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Jurassic Park III – Retro Review

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Movie Review: Jurassic Park III

We’ve looked at the first two films, now let’s look back at Jurassic Park III with Jurassic World‘s release Friday.

Here are the reviews for Jurassic Park and The Lost World: Jurassic Park.

Jurassic Park III is the first non-Steven Spielberg directed film of the franchise. Joe Johnson took over duties as a promise from Spielberg since he originally wanted to direct the second film. Released in 2001,JP III also marks the first time the film wasn’t based on a preceding novel from Michael Crichton though some scenes of the film were taken from his previous novels of which the previous films were based.

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This time the film takes place on Isla Sorna or Site B, which was featured in the Lost World. A divorced couple, Paul and Amanda Kirby (William H. Macy and Téa Leoni) tricks the Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), the first film’s protagonist, to help find their son.

Alan Grant knows a thing or two about surviving dinosaurs in Jurassic Park III.
Alan Grant knows a thing or two about surviving dinosaurs in Jurassic Park III.

We initially find Grant desperate for research money despite his fame as a survivor surrounding the Jurassic Park theme park. The Kirbys’ offer to fund his research upon his help. Grant reluctantly agrees and the adventure begins.

The adventure becomes as much of a survival mission as it is a rescue one bringing a little bit of the spirit of the first film. Grant’s experience from the park left him apathetic, but the film definitely approaches him with the “been there, done that” mentality when it comes to survival on the island. So it’s Grant, the Kirbys, graduate student Billy (Alessandro Nivola), and Kirbys’ mercenaries. What’s the worst that can go wrong?

For some reason, harvesting young dinosaurs becomes another important plot point even though it’s different characters doing the act in each film and the audiences never tire of the same thing.

What most people paid to  see - "Dino fights."
What most people paid to see – “Dino fights.”

While it’s not as ambitious as the second movie, this film introduced new dinosaurs, redshirts, barely fleshed out supporting characters and a minimalist glorified cameo appearance by Ellie Sattler Degler (Laura Dern). Ellie married a lawyer and was involved in the near bookends of the film.

Not saying that it’s terrible, but it is what it is. “Life found a way” to make three and now four film, 14 years later.

Tom Chang
Sci-fi and technology geek since the NES days, Tom loves everything from the cult classics, the contemporary hits to the beast with two backs that is Disney and Marvel. His life's mission is to be the ultimate nerd savant sitting on the iron throne as CEO of Skynet while masquerading as a vigilante at night wearing hockey pads.