Jurassic Park III
Reviewed by Steve Crow
Rating: 6 Beans
n this third movie in the "Jurassic Park" sequel, Professor Alan Grant (Sam Neill - Omen 3) gets roped into traveling back to the island of dinosaurs to help a rich couple, Paul and Amanda Kirby (William H. Macy and Tea Leoni) rescue their son. Accompanied by Grant's assistant Billy (Alessandro Nivola - Face/Off) and a team of mercenaries, they make their way to the island only to lose their plane and most of their equipment. The group has to avoid dinosaurs while locating the couple's son.
And . . . that's about it. Characterization pretty much goes out the window in what is essentially a video game. People run from Point A to Point B to Point C, with very little connection between scenes. For some inexplicable reason there are a lot of jabs at the earlier movies: the comments about "Grant's first book" and absent scientist Malcolm, and a quick dispatching of the T-Rex that was a prominent part of the first two movies in favor of the new Spinosaurus . . . in a screen battle that is over way too quickly and uses way too many close shots to be very impressive.
Only Sam Neill seems to retain some dignity. Leoni is reduced to yelling out the son's name over and over and over, and exchanging trite "relationship" dialogue with co-star Macy. Laura Dern (Wild at Heart, Blue Velvet) briefly recaps her role from the first movie for no particular reason. I'm not quite sure why we're supposed to care if these characters escape.
The dinosaurs themselves are okay to look at, but act kinda goofy. Some dinosaurs such as the compys get but a brief scene or two, giving one the impression there present just to justify another action figure for the toy market. The Spinosaurus is inexplicably persistent in its attempts to get at the group: isn't there easier food to track down? The raptors are at least given a reason to be after the group (sort of - were they really that maternal?). Only the pteranodons seem both effective and their inclusion reasonably well-considered. The group meets them, fights them, escapes them, and leaves them behind. Although the pteranodon/aviary sequence does lead to an extreme "throw your popcorn at the screen" moment at the end of the movie. A surviving character somehow manages to float downstream _past_ the group on its powered boat and somehow beat them to the coast.
In fact, the ending seems dreadfully rushed. There really is no ending: the movie just . . . tapers off. Again, comparisons to a video game are unavoidable. They get to Point Z, they get swept off the island, run a final prologue/closing speech, and cue the credits.
If you like dinosaurs and want to watch a live-action video game, check this one out.
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