"Jurassic Park 3" Review
© 2001 Fontaine L.

If those raptors are so damn smart and have the potential to be the dominant species on earth, why can't they distinguish between real raptor yelps and fake raptor yelps?

But whatever, I know better than to question the logic of a film that obviously was not meant to be even marginally intelligent. I'm not sure I should even bother reviewing the film, since everything that you've expected from the film? Well, it's all true. JP3 borrows conventions from the original and--God help us--"The Lost World." The plot, like the two that came before it, was basically as follows: Scene opens on the open sea. Zoom in on a remote island. Somebody dies, or something terrifying happens. Enter scientists, disaster ensues. Scary-looking dinosaurs eat people up. Little kid saves the day, at least for a while. More running around. Escape via helipcopter/boat/other form of aircraft. Cue credits. Unfortunately, this formula worked only once, and the two sequels don't really get audiences to buy into its pseudoscientific theories. Why underestimate our intelligence by feeding us evolutionary babble? We just wanna see really cool looking dinosaurs. And only once, thanks. Even the composer put in minimal effort, relying on John Williams's original score for the most part. The characters were forgettable, and there was even a bizarre sequence that seemed to lay down groundwork for future development of 3 minor characters, but those 3 characters subsequently became dinosaur meat. Ummm, can we say minor oversight? The plot is predictable because we all know the aforementioned formula by heart, plus the suspense is even more removed because frankly we don't really care about these characters anyway. Well, I did adore that cute little boy from Kobe's commercial, the one who says: "But it's for the cham-pion-ship, Coach!"

Well, is there any reason to go see the movie then? Not if you expect anything more than a third-generation copy of the original. The film is reasonably fast-paced, except during those unbearable moments where they pause to actually give you, gasp!, drama (the plotline involving Tea Leoni and William H. Macy looking for their lost son is pure drivel). There were even a few surprises and genuinely exciting moments, but the best one was ruined by the trailer. I took some sadistic pleasure in watching the humans react so hysterically to the dinosaurs; unlike us, they do not have the advantage of having been through this twice. The dinosaurs accomplished what they were supposed to do--impress us--but they're no substitute for a good storyline. Oooh and aaah at the dinosaurs, don't be nitpicky about the characters or the actors or the plot or the overly-recycled score ... and you'll do fine.

The end of the--fortunately short--review brings us to the inevitable question: why does Hollywood keep churning out these forgettable sequels when they're garbage 98% of the time? JP3 opened to a box office take-in of about 50 million. At least I know I'm not the only one hanging on to the glimmer of hope that JP3 will re-capture the magic.

Rating: D+ (First viewing, 7/21/01)