It’s the end of an era! If you’re this franchise. Or a giant locust. Check out my plot re-cap below. (If you’re after my review, it’s here. My article on my favourite doctors — Grant, Wu and Malcolm — is here)
Let’s face it, a plot that makes sense isn’t this movie’s strong point. If you were too busy admiring the Pyroraptor, the Therizinosaurus, the Quetzalcoatlus and the Giganotosaurus* and missed something key, check out my comprehensive plot recap below (only achievable because my 10 year old demanded we go a second time…) Hopefully I caught everything.
*The massive feathery chicken-thing that can swim! The one with the long nails! The pterosaur that crashes Kayla’s plane! The really big one!
Around the world, dinosaurs and people are clashing. A fishing trawler and its crew are destroyed and devoured by a Mosasuarus; giant herbivores wander heavy-footed into a mountain lumberyard. Quetzalcoatluses nest on New York skyscrapers, while in the Nevada Sierra mountains Owen Grady works to capture Parasaurolophuses living in the wild so they can be moved to a sanctuary. Biosyn Genetics, run by SEO Lewis Dodgson, has been given sole collection rights for dinosaurs, and his dinosaur sanctuary in the Italian Dolomites also houses the Biosyn HQ.
In the air, planes and helicopters need anti-dino defences to prevent them being attacked during flight.
It’s four years since the last film and Claire Dearing is working to shut down illegal dinosaur breeding facilities, involving breaking in at dead of night so she can gather evidence to report them to the authorities; on this occasion she steals a sick baby dinosaur to save it. Afterwards, her colleague Franklin tells her he’s taking a “proper” job, weary of their subterfuge and its risks. He also feels Claire is doing this work not to help them but to absolve herself from her previous actions.
She and Owen live together in a little house in the woods, “parents” to 14 year old clone Maisie Lockwood, trying to keep her safe as rumours of a missing human clone circulate. She is increasingly angered by their control of her, and Claire realises they can’t keep her hidden for ever.
In Texas a swarm of giant locusts destroys the crops of independent farmers, while leaving untouched the fields of those using Biosyn grain. Dr Ellie Sattler, now working on the impact of industrial farming on the environment, visits an affected farm after the swarm.
Ellie goes to Utah to visit Dr Alan Grant, who is working on a dig. The world’s obsession with living dinosaurs means funding has dried up and he relies on revenue from tourists to keep going. Ellie tells him she’s now single and looking forward to the freedom; for Alan that’s not necessarily all it’s cracked up to be. She tells him the locusts have genes that died out in the Cretaceous period and believes that Biosyn wants control of the world food chain, even if millions die in the process. She asks him to come with her to Biosyn HQ so she can steal a DNA sample from the locusts there to prove her theory, believing the world sees Alan as a credible witness. Ellie already has a way in, an invitation from Dr Ian Malcolm, now Biosyn’s in-house philosopher, who has recently authored the cheerily-titled tome How The World Will End. Alan agrees to accompany her.
En route they visit the US wildlife relocation facility in Pennsylvania, where Ellie sees and plays with the dinosaur rescued by Claire. “You never get used to it,” she remarks in a nod to the first film. The creatures there are also on their way to Biosyn’s dinosaur sanctuary.
Blue, the velociraptor Owen trained, is living with her baby in the woods near Owen and Claire’s house. One day the baby arrives at the house and Maisie feeds it her toast. Blue turns up threateningly, and Owen appears behind Maisie. He warns her Blue would happily attack them, then puts his hand up and sends Blue and the baby away, before going to look for her nest.
Watching them from a distance is Rainn Delacourt, who has been paid (by Biosyn, it turns out) to kidnap Blue’s baby. He realises Maisie is there too. As Owen searches for the nest, Delacourt’s team use a boobytrapped dead fox to tempt Blue, then kidnap her baby. Maisie, who has cycled to the bridge between them and the local town, is trapped and kidnapped there, while a helpless Owen watches from above. Blue turns up at the house and Owen promises her he will bring her baby back.
“I know who to call,” says Claire, as she and Owen head off in their truck to find and bring back the baby velociraptor and Maisie. She contacts Franklin, now working at the Dangerous Species division of the CIA, and he tells them about Delacourt. The CIA has an agent (Barry Sembène, whom they already know) on the inside of Delacourt’s operation, and are about to bust a cash-for-cargo dinosaur deal in Malta.
Ellie and Alan are flown to the Dolomites on a Biosyn plane. They are met by Biosyn communications executive Ramsay Cole, who explains to them about their sanctuary, which was originally bought by Biosyn for its amber deposits. At times of danger, electric shocks direct the dinosaurs to safety within the HQ. They also have apex predators: a T-Rex who has just arrived, and a Giganotosaurus, the largest carnivore to have ever lived. No one ventures into the forest from the HQ.
On landing at Biosyn HQ they meet Dodgson, who explains he wants to use dinosaur genetics for human health advances. Ramsay then takes them to a talk by Ian Malcolm, who is explaining to his audience that humans are not automatically entitled to safety or liberty ahead of other species.
After reuniting, they go for coffee, and Ian — avoiding the ever-present Biosyn cameras — hurriedly explains to Ellie what Biosyn is doing, giving her his ID bracelet so she and Alan can get into the labs. Alan is kept out of this conversation and is clearly jealous of Ellie’s easy friendship with Ian.
Dr Henry Wu tells Dodgson that his locusts out in the wild are too big and not dying; they need to be destroyed. Dodgson instead says they need control, but Wu replies there is no such thing. Dodgson informs Henry they have obtained both Blue’s baby and Maisie; and warns him that if the outside world hears about the locusts they will come for the dinosaurs too. Henry thinks Maisie is the solution to his problem, while Dodgson calls her “the most valuable IP on the planet”.
Maisie and Blue’s baby are flown separately to Malta, landing at roughly the same time. The baby dinosaur’s pilot, Kayla, sees Maisie at the handover spot. Maisie is met by Soyona Santos, a well-spoken English woman, and is then driven away in a car.
Claire and Owen also reach Malta. Barry meets up with the pair, and takes them to an underground marketplace where dinosaurs are traded, forced to fight and in some cases barbecued. He warns them not to get involved and to try to blend in. Claire bumps into Kayla in the bathroom but Kayla rebuffs any overtures, warning Claire to leave as she’s so obviously out of place. Claire shows her a picture of Maisie, but Kayla refuses to get involved.
Santos tells Delacourt she has a new job for him: transporting two killer dinosaurs to Riyadh. They’ve been trained to kill anyone targeted with a red laser, and will not give up. As the bust goes down, the shooting starts. There is chaos in the marketplace, with dinosaurs pulling free from their chains and attacking them. Delacourt is eventually killed by one, but not until both his arms have been chewed off simultaneously. Before he dies he has time to tell Owen that Maisie has been delivered to Santos; Owen call Claire to tell her.
Santos orders her dinosaur cargo released, and aims the laser target at Barry and his men. Claire grabs a taser and follows Santos, briefly subduing her. Santos tells Claire that Maisie has gone to Biosyn, and it’s too late. She then lasers Claire just as one of the dinosaurs breaks in, and Claire is then pursued across Malta’s rooftops until she manages to fall/jump down into the back of Kayla’s truck. Kayla drives them to her plane with Claire in the back, pursued by the dinosaur. Meanwhile Owen saves Barry from a dinosaur, then the two of them manage to recapture it. Santos appears and surreptitiously targets Owen with the laser; he is pursued on a motorbike by two of the creatures. He makes it to the plane just after Kayla has taken off, driving into the open back of the plane. One dinosaur jumps in with him but is pushed into the sea by the bike as the plane gains height.
At Biosyn, Ramsay takes Ellie and Alan around the labs showing them new species being brought back, this time with their original DNA. There is no gene splicing here; their techniques have evolved. He then gives them 30 minutes to look round before they meet at the hyperlink. Ramsay tells them specifically not to go to the lower floors, while pointing out how to get there.
Henry tells Maisie they need Blue’s baby to understand Maisie herself. He explains the DNA from a species of lizard was used to fill the gaps when creating Blue, and as that type of lizard can reproduce without a mate so could Blue. But Henry tells Maisie that she was actually created not by her grandfather, devastated at the loss of his daughter Charlotte; but by Charlotte Lockwood herself. Charlotte loved dinosaurs and grew up to be a scientist — Henry shows Maisie footage of her mother, doing her work, while pregnant with Maisie. That information gives Maisie what she feels has always been missing: a mother. It was after Maisie’s birth that Charlotte discovered she herself has an incurable genetic disease that would kill her, leading her to alter Maisie’s DNA so she would not have the same disease.
He explains to Maisie that Charlotte used a pathogen to change Maisie’s DNA. He needs to study both Maisie and Baby Blue (whom Maisie has named Beta), to fix what he calls his “terrible mistake”: the giant locusts which won’t die.
Ellie and Alan make their way down to the holding area containing the locusts, and eventually manage to get a DNA sample from one.
Maisie suddenly frees Beta and makes a run for it.
The locusts start swarming, and Ellie and Alan just manage to escape, falling out into the corridor almost kissing as they end up on the floor, before they realise Maisie is standing there.
Kayla asks for permission to land at Biosyn and is refused. Dodgson is informed her “cargo” is in fact Claire and Owen, Maisie’s “parents”. He orders the arial deterrence system (ADS), which protects planes from flying dinosaurs, be switched off, and the plane is then quickly attacked with both engines catching fire. Claire ejects using the plane’s one parachute, though she is attacked by the same creatures on the way down before landing in a tree.
Ramsay meets Ellie and Alan at the hyperlink train and reveals himself as Ian Malcolm’s source. Maisie comes out of her hiding place, and she, Ellie and Alan get on the hyperlink.
In the forests of the sanctuary, a huge dinosaur with long claws — the Therizinosaurus — is sniffing around; Claire cuts herself loose then crawls flat along the ground, as it follows her. Coming to a pond, she slithers in and submerges. The dinosaur tries to find her but eventually it loses interest and wanders off. Getting out, Claire can see a building in the distance.
Kayla and Owen crash-land in a frozen manmade pond/reservoir on top of a building. They climb out of the plane and Kayla finally explains why she is helping them: once Claire had shown her Maisie’s photo at the dinosaur market she couldn’t not do something.
A large feathered dinosaur comes for them, swimming under the ice to reach them as they try to run without falling through the ice themselves. Owen falls in and is rescued by Kayla, but the dinosaur bursts out of the ice and chases them. They make it to the building’s external lift just in time and descend. Kayla has an ejector seat tracker with her, so they can find Claire.
Dodgson is shown the footage of Ellie and Alan in the locust box. On the Hyperlink Ellie reveals to Maisie that she was friends with Charlotte, who wanted to use genetic power to save lives. She also wanted Maisie to have what she couldn’t have, a full life.
Dodgson remotely stops their Hyperlink in the amber mines, and the three get out to look for an access door. Ian and Ramsay are summoned to see Dodgson, and Ian is fired for being a mole. Ramsay sees on camera where the three are in the mines and requests they be rescued. Ian addresses the staff there, telling them they are paid big salaries to make them not think critically; Dodgson is also exploiting their fascination with dinosaurs.
Kayla and Owen follow the teacher to Claire’s ejector seat and the T-Rex appears. The Gigantosaurus turns up and the two apex predators fight.
In the mines, Ellie apologises to Alan for taking him away from his solitude and he confesses he wasn’t actually happy. Maisie thinks they are a couple and is surprised when they tell her no.
Ramsay gives Ian an old map of the area, and a jeep. Ian leaves and makes it to the mines access exit, as the three arrive on the other side pursued by dinosaurs. He tries to guess the access code but Ramsay, seeing them on the cameras, remotely opens the gate and they escape.
Claire has made it to the forest building she saw. As she’s trying to get in she hears several dinosaurs in the undergrowth around her and fears she’s surrounded. Suddenly one appears face to face with her; just in time Kayla and Owen appear and attack it. The three make their way inside the building.
Dodgson goes down to the locusts and orders his scientists to destroy them. The locusts are burned, but their glass cage is compromised and they escape, still burning, into the sky.
Ian’s truck teeters over a precipice before rolling down the hill. They end up upside down, only to be freed by Claire, Owen and Kayla, who heard their shouts. A dinosaur stalks them round the upturned jeep, until Ian gets its attention by waving a burning torch. it gives them valuable seconds, though they are still pursued by the creature as they try to find a way in. Eventually, as it tries to come through the upper window into where they’re sheltering; Kayla shoots at it and Claire stuns it.
At Biosyn HQ an evacuation is ordered got all personnel. The dinosaurs start slowly moving towards their inner sanctuary.
Kayla says they need to turn on the ADS and she can then fly them out in a nearby helicopter.
Dodgson wants to start again with Ramsay, who refuses, telling him “I’m not you,” before leaving.
Claire realises it’s the same power system as at the park. Ramsay arrives. They need more power for the ADS, so decide to shut down the primary power system which will divert power into the ADS allowing them to take off safely. Kayla makes her way to the helicopter.
Dodgson takes a canister of dinosaur embryos goes to the hyperlink train. Claire and Ellie go to shut the power off, though it then automatically reboots. As dying locusts fall on them, Claire uses an axe to bash up the system and switch it off for good. Maisie, Alan and Ian go to find Beta. They find her loose, and Maisie holds her focus with her outstretched palm to keep the baby velociraptor back while calming her. Owen and Alan also do this: triangulating. Owen manages to sedate Beta, and straps her to his back before they return to the others.
With the power off, the hyperlink train shuts down and Dodgson gets out. He’s attacked by a dilophosaurus in one of the tunnels, then after running back to the train is attacked and killed by a group of them.
The ADS system is now active. Kayla gets to the helicopter.
Henry Wu appears, and nearly everyone is instantly suspicious. He tells them he can fix the locusts by examining Maisie’s DNA. Maisie is okay with this, and the others relax.
Ramsay tells Kayla not to land as the dinosaurs are now in their HQ sanctuary, but she has no choice. They run out to the helicopter, while the T-rex and Giganotosaurus fight each other. Some of the group become trapped, so Kayla uses a flare to distract one of the dinosaurs. The T-rex appears to be dead but then opens its eyes. It kills the Giganotosaurus, helped by a Therizinosaurus, and the two dinosaurs roar their victory. The T-rex is now the apex predator once more.
Kayla flies everyone to safety. On landing they are treated for minor injuries and talk to journalists while Ellie plans to take her DNA sample to her contact at the New York Times. She asks if Alan will come with her and they kiss.
A news voiceover reports that Ramsay, the Biosyn whistleblower, is speaking to the US Senate, along with Ellie and Alan. Henry Wu manages to use a pathogen to alter the locust DNA. He releases an amazed locust into the swarm, crediting late scientist Charlotte Lockwood. The UN has decreed the Dolomites area a global sanctuary for dinosaurs, and Kayla buys herself a new plane.
Owen, Claire and Maisie release Beta near their home. Blue arrives and mother and daughter run off, before Blue returns to silently thank Owen.
There’s more footage of Charlotte explaining that to survive we must depend on each other and coexist, while we see dinosaurs around the world living with other species: rhinos with elephants, pterosaurs with birds, etc.