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Jurassic Park III movie review

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Jurassic Park III

Lions and tigers and bears? Oh my, if that is what you go into this film expecting, expect to be re-educated. The original Jurassic Park was no ordinary zoo. Instead of bears, there was defecating Triceratops. Not happy with tigers, they opted for million-year old flesh-tearing Velociraptors. And as for lions, well there was a new King of the Jungle: the T-Rex. We certainly weren't in Kansas anymore.

Movie Poster, Jurassic Park III (3), Festivale film reviews
Movie Poster, Jurassic Park III

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In the second film we were offered more of the same and like the tastiest of dishes, it started to lose its flavour. The critics were vicious (a chance to criticise Spielberg doesn't come along every week!) and although box office figures nudged the nose of the tallest Brachiosaurus, it did not have the lasting appeal of the original. And so for many, the prospect of a third visit to the already flailing park was about as appealing as being trapped in an aviary of man-eating Pteranodons.

But unlike the machine-made sequel, the third movie in the monstrous series was tailor made for an audience who knew what they wanted and were fed up with what they had gotten. Spielberg moved aside to allow the fresher blood of Joe Johnston (of Jumanji fame) to take the helm and the filmmakers shredded the story of island-hopping procrastination and ethical debate. The result: a fast and furious mish mash of intelligent and suspenseful action sequences involving some of the most daring fetes, breathtaking stunts and ferociously frightening dinosaurs ever to stomp on our cinema screens! What more could you want???

A STORY! That is right, Jurassic Park III is a double edged sword. Its flaws spawn from its good points and vice versa. Its brevity and inexorable movement serves the movie well, but the opportunity cost in terms of plot and character development may prove too great for some. There is virtually no story in the movie, and what little story there is could have been thought up by someone with the intelligence of the intellectually developed raptors that communicate with each other in the movie.

It essentially involves a couple (played with relish and knowing comedy by William H. Macy and Tea Leoni) conning the famous Palaeontologist Dr Grant (Sam Neill) into revisiting Isla Sorna on an expedition. Grant is cautious at first (after all, it is populated by the same species that have killed many of his closest friends) but eventually goes, not knowing that they are actually going to the Island in search of their missing son.

From here all notion of plot is thrown out the window. It is just one action scene after another when their plane crashes and the dinos get a hankering for the other-other-other white meat. Depending on your state of mind this is either a good and effective way of getting to the point, or a slap in the face to your art house mentality. I personally was wetting myself with glee!

Of course, these films succeed on how interesting the padding (bits between the action) is. And here, although the remnants of plot are quickly a distant memory, the exchanges between the human characters are serviceably interesting. Peppered with mild humour and good natured performances we start to care about these characters to the extent that we aren't disappointed if they survive!

William H. Macy and Tea Leoni as the divorced couple with the common goal are very funny and display great comic timing (Leoni had her own sitcom). Neill is at his pontificating best without sounding too philosophical although having to deal with some rather heavy and banal dialogue. But who really cares?!? The biggest stars of the movie are the two new and central species. The first of these and the main source of terror for the food, I mean people, is the Spinosaurus.

Not content to rely on good old T-Rex anymore, the filmmakers introduce us to a croc-snouted mother who is twice as big and twice as hungry. Just watch as Spiney and Rexy battle it out in CGI glory! The other introduction is the flying animals, the Pteranodons. These are the freakiest dinosaurs ever to grace the screen, and the irony is that in their terror, all they want to do is feed their kids. Awwwwwwww, if only everyone else in the film had such well defined character motives.

But quite frankly who cares? If you are going to buy a ticket to Jurassic Park 3 and haven't been living on the moon since 1993 you know exactly what you are getting. If you are going to buy a ticket, and if you are reading this article you probably know exactly what you are in for and are just as excited as I was. And believe me I was not disappointed! Forget Wonderland and Dreamworld and Seaworld and make your way down to Jurassic Park. You just might never want to leave.

Add your comments 80% Joel Meares
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Written by:
Directed by: Joe Johnston
running time:

The Players: William H. Macy, Tea Leoni, Sam Neill
Official website:
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