Jurassic Park III

Jurassic Park III


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

There are limitations to the chase movie, as there are no limitations to computer-generated dinosaurs. The latest in the Jurassic Park franchise offers both.

The main reason why No 3 should not be dismissed with a cynical shrug is Sam Neill. He returns as Dr Alan Grant, the palaeontologist who barely escaped with his life first time round and stayed away from Jurassic 2 (The Lost World). Not only does he provide continuity, but adds weight to a flimsy storyline. As an actor, he has integrity, which is worth a lot when going back over old ground.

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The script follows traditional lines. A straggly herd of homo sapiens rush about like headless chickens on a remote island, inhabited by prehistoric creatures, most of which want to eat them. Why they are there is of no great importance - the premise is stupid, anyway. The question is, who's next for monster munch?

After all these years, and heaven knows how many blockbusters, the technical advances in special effects never fails to amaze. Since Steven Speilberg astonished the world with his Tyrannosaurus Rex in 1993, things have moved beyond jaw-dropping incredulity to what-else-is-new? In the case of JP3, there are scaly killers that are genuinely frightening, especially when they attack each other, and wonderful winged carnivores that make condors look like sparrows.

In the pre-island sequence, Dr Grant gives a lecture to JP groupies. He talks of raptors as smarter than primates, who had the ability to communicate with each other in a more sophisticated manner than previously thought. If dinosaurs had not been decimated by whatever natural disaster, "raptors rather than humans would have become the dominant species." And guess what? He gets to talk with them.

Speilberg has passed the baton to Joe Johnston, who directs the action scenes (is there anything else?) with professional efficiency. It helps having Neill, William H Macy and Tea Leoni on board. Macy plays a businessman, who comes to the island to find his son. Leoni is his estranged wife. How the boy landed there is too far-fetched, a bit like the ending, which lets the movie down.

Reviewed on: 19 Jul 2001
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Sam Neill goes back to dinosaur island and is chased all over again.
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Director: Joe Johnston

Writer: Peter Buchman, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor

Starring: Sam Neill, William H Macy, Tea Leoni, Trevor Morgan, Alessandro Nivola, Michael Jeter, Laura Dern

Year: 2001

Runtime: 95 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US


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