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Jurassic Park III

Hey! Laura Dern is back!

But what are they gonna do in this movie? Send some people to an island with dinosaurs, and then they’re gonna run around a lot until they get off the island again?

Even in the second movie, the premise seemed really… tenuous.

They’ve invented the 3D printer!

This is directed by a Spielberg-adjacent director (I think?). He’d done Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and Jumanji, so this seems like a natural movie for him to do — it’s very 80s.

It’s just hard to get excited about this, and you feel like the people involved think the same thing.

This looks kinda cheap… what was the budget on this thing?

Oh, OK, it was a pretty expensive movie — this scene just looks oddly cheap:
They shake the cam around a lot to avoid showing the dinosaur in focus.

It made money, but less than the previous films. So I guess they decided to pause the franchise for a while after this: The next movie didn’t appear until 14 years later.

OK, we get to see the dinosaurs a lot more as the movie goes along. And they look pretty good, although a bit stiff.

OK, that’s a reasonable plot — these rich people brought the rest of the people to the island because they wanted to find their son.

But… it’s also not a very interesting plot? That is, why should we care?


Johnston thought about quitting the project on a few occasions because of uncertainty about how the film would turn out, considering that it did not have a finished script.

It does feel like a sketch towards a movie in many ways… it’s got a lot of elements, but it doesn’t really cohere?

The dinosaurs look pretty good? I guess it’s a mix of CGI and rubber? They look pretty stiff, but pretty good…

This is the nerdiest quibble ever — but I’ve always felt that these scenes are just kinda stupid, even if they look great? I mean, all these animals are plant eaters — but there’s basically nothing on these fields to eat? The grass looks like a lawn, and there are no juicy trees or bushes to nibble — so why are they all standing around here anyway? These animals need to eat! A lot! Get noshin’!

Now this is just stupid.

It’s a pretty bad movie. I mean, there’s some fun scenes, but it’s incredibly hard to care about what happens — there are no stakes beyond “oh no, they’re trapped (?) on an island with some dinosaurs” yet again.

Jurassic Park III. Joe Johnston. 2001.

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