Monday, October 1, 2012

Jurassic Puke: "Jurassic Park III" (2001)

I figured I have seen the first two, I might as well see this one too. It is better than the second film, and about on par with the overrated first film.

Sam Neill is tricked into going to the second island by Tea Leoni and William H. Macy, who are looking for their missing son. A few supporting players go, too, to provide food for the dinosaurs without caring about the loss of their characters. There is lots of running, a climax that never happens, and the promise of another sequel.

Forgive the short synopsis, the truth is this film steals tons from the first two films. There is a "dinosaur poop" scene and a character supposedly dies and we must waste our time watching for him to appear hurt but alive.

I would compare this film to the awful "Back to the Future Part II." It was also released to kind of tie in to future episodes, and does not stand well on its own. If you are going to continue a major action franchise, you would think the third film would be even bigger than the first two. No such luck here.

The special effects run hot and cold. Good dinosaur graphics, but what is with the script? The film makers decided the audience wants nothing but dinosaur attacks, and throws in all sorts of them. These do not seem to take on any sort of breakneck speed, this just looks like a resume tape for Stan Winston's special effects. This is a greatest hits compilation of people getting chased, attacked, and eaten (in all its PG-13 gory glory) without any sort of suspense or scares. Action scenes would start, like the dinosaur at the steel fence, then end as the humans would just run away, talk, then get chased again.

Would everyone stop teaming Sam Neill with children? The teenage boy here is better than the lovey dovey cutesy wutesey duo from the first film, but I am sick of seeing his heart melted by youth. Speaking of youth, I literally cannot remember anything about Neill's young protege, Billy. His character is so vacuous and laid back, he disappears from the screen. I kept thinking "who is that? oh, yeah, Billy with the stolen raptor eggs." Macy and Leoni are okay, but better than this material.

If you have seen the first two, you might as well see "Jurassic Park III" as well. It is not any good, but when has that stopped a major motion picture studio from shoving down your throats? (* *) out of five stars.