Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Movie Review: "Jurassic Park III" (2001)

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Movie"Jurassic Park III"
Director: Joe Johnston
Year: 2001
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

Paul (William H. Macy) and Amanda Kirby (Téa Leoni) claim to be adventurers who looking for new challenges. They approach Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) about being their guide for a low flyover of Isla Sorna, aka Jurassic Park site B, since he has experience with living dinosaurs. He is very reluctant, but agrees on the insistence his assistant Billy (Alessandro Nivola), as well as the promise that they will fund his dig and they will not land on the island. But Paul and Amanda have ulterior motives and have every intention of landing on Isla Sorna to find their missing son. 

Remember when the Jurassic Park franchise was good? It really wasn't that long ago.

This is the first time a "Jurassic Park" film was made without a book on which to base its content. This time around, filmmakers bring back Sam Neill to reprise his role as Dr. Alan Grant. They also bring back Laura Dern, who again plays Dr. Ellie Settler in a much smaller supporting role. Dr. Grant and Dr. Settler are no longer a couple and she has settled down with a husband to raise a family, and he is still digging up dinosaurs and doing lectures. Dr. Grant is still all about the raptors, theorizing about how they have sophisticated communication abilities and if it weren't for the mass extinction event, they would have become Earth's most dominant species instead of humans. This will, of course, play a part in the later portion of the film, as will a 3D printed resonating chamber. William H. Macy and Téa Leoni play a pair of plot devices named Paul and Amanda Kirby and only serve as a catalyst to get Dr. Grant to go Isla Sorna. Their son wound up accidentally parasailing onto Isla Sorna a few weeks prior, and with no government offering to help, the Kirby's have take matters into their own hands. Yeah, a rich white kid parasailing into an island that used to/still does house dinosaurs...nooooo, that wouldn't make the news. *coughbullshitcough* They have also hired a mercenary team to assist in his rescue, but they are essentially the equivalent of a Star Trek red shirt in that are only there to die as soon as they land. All in all, besides Sam Neill's reprised character of Alan Grant, most of these other people are grating and purposeless.

The main reason "Jurassic Park III" exists is to introduce some new dinosaurs, primarily, the Spinosaurous, the largest predatory dinosaur known to man. This dinosaur serves as the film's main antagonist. The Spinosaurous seems to spend its entire time on screen hunting down this small pack of humans for prey instead one of the hundreds of giant herbivores that roam the island, but we digress. The other new dinosaurs introduced are some pteradons that are enclosed in a aviary on the island, and they also play a pretty major part in the film as they want to use the party of humans as food for their babies. Finally, in a semi-recycled plot from "Jurassic Park 2," Dr. Grant's assistant Billy Brennan, played by Alessandro Nivola, snatches a pair of raptor eggs. Much like the T-Rex in part 2 that searched for its baby, the raptors go on a search for their missing eggs and show an even higher level of intelligence and sophistication than they did in the first movie. Apart from these new dinosaur introductions, nothing really exciting or new happens during the movie. The film uses a mix of CGI and practical effects to create the dinosaurs this time around, and though not terrible, it is often very clear when something is an animatronic and when something is CGI. This really brings down the film a lot since the early 2000's were not known for their stellar CGI as a whole. At the end of the day, by the time this flick came out, the format and story were just too tired, and simply showing dinosaurs on screen with nothing else to back it up had lost its awe. It definitely takes more than a few new dinosaurs and a recycled plot to get us excited, but there may be hope yet. We want a good story and some in-depth characters, as well as a much less contrived, much more interesting story, and we are anticipating with all of our might that "Jurassic World" will be the answer to our long-awaited sequel hopes and dreams.

My Rating: 4/10
BigJ's Rating: 4.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 49%
Do we recommend this movie: No.
To see our review for "Jurassic Park," click here.

To see our review for "The Lost World: Jurassic Park," click here.

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