Jurassic Park III (2001)

DVD Cover (Universal)
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Overall Rating 52%
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Ranked #474
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Connections: Jurassic Park

An insistent but lucrative invitation by the well-off thrill-seekers, Paul and Amanda Kirby, drags Jurassic Park's survivor and esteemed paleontologist, Dr. Alan Grant, to InGen's Isla Sorna for an aerial tour, eight years after Isla Nublar's absolute debacle. However, only when the team gets marooned on the seemingly isolated island will Dr. Grant unearth the naked truth behind the couple's risky proposition, as a multitude of ferocious living fossils hunts them down like prey. Is there an escape from this green inferno of primeval horrors? --IMDb
Review by Chad
Added: March 28, 2006
In the third and final (for now) entry into the series, we start the film sometime after the events of the second movie, though how far ahead is never mentioned as far as I can recall. We kick things off with young Erik Kirby (Trevor Morgan) and his mother's friend Ben going on a parasailing trip just off the coast of Site B (the island from the second movie). As it turns out, the public is well aware of the dinosaurs on these islands by now, and a few guys give illegal "tours" of the island by means of this parasailing operation. With Erik and his friend extremely high up in the air taking in the view, the boat hits a patch of fog and begins to jostle about. After the boat emerges from the fog, Erik looks down and notices that the crew is gone, leaving nothing behind but a pool of blood. Ben, noticing that the boat is headed directly towards a large rock formation, releases the ropes that hold them to the boat, and both he and Erik drift towards this dinosaur-infested island...

Meanwhile, we catch up with the returning Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), who has decided to continue his dinosaur research, researching the Velociraptor in particular. Grant and his co-worker Billy Brennan (Alessandro Nivola) have made some amazing discoveries about the beasts, notably about their intelligence and their ability to communicate with one another... the pair have even managed to replicate a Velociraptor voice box. The sad thing is that even with all of these new-found discoveries, the funding for their project is about to run out and when that happens, Grant will be forced to cease his operations. Out of nowhere, Grant gets a visit from Paul Kirby (William H. Macy), who invites Grant out to dinner with he and his wife Amanda (Téa Leoni) so that they can discuss a business proposal. Grant reluctantly agrees, and that night, he finds out that the couple are thrill-seekers who have "done it all" and would like to do something exciting for their wedding anniversary: namely, flying a plane over the dinosaur-infested island to catch a glimpse of the beasts. Grant refuses at first, but when Paul pulls out the checkbook, he quickly changes his mind. The problems arise when we find out that this couple aren't in this for the sightseeing, and that the young boy who was lost at the beginning of the movie was their son. The two land their plane on the island and set out to find their kid, leaving Grant no choice but to escort them. Grant soon finds out that while the Tyrannosaurus Rex was a nasty critter, there's a new king of the island in the form of the Spinosaurus; a much larger and much more vicious meat-eater.

This is usually regarded as the worst of the trio by many, and it's pretty easy to see why. Whereas the first film attempted to convey a message and the second film went for a darker approach while still retaining some of the "message" from the first, this one is simply an action-based Hollywood blockbuster featuring dinosaurs. While it's not a bad movie because of that, it does feel a bit repetitive... the chase sequences have been done to death in the first two films, and the special effects, while still great, have lost the "freshness" that they previously had. It was quite nice to see the new dinosaurs, but at the root of things, there's not much innovation to be found in this entry. Sure, it's entertaining to watch the dinosaurs eat people, and the action scenes are pretty nice, but bringing something new to the table would have helped make this movie leagues better.

The acting is a step up from the last film as well, with Sam Neill easily turning in the best performance as Grant. He hasn't missed a step in the eight years since we last saw him in the role, and he easily takes command of each scene he's in (both as an actor and as a character). His film sidekick Alessandro Nivola is also enjoyable, and although he never manages to outdo Neill in the acting department, he's still an entertaining character. William H. Macy and Téa Leoni play the annoying couple, almost acting like tourists on this island, and the key word for this couple is annoying. That's their job in this film, and let me tell you... they do a damned fine job of that. They do such a good job, in fact, that I was seriously rooting for them to die by the end of the film. That's not to say that the two did a bad job with the roles, but quite the opposite; they played them to perfection. Trevor Morgan as young MacGyver... excuse me, Erik... is the only downside in the casting side of things, but his performance easily slaughters that of Vanessa Lee Chester in the second film, so at least he's a step up in that regard.

If you enjoyed the chase / action sequences of the first two films and want to see more, this is the movie for you. If, however, you want to see something new from the series besides a couple of new dinosaurs, you'd be better off waiting until Jurassic Park IV rolls around as you're definitely not going to find it in this entry. As a stand-alone movie, it's pretty good... but as a sequel, it's nothing more than a rehash of things we've already seen. 5/10.
Bliss From A Dead Embrace #1: Bliss From A Dead Embrace - added 01/30/2009, 01:54 AM
Lucid Dreams #2: Lucid Dreams - added 07/08/2010, 12:58 AM
The kid Erik pissed me off so much in this film. 5/10
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