Jurassic Park III


This Time It's Not Just A Walk In The Park!


Jurassic Mark

SCORE: 3 Stars

Jurassic Park 3 opens with a crappy, green-screen, fx disaster. I thought I was in for 90 minutes of schlock. To my surprise, JP3 was exciting and funny.

While Jurassic Park 3 can't compete with Steven Spielberg's original film, JP3 easily tops Spielberg's second installment. First of all, the cast is better. I enjoyed the return of Sam Neill. He "is" the dinosaur expert. Plus he's the coolest guy in a fedora since Indiana Jones. A couple of times, Neill's character moralizes. I don't blame his performance. Neill delivers his lines as best he can.

We also have a welcome cameo from Laura Dern (Neill's gal from JP1). New additions are the dependable William H. Macy, the attractive Tea Leoni, Alessandro Nivola and Trevor Morgan. The cast is much smaller than JP2, and this works to the film's advantage.

JP3 is shorter than it's predecessors. At 85 minutes, we don't have time to get bored. Director Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer, Jumanji, October Sky) keeps the pace lively. Despite an unnecessary proclivity towards Raptors, most of the dinosaurs in JP3 are fresh creations. Particularly effective are the flying Pteranodons. There's a great action scene where our heroes receive an unmerciful aerial attack.

JP3 will never succeed as an unadulterated cult, critical or commercial success. Still, it's solid filmmaking (minus the aforementioned opening). As an audience member, I cared about the humans, was often awed by the dinos and enjoyed a very good Summer matinee picture.