2ndJurassic Park9/10
3rdJurassic World8/10
=3rdJurassic Park III8/10
5thJurassic World: Fallen Kingdom6/10
6thJurassic World: Dominion2/10

For as much as I love the original, it only really showcases a few dinosaurs in total. It’s the sequel, The Lost World, that really felt like the magical dino experience in my eyes.

Jurassic World and Jurassic Park III do a great job of mixing things up further, and they’re nothing if not fun dino romps.

Fallen Kingdom isn’t too bad, but the Indorapter felt cheap. And then Dominion hardly showcased dinosaurs at all – you had one job, movie!

Action

1stThe Lost World9/10
2ndJurassic Park8/10
=2ndJurassic World8/10
4thJurassic Park III7/10
=4thJurassic World: Fallen Kingdom7/10
6thJurassic World: Dominion6/10

I’d much rather have an intense dinosaur film than an action-packed one, but The Lost World and Jurassic World proved that it can still be entertaining. Heck, even the original had some great moments of blood-pumping action.

To be honest, none of the films are necessarily terrible at action sequences, but Dominion was easily the one that felt the most boring. No surprises there.

Tension

1stJurassic Park10/10
2ndThe Lost World8/10
=2ndJurassic World: Fallen Kingdom8/10
4thJurassic World7/10
5thJurassic Park III6/10
6thJurassic World: Dominion5/10

Both of Spielberg’s films (Jurassic Park and The Lost World) have some incredibly intense scene – he is the master, after all. Surprisingly, Fallen Kingdom also emulated those early films’ tense scenes quite well.

It’s all downhill from there, though, as pretty much every other film in the franchise neglects the tension to focus on action.

Characters

1stJurassic Park10/10
2ndJurassic World8/10
=2ndThe Lost World8/10
4thJurassic Park III6/10
=4thJurassic World: Dominion6/10
6thJurassic World: Fallen Kingdom5/10

Wouldya look at that, Dominion didn’t finish last for once! Purely because the old cast returned, it has to be said. Spoiler alert, this’ll be the only time that happens in my entire list.

Other than Fallen Kingdom, the rest of the characters in the franchise are fine – but nothing will ever compare to the original.

Jurassic Park’s characters are quite underrated in that regard. They all feel human and believable, and that makes their terror later on all the more terrifying for the audience. Characters like Alan Grant and John Hammond have some fantastic arcs of learning to accept something, and that’s what drives the non-dino scenes.

Final Battle

1stJurassic World9/10
2ndThe Lost World8/10
=2ndJurassic Park8/10
4thJurassic Park III7/10
5thJurassic World: Fallen Kingdom6/10
6thJurassic World: Dominion4/10

This is the only category where the original is close to dropping out of the top two, but even then it finished joint second.

The T-Rex stampeding through a city in The Lost World will never not be entertaining, but it’s the final confrontation in Jurassic World that surprised me the most. It feels like the definitive dino battle, and nothing the sequels did ever topped it.

Fun

1stJurassic Park10/10
2ndThe Lost World8/10
=2ndJurassic World8/10
4thJurassic Park III6/10
=4thJurassic World: Fallen Kingdom6/10
6thJurassic World: Dominion3/10

You could probably guess a lot of these scores.

Dominion is the only Jurassic Park film that I had next to no fun with, and it’s up there with my worst cinema experiences ever.

On the other extreme of the spectrum, it doesn’t get more fun than the original. The island of dinosaurs is portrayed with such wonder, the characters are always engaging, and the pacing is so good that every scene has become iconic.

Final Scores

All of these score will be out of a possible total of 70, and I’ll even provide the average score just for fun:

1st – Jurassic Park – 64/70 [9.14]

Averaging over 9/10 in each category, it’s clear that the original is still the best. If I’m being brutally honest, no Jurassic Park sequel will ever be half as good.

2nd – The Lost World – 58/70 [8.29]

People like to hate on the immediate sequel, but I see The Lost World as a fun action romp with some improved dinosaurs. It obviously has its flaws, but I can look past it when the whole package is so entertaining.

3rd – Jurassic World – 56/70 [8.00]

A return to form, the Jurassic World reboot was exactly what the franchise needed. The sequels didn’t do it any favours, but the first one is a great foray back into the world of dinosaurs.

4th – Jurassic Park III – 46/70 [6.57]

Jurassic Park III is a pretty underwhelming sequel that fails to recapture the imagination, but it has its moments.

5th – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – 42/70 [6.00]

Not a travesty, but Fallen Kingdom was far from what I wanted in a Jurassic Park film. Some of the scenes are intense and well-shot, but the plot and characters drag it down.

6th – Jurassic World: Dominion – 29/70 [4.14]

Combining the worst aspects of all the Jurassic Park sequels, Dominion manages to not only be a disappointing conclusion to the Jurassic World trilogy but also a terrible film in its own right. Nothing about it works, and it would have been better if it was never made.

Aaaaand that’s my list! You can check out some of my latest blog posts below:

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