Flix at :48: 'Jurassic World: Dominion' couldn't end soon enough
As of June 19th, Jurassic World: Dominion was over $621 million in worldwide box office earnings, the 7th best box office numbers for a domestic studio release since 2020. Those numbers aren't too shabby in a year with disappointing returns for hopeful blockbusters like Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore and Morbius which both came out in April. So even though this sixth installment in the Jurassic universe gives a nice jolt to the movie industry this summer, it gave me repeated whacks to my head.
Years after the last film Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) showed dinosaurs unleashed upon our planet, a succinct but rushed news broadcast brings all viewers up to speed in this newest film with humans and dinosaurs trying to live together amid constant tenuous danger. As if 947 different dinosaur species isn't enough to raise the entertainment value, this film has a farming conspiracy with locusts, a secret human clone and an underground network of thieves and scammers who sell or trade living dinosaurs on the black market.
You've heard the phrase less is more, haven't you? Well Jurassic World: Dominion has never heard of it, for it throws everything (including the kitchen sink) down your throat in an effort to be a multi-faceted spectacle. But in trying to be a sexy, globe-spanning James Bond or Mission Impossible adventure, it ends up a mess of too many ideas, too many characters and too many impossible brushes with death.
Sometimes a science-fiction-themed film falls flat because it gives too much focus on the realism of the technology and visual effects and not enough focus on the realism of the people, their emotions and their relationships. Even this explanation is too charitable for Jurassic World: Dominion. From the very beginning, all the dialogue is so shallow, so boring and so desperate to be funny, it was ridiculous and even worse than the dialogue in Top Gun: Maverick. (A sentence I never thought would come out of me.)
And while the dinosaurs look exciting and fierce, even the visual vibe of this film is a cheese fest. So many moments of heavy-handed cinematography give throwbacks to famous moments, or famous publicity images, from past Jurassic Park and Jurassic World films. It's like the director, Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World, 2015), is saying, "Hey guys, remember when this happened? Remember when this was cool?!"
At a run time of 2 hours and 27 minutes, you know you're watching a bad film when you keep thinking, "When does this end so I can finally go home?"