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14 reviews, 182 user ratings

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Jurassic Park III
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Pitched squarely at kids with low attention spans."
2 stars

It may seem odd to criticize a summer movie for delivering the goods, but 'Jurassic Park III' delivers the goods to the exclusion of anything else.

The movie is the utmost in studio wish-fulfillment: You want raptors, we got 'em; you want dinosaurs you haven't seen before, we got a huge Spinosaurus and flocks of pteranodons; you want chase scenes, you want action, we got plenty of that. So why couldn't I quite warm to this stripped-down dino-fest? Maybe because it feels totally animated by what Universal thinks -- or hopes -- we want; it feels like one of those old one-off Marvel comic books with plot points suggested by readers.

The original Jurassic Park (1993) and its follow-up The Lost World (1997), both directed by Steven Spielberg, had their moments of bloat and absurdity, but that only made the dinosaur attacks seem more vivid. (In Jaws and Close Encounters, Spielberg was able to surround the money scenes with dialogue and character scenes of actual interest, but that was back in the '70s, when such things were allowed in big movies.) This time, Spielberg steps aside and lets Joe Johnston (Jumanji, October Sky) take the wheel; Johnston seems determined to eliminate anything that critics jeered at Spielberg for doing, but he lacks Spielberg's malicious taste for suspense.

There's nothing here like the ominous whoooom ... whoooom ("That's an impact tremor, is what it is," Jeff Goldblum stammered; "I'm fairly alarmed here") that announced the T. rex in the first film, or the witty clack-clack of the raptors' claws tapping patiently on the kitchen floor. Johnston's dinos just pop up and chase whatever's around. More than before, they come across merely as big monsters who occupy the center of action scenes. Jurassic Park III is spectacular but not scary or thrilling -- Johnston has graciously, if probably unintentionally, given Sony a good template for a PlayStation game.

Once again, a child is in danger; this time it's young Eric (Trevor Morgan), who's marooned on Isla Sorna, the "second island" of genetic-dino breeding seen in The Lost World. Eric's divorced parents (William H. Macy and Téa Leoni) unite to go save him; they lure the original movie's hero, Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), to help them by waving a fraudulent promise of big money in his face. If Macy and Leoni were presented as obsessive, narcissistic parents driven to find their son no matter who else gets killed, the movie might've had some bite, but they're painted as everyday boring people for the audience to relate to, and William H. Macy, aside from a couple of funny lines, hands in his least inspired performance ever.

Ironically, Laura Dern probably comes off best here -- maybe because she's worked with Johnston before (in October Sky), maybe because she's only in it for about five minutes and feels relieved not to have to run screaming from thin air. Playing a happily-married-with-two-kids Ellie Sadler (not married to Alan Grant, we note with some surprise; the movie never tells us what happened), Dern seems loose and relaxed -- qualities not shared by those on Isla Sorna, for obvious reasons. Sam Neill does some of the same ah, shit, not this again shtick Jeff Goldblum did in Lost World, but whereas Goldblum made it work for his character, Neill -- the actor, not the character -- looks resentful at having to revisit this digital playpen.

The credits inform us that Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor worked on the script; if you know the names, you're probably as big a fan of the satires Citizen Ruth and Election (both written by Payne and Taylor, and directed by Payne) as I am. You will probably also enter Jurassic Park III curious as to what contributions they made; you will very likely leave the movie still curious. Surely nothing in this dino smackdown is remotely satirical, with the vague exception of a recurring satellite-phone gag, which may be a sly goof on how the T. rex's presence is always broadcast well in advance. But if Payne and Taylor were assigned to the script not to add anything brilliant but simply to remove anything blatantly oafish, they seem to have overlooked many such moments (my favorite is the scene where a man steps in front of a speeding airplane, expecting it to stop for him). Those who keep track of such things will note that the sole black character is among the first to become dinosaur stool, while the sole female is a dithering buffoon; this movie follows its two predecessors into the land of retro pulp adventure, pre-political correctness, yet lacks Spielberg's affectionate parodic wink at same (not only in the previous Jurassic Park entries but also in his Indiana Jones series).

So how are the dinosaurs? As sculpted by Stan Winston and animated, in part, by ILM's computer wonks, they're looking smooth; the dinosaurs in the first Jurassic Park that blew us all away in 1993 already look a little, well, 1993 in comparison with the 2001 models. (Students of such things may be able to trace the development of computer animation through the Jurassic Park movies alone.) But the dinosaur scenes also go by too fast; it's not only that Johnston isn't the mechanical wizard Spielberg is -- he also doesn't have Spielberg's team of editor, composer, and cinematographer. Much of Jurassic Park III looks alternately washed-out and too dark -- it looks crappy, to be blunt.

And the film zips by too fast for any one sequence to gather weight or momentum. When the mighty T. rex and the even mightier Spinosaurus duke it out, it should be a true clash of the titans, a climactic collision of apocalyptic force, but it arrives too soon and is staged at such a hectic pace that it's over before you know it. That goes for the rest of the movie too, really.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=899&reviewer=416
originally posted: 01/20/07 23:50:28
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User Comments

2/28/19 Homo habilis I'd rather have my arm ripped off by a feathered raptor than by a featherless raptor 1 stars
9/12/17 morris campbell cool the dinosaurs still impress 4 stars
9/23/14 Anees Shaik Just Perfect - Fan of Dinosaurs 5 stars
5/09/13 Gman This film deserves no stars. Its abysmal, and it insults the fans of the first two! 1 stars
5/08/13 Mr. DNA I would've like this movie if it weren't for the stupid plot holes, and lame SFX. 1 stars
2/08/13 Kcaj Fun to watch. The subplot of billy and grant being gay was a bit unneccesary though 4 stars
10/30/11 Jon Horrible. It felt like a TV show, but it was worse because this is supposed to be a movie. 1 stars
1/12/11 Matt Stilwell Nowhere near as bad as everyone says it is. I really like it. 4 stars
8/10/10 Chad Dillon Cooper Another Hostess Twinkie from the Hollywood bakery. 2 stars
8/02/08 Shaun Wallner This movie has some great scenes in it. 5 stars
7/13/08 Samantha Harding Its was AWESOME its so vilent but not as vilent as 2. 5 stars
6/21/08 Bob makl It Wasint that bad, considering fucky other sequels 4 stars
5/22/08 Naveed not bad. atleast it helped me 2gain some knowledge about dinosaurs 3 stars
5/14/08 Abrar Ahmed 3deaths back2back??shud hav been random.M eagr 4JP-4 Mr.Spielberg wit better story dis time 3 stars
1/12/08 nosipho I THOUGHT THE MOVIE WAS SO NICE 4 stars
10/23/07 Beau I thought this sequel had everthing! great action, suspense, unpridictable and enjoyable!! 5 stars
8/22/07 raheema excellent iloved it 5 stars
8/02/07 itchmr underestimated because it was a third release in the franchise, the performances were solid 4 stars
7/30/07 Seisomsaur Stanley Thai is right, better than #2, but not #1. Fun to watch. 4 stars
7/30/07 Dr.Dino A great addition to Jurassic Park franchise. 5 stars
7/28/07 GWolf The only Jurassic Park Monster Movie 2 stars
7/28/07 Dinoslayer Good for entertainment, free of expression. For other words, a caramel covered air pocket. 3 stars
4/22/07 David Risser One of the top 20 movies I have ever seen. Highly recomended 5 stars
4/01/07 Stanley Thai Better than the second film (not the first) and a great popcorn flick! 4 stars
2/24/07 justine i like to watch jurassic park 1 5 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega Still a good creature feature flick. 4 stars
1/21/07 del Better than 2 (which was bad, too), but still just one big "Meh..." 3 stars
1/15/07 David Pollastrini not as good as the first two 4 stars
11/11/06 Austin Wertman NOT AS GOOD AS THE FIRST TWO, BUT STILL ALOT OF FUN 4 stars
8/09/06 Dragon The Artist Worst of the 3, but still watchable& at least 1/2 way decent. 3 stars
6/27/06 joe koski its good but not as good as jurassic park 1 3 stars
4/21/06 Jack Excitingly great 5 stars
3/11/06 Sam The ending could have been better, but still a solid flick 5 stars
3/09/06 Dk the weakest in the trilogy and the stupidest to 2 stars
1/02/06 Anthony Feor Not as bad as you would think 4 stars
12/21/05 cody a good sequel better than part 2 , great dino action and fun ride from beginning to end 4 stars
10/10/05 Wisamane what a Horribly made Plot! Not worthy of the JP name!! 1 stars
8/10/05 ES The dinos were great, love that T-rex fight 4 stars
7/25/05 Mark Radburn Jurassic Park 3 is the Greatest movie ever 5 stars
7/21/05 jada movie was HORRIBLE! but whenever i need a good laugh, i re-read DokBrowne's review. 1 stars
5/27/05 Quigley pretty good action and great digital effects, but the plot was as cardboard as the lost kid 4 stars
5/26/05 tony t-rex dead?(don't get it). Sometimes very predictible and very slow. But pretty good anyway 4 stars
5/25/05 Lindsay Dude, that is SO funny. I agree with u, though u have opinion issues, ur hilarious!! 1 stars
5/19/05 Luke BlackAdder Anyone who does not like this film are assholes, Jurassic Park 3 is a must-see 5 stars
5/09/05 I don't know very interesting 5 stars
4/26/05 moviesamurai nothing new-just a slightly new plot 2 stars
4/22/05 John carelessly made cash in on a franchise name 1 stars
3/18/05 Tyrantis In a Batman movie, you don't kill Batman. In Jurassic Park, YOU DON'T KILL THE REX! 1 stars
1/26/05 Aaron Smith Not as good as first, but whole lot better than Lost World 3 stars
12/24/04 John lifeless, predicatble and flat, if it wasn't for the pterodactyles it would be horrendous 2 stars
11/20/04 Mark Jurassic Park 3 rules 5 stars
11/19/04 screb liked it 4 stars
8/26/04 American Slasher Goddess A boring retread, that does nothing new with the series 2 stars
8/01/04 Anthony G One of the dumbest movies ever, makes pee wee hermans playhouse look like the best movie ev 5 stars
7/18/04 Benjamin Petrofsky What?! T.Rex conquered? In your dreams! Movie was good anyway. 4 stars
6/13/04 Craig The ending sucked, the rest is at least somewhat worthy of the series. 4 stars
6/11/04 Raymond Lee what a ride 5 stars
6/10/04 Daveman An entertaining improvement over the second film but still nowhere near as fun as the first 3 stars
6/09/04 Evan just thought i'd annoy everyone 4 stars
5/16/04 Jack Bourbon Entertaining B-shlock 4 stars
5/15/04 somewhere As Bad as the 2nd one 1 stars
5/08/04 hef liked 1 & 2, hated 3 1 stars
5/05/04 J.Peckerfoot what a pile of dino shit. i loved the first and even the second.no thanks #3! 2 stars
4/09/04 American Slasher Goddess The worst of the series,boringly bland. 2 stars
3/29/04 Michelle It's the reviewer who is pretty bad, not the movie! 5 stars
3/18/04 Umbrella Corporation. PLZ! LET PART 4 BE BETTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3 stars
3/16/04 The Dude This movie sucks my ass. 1 stars
2/28/04 DM Should have stopped with the first one 1 stars
2/06/04 c.r This movie is better than part 2 and love any dinosaur movie! 3 stars
1/21/04 Joe BLANK one who enjoys this film must be one who has the word enjoy mistaken for it's antonym. 1 stars
10/06/03 KYLE HE GUYS WHATSUP 5 stars
5/27/03 Tom JP3 Better than #2? Are you out of your mind? The movie is Terrible. 1 stars
4/25/03 BILLY This should have been called Jurassic Shit 1 stars
4/10/03 Jack Bourbon Not bad. Keeps it short and simple. Should have sent more characters to JP to die, though 3 stars
3/29/03 Ionicera painful to sit through 1 stars
2/23/03 Paul What a 180 million box office joke... 1 stars
2/19/03 Matthew Jones Great Dinos. Spinosaurus is real, dumbass (this to reviewer Slyder) hope they make #4! 4 stars
2/11/03 spacecowboy stupid. 3 stars
2/06/03 Turtle JP3 is better than #2, but doesn't touch #1. It ain't gonna win any awards, but it's fun. 4 stars
1/29/03 Bob Josephine SUCKE FUCKING DICK! HATE IT 1 stars
12/17/02 C.reeves A great movie in the Jurassic series. 4 stars
11/26/02 Evil Cartman This movie sucks all ass! Die Tea, DIE!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
11/08/02 Stevo Best of the series, dumbass but thrilling. The genius raptors are still ridiculous though. 4 stars
9/28/02 CVJ CRAP 1 stars
9/01/02 movie guy THE BEST JURASSIC PARK EVER 5 stars
8/19/02 jurassiraptor Made just for the fans, and loved by the fans. Perfect movie; better than all competition 5 stars
8/17/02 Zefram Mann Pointless movie. Kid was a boy Newt. BTW, the Spinasaurous is a REAL dino. RESEARCH MAN!!! 3 stars
8/15/02 Shaun while the movie was rushed without a script, its fun in its B-Movie way, gets the job done 4 stars
8/13/02 palaboy101 better than "The Lost World" 4 stars
6/13/02 Film Guy what the shit is this A raptor saying Alan I almost lost it . What an insult to the 1st 1 stars
5/18/02 Jon Artus Could only be made worse by Jeff Goldblum in a polka-dot bikini. 1 stars
5/14/02 Blake THIS ONE GOES ON TOP, NON-STOP ACTION! 5 stars
3/11/02 Monday Morning The feelgood film of the new millennium. Eat me! 4 stars
3/05/02 Jenny Tullwartz Possibly best in series. Good to see Sam Neill back; too bad Laura D has only a cameo. 5 stars
3/01/02 Unagiboy This franchise continues to entertain me. The cell phone scene was hilarious. 4 stars
2/22/02 Monday Morning Solid entertainment. What's wrong with that? 4 stars
2/20/02 Xaver Boring. Tiring. The same ol' same ol'. 2 stars
1/02/02 Turtle After a second (more relaxed) viewing, I like it much better. Nice popcorn flick. 4 stars
12/20/01 OSVALDO pepin 1 stars
12/15/01 BoBo This movie sucks all ass! Die Tea, DIE!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
12/07/01 Waylon Roundtree A vicious misstep. 2 stars
11/24/01 travis i love all the jpmovies.cannot wait till jp4 comes out 5 stars
10/16/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) It's pretty cool, but only 2 or 3 people got eaten! I'm angry! 4 stars
10/16/01 Kieran Belshaw Not too bad, better than the second , nothing on the first. 4 stars
10/04/01 Evil Bitchwoman its so boring, Spielberg has overdone the whole JP thing. No plot, crap acting. SHIT 1 stars
10/02/01 Kirk Shouldn't those people have figured out how to stay away by now? 4 stars
10/01/01 Phoenix In a B-Movie way, JPIII delivers the goods. 4 stars
9/27/01 aurora pathetic plot, the end would have served better at the begining 1 stars
9/25/01 Shane Robert Myers!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it was good but Speilberg shoud've wrote the script for god sack and something has evolved! 4 stars
9/25/01 viking At least it's better than the Lost World 3 stars
9/20/01 Trunks This movie rocked but needed some extra spice to make it perfect. 5 stars
9/15/01 Connoisseur I loved the first two dino flicks, but this was way too short! There's no Climax! 3 stars
9/14/01 CHU SENG POONG Watchable but been there done that. 3 stars
9/12/01 D'Morph nice dino's, really dumb plot. couldve been alot better 3 stars
9/10/01 Bront what a crock of shit.... what have they done 2 stars
9/09/01 RJ Ludwig An interesting new feeling to an otherwise effects orientated series 4 stars
9/04/01 L. Iulius Very exciting, better then Lost World, they dinosaurs look better with each movie. 5 stars
9/03/01 G-flat total boredom, hardly a single exciting moment 2 stars
9/03/01 travis robertson stephen spilberg shouldconsiderstartingoverfreshnexttime.jp3wasalrightiguess 4 stars
8/26/01 Gracy Lionheart Pointless movie. I could not have cared less about the characters...have seen worse though 2 stars
8/22/01 The Boy In The Designer Bubble Can't the geniuses of Hollywood write something new once in a while? 3 stars
8/21/01 Metallica What a waste of my fucking afternoon 1 stars
8/20/01 I love movies wait for video even if you loved the first two, way too short and silly, music was awful! 3 stars
8/18/01 Matt Jackson Good movie but the ending was BAD! plot was thin but what did you expect? 4 stars
8/18/01 Babybelle Keep the dinos. Dump the humans. 3 stars
8/17/01 Matthew Bartley Like it's been edited together from cut scenes from the other two 3 stars
8/16/01 jack d'skdskds' 1 stars
8/15/01 Brad Mantz sweet 4 stars
8/13/01 Bueller Been there, done that! Great special effects, but we expect that from JP. Very contrived. 3 stars
8/12/01 Matt The storyline was : theres a dinosaur run! repeat ,repeat,etc.END 2 stars
8/11/01 fg pretty predictable but entertaining 4 stars
8/11/01 Dakamus It's odd that the summer's best comedy is this movie. I laughed the entire way through! 4 stars
8/09/01 keith langman forget plot and characters and everything important...just adventure fun 4 stars
8/08/01 surreyman If only the humans could act as well as the dinosaurs 1 stars
8/08/01 Franky Tea Leoni's the most frightening thing about this sleep aid. 1 stars
8/06/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) Mix of the 1st 2:It's bright&adventurousANDit'sdark&rainy.But only3 people died!I'm pissed! 4 stars
8/05/01 ted v. good movie! almost as good as the first one, definitely BETTER than The Lost World! 5 stars
8/05/01 E-Funk Far superior to Spielberg's lame-ass sequel...but that's not saying much. 3 stars
8/03/01 Kimble much better than the 2nd and only a little bit away from the first 5 stars
8/03/01 Heike Schneider-Büsing "Even the dinosaurs were bored! 2 stars
8/03/01 Joe D no words 1 stars
7/31/01 mike crap 1 stars
7/31/01 Aaron movie kinda sucks 1 stars
7/30/01 Darren Shea JP3 was much more entertaining than Lost World, but that's not saying much... 4 stars
7/30/01 Katherine Perry It was much better than I was 'critic-ally' prepared for. 4 stars
7/30/01 Ro Sho Great main character, small lousy supporting cast, no build up, no suspence and no payoff. 3 stars
7/28/01 mike the first is still the best, but this was awesome (the spinosaurus kicked ass) 5 stars
7/27/01 S.Coppa Good summer thriller, but definately not as good as the 1st on 4 stars
7/27/01 Turtle I saw this at the drive-in, and it was a huge waste of that big screen. 3 stars
7/26/01 Fish Eye Besides the FX, this movie sucks. The story is fucking lame! 2 stars
7/26/01 mkillroy Same ol same ol 3 stars
7/24/01 Zantetsuken My ass hurt after watching this movie, and not because it fell asleep. 1 stars
7/24/01 John Travolta I'm not in this movie but it still sucks all ass. 1 stars
7/24/01 Chris Cheng If you loved the first, hated the second, you wil want to kill yourself after seeing JP3. 1 stars
7/23/01 Chip S. Ahoy Fuck me in the ass! I can't believe they made it so pathetic and stupid 1 stars
7/23/01 Obi Wan Give this an R rating already!!! I wanna see blood and more dinosaur blood. 4 stars
7/23/01 jada i waited for this!? i went in not expecting much and got even less. 2 stars
7/22/01 Jim Kidd Loved it! It scared the crap out of me cause we were in the THX theatre, and it was loud! 5 stars
7/22/01 benjamin.leatherman Blecch! Jurassic Krap! 1 stars
7/22/01 RazorDog Near the end a baby started crying in the theater... I felt the same. 2 stars
7/20/01 John Torres Thank god Julia Roberts is not in this fx!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 stars
7/20/01 Roy Smith Great FX but that's it. Predictable as a Jason/Freddie movie. 2 stars
7/20/01 Rich Cirivilleri Most clever use of a cellphone onscreen i've seen in weeks! 4 stars
7/20/01 Moazzam Saleem Take my advice ... Watch Jurassic Park 1 all over again. It would still be more entertainin 1 stars
7/19/01 keith langman a good thrill ride 3 stars
7/19/01 Joe D Ishtar 3 : The Jurassic Period! 1 stars
7/19/01 David Sanchez I think Steven Spielburg did a better job Producing the movie than just Directing. 5 stars
7/19/01 Jurrasic bomb! This movie was a let down. Great FX, movie ruined by bad acting, no plot. 2 stars
7/19/01 Obi Wan Good...but for JP4 could we bring more victims to the park and add an R rating to this!!!!! 5 stars
7/19/01 Jeff Billy should be dead. He was ripped apart by pterodactyls, there's no way he survived 4 stars
7/19/01 Wolvie Visually impressive, but weak on plot. 3 stars
7/19/01 Hotaine Take the cutting-room-floor parts from JP1, splice 'em together, and voila! JP3! 2 stars
7/19/01 dwiggs um...hello? this was the sorriest movie ive seen in years. what a stain on the jp name. 1 stars
7/19/01 malcolm pale imitation of 1st two. i've seen it all before. 2 stars
7/19/01 Islandspud Good but a little short. A lot of potential left out 4 stars
7/19/01 bullit17 If Michael Crichton were to see this, he'd drop dead and roll over. Dino-sucks. 2 stars
7/19/01 Sexy Loser Vincent I think it was a fun movie...beter than the 2nd yet not as classic or smart as the OG!! 4 stars
7/18/01 J Not bad. Unsuprisingly better than the 2nd movie but suprisingly better than the original. 3 stars
7/18/01 Hobbes Just like the first squel, with out all that messy "plot" 1 stars
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  18-Jul-2001 (PG-13)
  DVD: 29-Nov-2005


  30-Aug-2001 (PG)

Directed by
  Joe Johnston

Written by
  Peter Buchman
  Alexander Payne
  Jim Taylor

  Sam Neill
  William H. Macy
  Téa Leoni
  John Diehl
  Michael Jeter
  Laura Dern

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