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