johnlink ranks JURASSIC PARK III (2001)

Well here is the much maligned third JURASSIC PARK film which, it just so happens, I have never seen. I had heard that it was so bad that it wasn’t worth seeing. I went into my viewing of the first JURASSIC PARK last week knowing that this day would come. I would eventually have to watch number three. Well, that day came. And here it is…

I watched JURASSIC PARK III (2001) on 6.16.12. It was my first viewing of the film.

As a film trying to stand up to the original entry in the series, as well as making an attempt to atone for some of the mistakes of number two, JURASSIC PARK III is less than successful. As a low-grade monster movie, it is average to above-average. Much of the backlash must have been a duel helping of resentment for the degradation of the series in conjunction with a general dismissal of new director Joe Johnston, who took over for Spielberg.

Both are legitimate frustrations in some sense. JURASSIC PARK, as a series, does not recover with its third film the way INDIANA JONES was able to with LAST CRUSADE. Instead, it sort of just fizzles out with a moderate action film (though, like INDY, Spielberg is said to be working on a fourth JP film). As far as Johnston is concerned… well he knows what he does and does not do. Spielberg’s two entries were flashy, with his ever-impressive eye for a nice shot. Johnston isn’t interested in that. We learn that right away when a big CGI fight occurs between a T-Rex and the new big villain, a Spinosaurus. The people, here, will often be secondary to the spectacle of the dinosaur.

But, you know what, part of the problem with the second one was that we had too many characters we did not care about. Here we have a divorced couple (Tea Leoni and William H. Macy) having recruited Dr. Grant and his new assistant (Sam Neill returning as Grant and Alessandro Nivola). Of course there is also a kid (Trevor Morgan). And we even get a good character actor playing a supporting role in the late Michael Jeter (we all know him as the little guy from GREEN MILE, but Quinn has taught me that he was also Mr. Noodle on Elmo’s World). So the cast is good. We marginally care about them, even if the tension never gets to the level of the first.

Tthe second film missed Dr. Grant, and the third certainly misses Malcolm. They need each other as foils. If they do launch a fourth film, I think it is doomed to failure if they don’t bring the both of them back, or at least find a way to fill the void left by one or the other’s absence.

The action in this is pretty good, especially in the Pterosaurs cage. While the attention to the CGI is certainly not at the level from the first film, it isn’t terrible. Certainly some of the action is forgettable. Heck, most of this film is forgettable, but it isn’t terrible. I went into this thinking it would be horrendous. Really, this is an average but inoffensive film to fill a rainy day if you happen to stumble across it. There are plenty of better options out there, but there are also plenty worse.





~ by johnlink00 on June 17, 2012.

One Response to “johnlink ranks JURASSIC PARK III (2001)”

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