Wednesday, January 16, 2008

REVIEW: Jurassic Park III

Jurassic Park III

Year: 2001
Director: Joe Johnston
Starring: Sam Neill, Alessandro Nivola, William H. Macy, Téa Leoni, Trevor Morgan
Distributor: Universal Pictures
MPAA: Rated PG-13

It was only a matter of time before another Jurassic Park movie was going to get made. I mean the first two in the series has been very successful and have been one of Universal Pictures best franchises. When I first heard of this film being made, I was kind of excited and sad at the same time. So when I heard Spielberg wasn't coming back as director, but as executive producer, I was alittle worried. I mean its his idea and creativeness that makes the Jurassic Park films lovable. However I still didn't give up hope because Steven Spielberg was still part of the project in some way. When the film released in the summer of 2001, I was one of the many people first in line to watch the film since I have been a big fan of the series all my life.

Plot Outline:
Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) is now a happy man with the previous incidents of Jurassic Park now behind him. Grant is that happy that he announces to the public, that nothing on Earth can persuade him back onto the islands. Paul Kirby (William H. Macy) and his wife, Amanda (Téa Leoni) want a plane to fly them over Isla Sorna, with Dr. Grant as their guide. Grant brings along his partner and friend, Billy (Alessandro Nivola). But not everything Kirby says is true. When the plane lands, Dr. Grant realises that there is another reason why they are there, that he doesn't know of. Now Dr. Grant is stuck on an island he has never been on before, with what was a plane journey now turned into a search party.

The story of Jurassic Park III is pretty weak. Its got the same story as many movies that have come before it so it doesn't do anything new. It does nothing to separate it from other movies in the same genre. The plot is bad with a very cheesy story that doesn't really belong in the movie. I really wish the story was better or atleast alittle more creative like the first two films were. There are many areas of the film where I don't quite agree with the film alot, mostly surrounding the story, but also the Spinosaurus vs. the T-Rex scene. Which we all know ended in a bad, but also wrong way. The film is also much shorter than the first two films with the length being roughly around 1 hour and 30 minutes even though the first two films were about 2 hours each. This makes the story and movie feel alittle rushed and not really focused much on. I think this film could have had a good story if they spent enough time on it.

The cast of the film is also a mixed bag just like the second film was. Here we have some of the characters returning from the first film, but we also have some characters missing. Sam Neill returns as Dr. Alan Grant and he does a pretty good job. He has many memorable lines that usually worked in the film, but I enjoyed his character much better in the first film compared to this film. We also have Laura Dern making a few appearance in the film as Dr. Ellie Sattler, but even she has only a few lines. We get William H. Macy playing Paul Kirby, but he doesn't really have any great scenes where he stands out. We get the lovely Téa Leoni playing Amanda Kirby and even she doesn't have any fantastic moments in the film. Also included in the cast is actor Trevor Morgan whom to me looks pretty bad in the film. He looks like he doesn't really belong in the film, but rather another teen movie.

The special effects have always been outstanding in every Jurassic Park film and that trend continues here. Having been the newest in the series, benefits from more advanced technology so the dinosaurs look better than ever. They are more sharper and you can really see the detail on their body. There are a few moments in the film where the visuals do look alittle buggy, but the film overall looks plain awesome. The T-Rex vs. the Spinosaurus scene was really cool to watch although it ended in a wrong way with a certain dinosaur killing the other one when it should have been the other way around. The environments look really bright and colorful with the jungles really standing out. The film has a some what more brighter tone than the second film which had a darker tone. With all of this said, the special effects are still great and still stand out in today's world.

The previous two Jurassic Park films have featured a fantastic score from composer John Williams so its a no brainer that this film also has the royal treatment. John Williams once again returns as the composer for the film and he lays out a great score that really goes well with the film. While we still do get the famous sound track from the first two previous films sounding better than ever, we also get many other different ones. The music is loud and engaging that makes the experience all to well. The bass is cranked up to the level where even gun shots get the cool sounding effects. The dinosaurs sound great with many of the vocalization still there. I was really satisfied with the soundtrack for the film. I think John Williams did another amazing job for this third Jurassic Park film and he definitely deserves credit.

In the end, Jurassic Park III isn't a great sequel or a great film. It stays away from the great plot that the first two films had and introduces elements that we have seen before. I was really disappointed by the story of the film. The cast is not really memorable even though we have a few cast members from the previous film return. The special effects and soundtrack are as great as usual with both benefiting from more technology. Even though Jurassic Park III wasn't a great film, its still pretty enjoyable. I was entertained by the film even though it kind of sucked. This is still worth checking out for its entertainment. I only wished the film was longer because the 1 hour and 30 minutes the film has doesn't do it any justice. Maybe Jurassic Park IV can bring this franchise back from the dead whenever the fourth film gets released.

Grade: C

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