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First of all, this final episode in the Jurassic series did not deserve
all the bad reviews it got when it was released. In fact, it was a lot
more enjoyable than the stupid second JP. Did it equal the first? No,
of course not. The original story was easily the best of the three, but
I found this an enjoyable movie and far better than what I had been led
The filmmakers were smart in making this a short film. People had seen plenty of the dinosaurs by now so let's no overdo it...and they didn't with an film just under an hour-and-a-half (not including the final credits.).
That made this short-and-sweet. We saw some new reptiles, had a few scares, enjoyed the beautiful jungle scenery (filmed in Hawaii) and - bang - it's over. The characters were fine, nobody totally annoying as in the second film. The lulls featured a family getting back together and finding their missing teen. Nothing wrong with that.
A good story unfairly maligned and nice, short evening of entertainment.
JURASSIC PARK 3 / (2001) *** (out of four)
By Blake French:
"Jurassic Park 3" is not as good as the first but a whole lot better than the second. It's also the first film in the series that is not based on a novel by Michael Crichton. That's basically "JP3" in a nutshell. It's not necessarily a great movie, nor does it break any new grounds of adventure or take many risks, but it does take advantage of all the creative ideas. You will not hear anyone in the audience complain that the movie isn't inventive, because these writers, Peter Buchman, Alexander Payne, and Jim Taylor, really have an imagination.
The story takes place eight years after the incident at Jurassic Park. Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) still works as a paleontologist on dinosaur dig sites in Montana with his young assistant Billy (Alessandro Nivola). He's offered a good sum of money by a wealthy couple (William H. Macy and Tea Leoni) who want Grant to guild them on a flight over Isla Sorna-also owned by the dinosaur cooperation. Sam agrees, but once over the island, something goes wrong and he's once again stuck on the dinosaur infested territory fighting for his life.
"Jurassic Park 3" is complied with stunning brevity. The dialogue is concise and doesn't wonder. The character's relationships are instantly obvious. It's very clear that this film is shorter, cheaper, and more simple than its predecessors. That is not such a bad thing. The second Jurassic Park was terrible-an all star cast placed in situation and situation where they run from big monstrous creatures. Although "Jurassic Park 3" is more or less the same formula, it gets sassy and fresh. Eye-popping special effects involve everything from a bird-dinosaur attempting to feed a human to its babies to a massive battle between a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a new breed of lizard called Spinosaurus. Some of these scenes do not really work. Amazingly, many succeed.
I have various complaints about the movie. There are not enough violent encounters to keep the audiences interested throughout. Unlike the first two films, the dinos in "JP3" only eat a handful of characters and they occur in the opening half hour. You can probably guess the characters who meet a graphic demise; anyone who is billed in the film's credits that you have heard of will probably live. I also think the movie needs more thrills. It seems as if the producers are more interested in proving to the audience that these dinosaurs are really smart rather than focusing on lean, clean terror.
Regardless of the pictures many problems, during a summer movie season jam-packed with special effects extravaganzas that don't work ("The Mummy Returns," "Pearl Harbor," "Planet of the Apes," "The Fast and he Furious," and "Swordfirsh" to name a few) finally comes one that does. I recommend "Jurassic Park 3" on the basis that you don't expect something remotely as fascinating as the original, but still hunger for a shallow 90 minute thrill ride.
To call this movie an extravagant piece of art would be a joke. The
plot was extremely hollow, and a majority of the acting was less than
stellar. However, I won't deny that I enjoyed the 90+ minutes I spent
sitting through this film. There was everything to expect in the
typical JP movie: victims with awfully good endurance, a jungle, and
some scary dinosaurs.
Truthfully, it felt as if I were watching a different sequel to the original, not a second. The premise was pretty much the same: a survivor of the Jurassic Park incident is forced to return to the island, and when all communication is cut by unfortunate circumstances, it's time to run around like crazy, trying to find a way off the island while escaping vicious dinosaurs at the same time. This time, we get to watch Sam Neill squirm instead of Jeff Goldblum, and instead of doing research, they're looking for a twelve-year-old kid. Not exactly the smartest move, but all is forgiven and forgotten when the dinosaurs are unleashed once more.
If you're expecting something original and spectacular, then you're going to be disappointed. If you're like me, who only expects to see a fun-filled chase through the jungle for an hour or so, then sit back and relax.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Jurassic Park III is the perfect example of how over-zealousness,
over-ambition, and a studio's thirst for profit can affect a movie. The
trailer made it look like a good, fun movie to watch, when it is, in
reality, nothing short of terrible. I'm going to go against my own
rules in this review, and mercilessly spoil the movie, because, to be
perfectly honest, you'll only waste your time watching it.
Hearing that neither Steven Spielberg nor John Williams were returning, an alarm went off in my head. This alarm, however, was quickly stifled when I learned Sam Neill and Laura Dern were reprising their roles as Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler. I should've known better.
The plot is flimsy, constructed around one or two memorable scenes from Michael Crichton's novel Jurassic Park that had to be omitted from the original movie (due to budget or time constraint, etc.). All the same, these scenes are (pitifully) the movie's only highlights (but rather poor ones at that). Also, the movie is littered with inaccuracies and plot holes. In the original JP, dinosaur embryos had to be kept at a low temperature (-10°C, according to Crichton's book). JP2 took place four years later; JP3 takes place four years after JP2. So how is it that the dinosaur embryos were perfectly preserved (emphasized in a sweeping shot that is an altogether too-obvious set-up for a Velociraptor attack) despite being stored at far over -10°C for eight years? And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
The highlights of the first two movies were the dinosaurs. But all of a sudden, I couldn't care less about the advanced special effects. It doesn't matter how much damage a Spinosaurus can do; if it looks as ridiculously fake as it does here (they went overboard with the special effects), I'm not interested. In addition, the Velociraptor looks like some completely new dinosaur, changing drastically (in just four years? Evolution moves fast!) from its look in the previous two films.
I addressed a flimsy plot before. Let me point out that the great big, even more dangerous "challenge" that faces the heroes in JPIII is wow. The Velociraptors can communicate. Let me take out my "watch paint dry" kit.
Whereas the first two films were ingeniously crafted thrillers, JPIII is obviously crafted for quick profits resulting from the franchise's popularity. Apparently, Joe Johnston wanted to do JP2! I'm glad he didn't: I hate his direction style. Scenes that are supposed to thrill or scare are so boring and dumb. As soon as the characters enter a facility where embryos were once kept, I knew they were going to be attacked by a Velociraptor. That's how bad this is.
It amuses me to read Roger Ebert's review for the original Jurassic Park, and apply arguments that were inaccurate from his review to JPIII. "The human characters are a ragtag bunch of half-realized, sketched-in personalities, who exist primarily to scream, utter dire warnings, and outwit the monsters," he said about Jurassic Park. Nonsense, I say! Mr. Ebert merely had a vision of what Jurassic Park III was going to be like! Because, really, what do we learn about the characters by the end of JPIII? The "mercenaries" all died right away, and all we learned was that one of them filled in for someone who got sick. (How lame!) We learn that some young kid managed to survive on the island for EIGHT WEEKS when the adult who was with him didn't even get the chance to get down from his parachute before dying. And how did he survive? He hid in an abandoned truck With two gas grenades he never used And he was safe in the back of it, too, despite the fact that the Velociraptors now know how to open doors His parents were going through a divorce, but got together because of his disappearance. Yay. We learn mom is a bad driver and dad has a hardware store (who, by the way, can somehow afford to buy four cars in three years; one was an SUV and another was a Buick). And yeah, the main thing they all do is screaming. (If anyone wants, I can still find that paint!) The only word of praise I have is for Sam Neill, who flawlessly reprised his role as Alan Grant. But he couldn't save this movie.
Finally, the stupidest move the makers of JPIII did was replacing the T-Rex. We see it in ONE scene, where it is killed by the Spinosaurus. And then it's gone! Apparently, a dinosaur that was non-existent four years ago has magically become king of the dinosaurs. (Another plot hole!) The T-Rex always was and will be the star of Jurassic Park some lame, swimming dinosaur (who apparently swam far enough from the island to kill the crew of a boat that was rather far from shore LAME!) with a sail on its back will never replace Mr. T-Rex. Shame on all those responsible for Jurassic Park III! It's a cheapquel that just cost a lot of money.
After reading the script, I thought that there was at least a chance-
however slight- that this film could be somewhat enjoyable... and it was,
for the first 15 minutes.
Then came one change after the next, none of which were for the better. (I
won't go into the details but trust me, the script which I read was far
superior and didn't include characters who said "That's a bad idea" into
infinitum.) It's a real shame that such little effort was put into a film
which could have been great, and could have appealed to people from every
walk of life.
As a screenwriter, I understand that what most people are in the market for come summer is a mindless, popcorn-munching flick to simply take them away from life's monotony. That's fine and it's something that writers should be cognizant of... BUT there certainly is a way to make a film that is entertaining to the masses and yet not insulting to its intelligence.
Jurassic Park III is nothing but a B-Creature Feature that's cliched into absurdity. If you want to see a film and be dumber as a consequence, see this movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
How could anyone who liked the previous JP movies even stand to sit
through this 1 hour of drivel? There are so many stupid things about
this film it's mind boggling!! I remember when i went to see JP as a
kid it was my favorite movie and franchise, the acting, the SFX the
Music, the direction! all fantastic, JP2 in my opinion was OK pretty
much the same apart from some really stupid moments (like the gymnast
girl kicking a raptor..please!) but on a whole a watchable and
reasonable cinematic experience.
But the the third one has no point!! It's supposed to be a sequel that Carry's on from JP2 and yet it magically includes brand new things to the franchise that would have been impossible to miss on the previous 2 films! for example: 1) The "new" mega Spinosaurus - Seriously, what the hell!! This thing follows them everywhere they go, they cannot escape it's presence and yet in The lost world (the same island) do you see it once? do you hear it? does anyone even MENTION it? NO! Its ridiculous!. The star character in the previous 2 movies was, and always will be the T-Rex so what does the d(urr)irector "Joe Johnston" go and do? Kill it off! as soon as you see the huge T-Rex in all its awesome roaring glory it gets killed and you never see it again - a new Dino on the town is the excuse.. where did it come from!!?? not a single explanation! and don't get me started on the whole satellite-phone-in-the-Dino-belly thing! 2)Just when you start to get over how stupid the Spinosaurus is you see the Raptors, Aside from their new "Punk" Haircuts they seem pretty credible! *Phew* they will make this movie watchable right?... WRONG! now they speak to each other!! and the excuse for them speaking in this film and not in the First and second are...wait for it... Evolution! - yes the process of millions of years in just a few months from when the second movie ended, amazing! surly they should have grown opposable thumbs and created tools by now!! OK i am not going to say anymore about the plot because it's getting up my nose, so i will close on this: Jurassic Park is a classic, JP3 is a lousy sucker punch to any of the original fans of the series, my favorite franchise was well and truly dead after watching this Monstrosity (no pun intended) Avoid this movie like the plague
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film is so dire that I found myself writing this review before I'd
even reached the halfway point, I was reminded of just how bad it is.
There is one thing this film suffers from more than any other of its
drawbacks, and that is a disease amongst the film industry known simply
as Badfilmmakingitis. What, pray tell, could have caused this? And what
are its symptoms? They differ from film to film.
Symptom # 1: A clear knowledge that this island holds no real danger towards our heroes. Symptom # 2: The broken family which pulls together for the happy ending. Symptom # 3: Continuity errors regarding its predecessors. Symptom # 4: One word: overkill. Symptom # 5: That God-awful and down right ridiculous idea to have the satellite phone ringing from inside the Spinosaurus-a-gypsy-curse. Symptom # 6: Deciding to cast All Out Action in favour of Tension. Symptom # 7: The family friendly rating and content.
If there's actually just one good thing to take away from this film it is this: the creatures themselves. Ingen's bad doings have been giving us resurrected dinosaurs since 1993 and with each outing they've looked better and better. They have been created quite beautifully in a mix of practical props and CGI fabrications. Their movements are undeniably majestic, even at their most hectic. But it is not enough to recover from the hour and half you'll undoubtedly feel somewhat insulted after. The raptors have lost that aura of pure menace they once had (who can forget ANY of their scenes in 1 and 2?!) and when they're not being chased by the punkosaurs, our band of 'heroes' are up against the new 'big boy on the block' ol' Spiney-back. These dinosaurs seem they're more from the ASBO generation of harassment than 65 million years ago, causing such provocative hassle for our cast within just ninety minutes.
There is too much wrong with this film and although a few of the DVD special features provide some 'excuses' concerning the drastic change, it doesn't redeem the fact that it has detracted from the mysterious magic and awe of its forerunners. You can't help cheer at that agreeable punch Neill delivers to Macy after he realises he's been fooled, like us, into going onto that island again.
Read the full review and more at www.wrawreviews.co.uk
I love the original Jurassic Park, it is such great fun and one of
Spielberg's better movies. However, I dislike the third film and The
Lost World intensely. This one is the worst of the series, as awful as
The Lost World was(it is actually a contender for Spielberg's worst
film) this movie's awfulness makes it look like a Oscar winner.
Jurassic Park 3's only good points are the splendid scenery and the wonderful looking dinosaurs. Everything else falls down the plug just like that. I was very disappointed in the direction and the music, the sluggishness of Joe Johnston's direction and the banality of the score here makes me miss Steven Spielberg and John Williams even more.
The script and story are also major problems. The script is very poor throughout and wastes anyone who has to utter any line from that script. The story is almost non-existent, with superfluous scenes and the odd plot hole. The action sequences also disappoint, instead of being suspenseful they are more mildly amusing but serve no purpose to the plot, while the ending has a that's it? feel to it. The acting is not very good either, and these people are actually very talented, and it doesn't help that none of the characters are very likable. And to top it all off, I thought the film was too short and too rushed as well.
So overall, the worst of the franchise and like The Lost World a big disappointment. 1/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
People, people, you owe it to yourself to avoid this movie.
It's a stinker, as much as the pile of dino-dung used once again to make a rip-off joke from JP:I.
[SPOILER WARNING. But read'em anyway as it wont change a thing to your enjoyment of the movie. Did I mention it was SO VERY BAD?]
In fact, JP:III feels like a parody of JP and to a lesser extent, one from The Lost World. Nothing makes sense in that doomed excuse for a script. Nothing. They killed the T-Rex, they blew sky-high the whole raptors concept and they just made Grant a Dino Chow Indiana Jones.
Okay, let's see what's in this waste of time...
The acting is atrocious. Dont get me wrong, I like Sam Neil as much as the next guy and I honestly think he is one example of and underrated actor who should get a lot more credit for his work. Neil just tries his best at using his "Wide open eyes (TM)" as soon as he sees a dino but it's pretty much it. Macy and Leoni are plain bad, like they dont care. Scream here, run over there, scream again, include corny dialogue, END. Woah, and you get paid for this??? Only decent part is from Alessandro Nivola (Billy), but as soon as he gets too emotional toward the end of the movie, it all goes downhill.
I never thought I'd miss Jeff Goldblum that much..
Pretty darn simple, you could have come up with something better. Throw in action scenes : humans vs Bid Bad Nameless Dino, humans vs Flying Dinos, humans vs Talking Dinos and stitch everything together with the lamest trick to include a kid in a movie and Voila! You have a 90 minutes "story". Come on.
Oh, I forgot : stomp over every inventive idea of the first movie. Who needs intelligence, it's an action movie isnt it?
Question : Why is the Bid Bad Dino chasing after humans when it can have a T-Rex for breakfast??? If the raptors are so intelligent, why dont they build a cruise boat or order an internet connection??
The only good idea was the Pteranodons. Kudos for something that was left off the first two movies. Flying dinos with an attitude, scary.
Except for the very nervous guy sitting next to me, nobody in the audience seemed really moved by some of the "surprise" moments. You can see them coming from miles away and it all comes down to a point where you want to laugh, not cringe in your seat.
Not even close. In JP, we were amazed at the technical feats the FX guys put up. Now we're just plain fed up. And what is it with the winamp skins? Why are the dinos looking like they bought new sets of scales?? They evolved to the point of fashion victims? Even the raptors looked different. Smaller, leaner, greener.
That new Bid Bad Dino is just a download from the Godzilla movie (remember how that movie was bad? well, JP:III is not even a notch higher).
The scenery is amazing, what a beautiful island, but that's not the point.
In JP, Grant was completely overwhelmed by dinos, like we did. We all were amazed. But now, he just feels fed up (yeah, much like us. See my point?).
If you want to see a parody movie, go see Scary Movie 2. If you want to laugh, go see Evolution. And for your dinos cravings, well go visit a museum for God's sake.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Here's the definition of "decadence" from the Free Online Dictionary.
1. Being in a state of decline or decay. 2. Marked by or providing unrestrained gratification; self-indulgent.
Now you know all you need to know about "Jurassic Park III." This third installment has some fine performers in it -- Bill Macy, Sam Neill, Tea Leoni, Laura Dern -- but that's it for the good stuff. They must have received splendid checks.
The original "Jurassic Park" had a lot of bang for the buck. Just for example, that leisurely sequence in which a cartoon character teaches us dummies about DNA and how to extract it from a mosquito and all that. It followed the classical structure of "King Kong." There might be a crisis followed by a temporary resolution. Then another crisis and resolution, but of greater importance. Then another, and so on, until you have King Kong wrecking half of New York City or dinosaurs running loose in the staff cafeteria. Or a shark sinking a fishing boat, to cite another example of the classic narrative structure.
Nothing like that here. It's aimed, I suppose, at an audience that is impatient, unwilling to wait for the gradual build up, biting their tongues with the desire for immediate gratification during a suspenseful preamble.
Nope. Here, an airplane crashes on an island full of man-eating dinosaurs in the first few minutes. The first human being is eaten after about fifteen minutes. Well -- actually, he's snapped up, chewed a little, then spit out into a mud puddle so he can try to crawl his way to freedom and be eaten again. A supersized meal.
It's all noisy as hell, pounding music, screaming people, roaring monsters, crashing trees, smashing airplanes, horror galore, teeth the size of mastodon tusks, and none of the women disrobe.
I'd call it a disappointment, only it's not. It's precisely what any sane devotee of the fast buck would produce -- a frantic ripoff of a modestly entertaining and financially successful earlier movie. It's practically an operational definition of decadence.
Of course we've always had monster movies, before and after Universal's "Frankenstein" in 1931, but they usually had some kind of class. There weren't ALWAYS people getting ripped apart on the screen.
I can't help wondering if this cheapening of an art, done at enormous expense, isn't resonating with public taste in some foul infinite loop. The more the kids see of this crap, the more simple-minded they want it to be. Hard-core pornography went through such a cycle. The original porn movies, like "Deep Throat", had stories, however banal they may have been. But the producers of those gems quickly figured out that the narrative structure was too complicated, took too long, required some indulgence on the part of the viewers, so compilation porn movies evolved. No stories at all, just a handful of dreary episodes slapped together.
Well, how about it? Why have a story in which Neil is hired as a guide to help Macy and Leoni find their lost child on the island? Why bother? Why not just have a series of episodes in which people we don't know or care about get eaten alive with a Wilhelm scream while grotesque monsters ululate behind them, in line sort of, waiting for their turn? In other words, the movie raises a genuine aesthetic question. How decadent can a thing be? Just exactly how low can public taste sink? Are its depths plumbless?
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