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Jurassic Park 3: The Review
Directed By: Joe Johnston
Starring: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, William H. Macy, Tea Leoni.
Absolutely amazing. It is as if the exec's out there at Amblin placed a '3' after the title, called it a franchise and as such followed unseen but established franchise rules. Here they are for the first time in print.
Rules of the Franchise:
1. Don't care about the final product as long as it sells tickets.
2. Make sure there is a few sequences that can be made into video game scenarios.
3. Copy the first one liberally and make snide allusions to the previous efforts.
It is with amazing ease that one can say that these exec's more than fulfilled the rules. Director, Joe Johnston, never known for having a stellar career (the man who gave us Jumanji and Honey I shrunk The Kids) keeps to the straight and narrow as ever and turns in a not totally hateable film, but one that is hard to enjoy or even ponder.
The story, if one will allow me to stretch that word to its limits, is simple. Dr. Alan Grant returns (Sam Neill) (still shaken by the first film) and he is desperate to fund research for a new theory about velociraptor intelligence. Enter the wealthy Kirby family (William H. Macy and Tea Leoni). They claim to have permission to fly low over Isla Sorna to view the remains of the second park...however, as the trailers show and one can guess from the opening sequence...their child is somewhere on the island and they (along with a few would-be mercenaries) are going to try a rescue operation.
That's it. The rest of it is...'oh-oh. Dinosaur. Run! Scream! Eat Eat Eat!' and Repeat.
So Joe Johnston stays on track with his cookie cutter film making techniques. No real flare or daring, but man-oh-man do the dinosaurs look good. But this film is missing the suspense and horror of the first one and makes the mistake of trying to top the previous outings with a bigger, unheard of dinosaur. The T-Rex is familiar, so we get two of them in the sequel with a mobile lab over the cliff sequence that makes the film watchable. Here we see the T-Rex, he gets killed and all of a sudden the T-Rex menace from the first two seems quaint. Sad.
As for the whole 'new' sub-plot of Raptors having a hidden cranium with more intelligence than dolphins or primates well, apparently the writers (and there apparently three of them responsible for this) need to discover their hidden cranium and come up with a better storyline.
On an up note, this won't destroy anybody's career and it is the third in the series...one could say at least it is enjoyable when compared to the previous sequels of oh, say, Jaws.
Copyright© Written By: Rob Paul
Audio Commentary with Director Joe Johnston
Onset Making Of Featurette
Galleries Including Storyboard Sequences
Video: Widescreen 1.85:1 (Anamorphic)
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
ENGLISH: DTS 5.1
The DVD Review:
September 26 - Update: The DVD release of Jurassic Park III, scheduled for Dec. 11 is said to contain more than 10 hours of additional goodies, including a documentary shot at George Lucas's special effects house, Industrial Light & Magic, showing how the animated dinosaurs were created. Another documentary is said to describe the chores of the animatronic and makeup artists at the Stan Winston Studio.
September 12 - This one should do huge business on DVD. The kids seem to love it, and why shouldn't they? No story and a lot of carnage. I know I probably would have been more ecstatic about this flick if I was eight...but I'm not. However, the list of features on the disc make this a definite rental and there will undoubtedly be a trilogy box-set. That would be the one to buy, especially if it has the great 2 hour documentary that was on the first Jurassic Park disc.