Written by Don Davis, Peter Buchman, John Williams, Craig Rosenberg, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor
Directed by Joe Johnston

Running Time: 1:32

Rated PG-13
for intense sci-fi terror and violence

Sam Neill
as Dr. Alan Grant

William H. Macy
as Paul Kirby

Tea Leoni
as Amanda Kirby

Alessandro Nivola
as Billy Brennan

Trevor Morgan
as Eric Kirby

Michael Jeter
as Udesky

Laura Dern
as Dr. Ellie Sattler

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Double sided poster

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Dinosaur Chart

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Dinosaurs English Art Print

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Jurassic Kingdom

The next summer event film of 2001 is here in the shape of very large (and sometimes very small) dinosaurs. Although not as exciting or as well put together as the previous two parts, Jurassic Park III still has enough action to make it fun.

Sam Neill makes a return from the original again playing paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant. It is now 8 years since his first encounter with the genetically engineered dinos and Dr. Grant is back to digging up bones. However funding is running out and with no new money in sight, he's getting a little desperate. Just when things look their worst, enter Paul and Amanda Kirby (William H. Macy and Tea Leoni). The Kirbys are a fast living couple (or so they say) who are just looking for their next big adventure. They've rented a plane and gotten permission from the Costa Rican government to fly a charter over Isla Sorna, the second of two dino infested islands. They want Dr. Grant to come along as their guide, and in return they'll pay him well for his time. Little does Dr. Grant realize that the Kirbys are not who they say they are. At least until the plane crash lands on the island, and Dr. Grant must once again lead a group of people off the island before they are killed. This time there are a couple of new dinosaurs not seen before including a Spinosaurus and a few Pterodactyls, which always makes for a good time.

One thing I've noticed is that when there are more than a couple of writers on a film, the dialogue ends up sounding choppy and well, not very good. This movie was no different. The plot was shaky at best but I suppose they needed some reason to go back to an island full of large killer carnivores. And one thing I almost never notice in movies, the makeup, was pretty bad. It can't be a good thing if I'm looking at some of these people after being attacked by a dinosaur, and the blood on their face looks more like some sort of dried red powder. And also some of the dino close ups don't look as realistic as the rest of the film. I know it's not possible to have a real dinosaur stand in so animatronics are used frequently, but like I said, for some of the close ups, they looked like puppets. But all the cheesiness aside, the action sequences were very well done and worth the price of admission.

About 25 minutes in there is a knock down drag out fight between I believe a Spinosaurus and a T-Rex that was very exciting. The scenes with the Pterodactyls were also very well done and very spine tingling. The Velociraptors play a large role in this movie as well. They can actually think and talk to each other, which leads them on a chase for the group since Dr. Grant's protege Billy (Alessandro Nivola) decided to steal some of their eggs. Basically any time there was a dinosaur involved in the film, the film was pretty good.

The down parts of the movie were any time there weren't dinosaurs either on screen, or just off screen. The Kirbys it is revealed, are actually divorced and there are a few scenes in the movie that are better left to love stories with the two of them looking at each other and wondering why they ever got divorced in the first place. That wasn't necessary for any reason. I didn't go see this movie because I was hoping two people would fall in love, I went because I wanted to see large dinosaurs eat people.

The movie also seemed very short compared to the other two. This isn't always a bad thing but here it felt like something was missing. When you get introduced to all the characters, you can pretty much figure out from the start who is going to die and in what order. But the first few people died very quickly once they hit the island so that left only a couple more people ready to die the rest of the film. What I'm saying is there wasn't enough bloodshed for my liking. And while I had read that the director wanted the movie to have a darker tone, I thought there was too much light humour involved. I mean a dinosaur eating a satellite phone that still manages to ring while it's inside the dinosaur, and then again once it's left the dinosaur? I realize this is a movie about dinosaurs, but accepting that fact I think there still needed to be some realism.

So overall, I enjoyed Jurassic Park III, but only when the dinosaurs were involved. Anything that had people talking to each other, or looking at each other, or anything that tried to be funny just kind of left me shaking my head. This movie doesn't live up to its predecessors, but for some good thrills, it's not a bad way to spend a couple of hours.

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reviewed 07/18/01

© 2001 Wolfpack Productions

Wolfpack Productions