Credentials: 50%, Certified Rotten (Rottentomatoes.com) / 5.8 out of 10 (Imdb.com) / 42 out of 100 (Metacritic.com) / Nominated for one Razzie Award at the Golden Raspberry Awards (Worst Sequel or Remake)
Plot: A wealthy, thrill-seeking couple (played by William H. Macy and Tea Leoni) hire famed paleontologist Alan Grant (Sam Neill) to take them on an aerial tour of Site B, the dinosaur-inhabited island from “The Lost World.” However, once there, Grant finds out his new friends might not be as wealthy… or as couple-y as he was led to believe. And instead of seeking thrills, the pair is seeking their young son, who went missing on the island. With a little help from a meddling super-predator called the Spinosaurus, the aerial tour takes a decidedly unscheduled, land-based detour. From there it’s up to Grant to navigate an island full of genetically-engineered dinos, including a pack of super-intelligent Velociraptors, and get everyone home safe. Where have you gone Senior Spielbergo?
Why it stinks: I won’t even beat around the bush on this one. “Jurassic Park III” features one of, if not the most abrupt, stupid, and insulting endings ever committed to film. In fact, insulting is really the best way to describe it. The way “Jurassic Park III” ends is a slap in the face to everyone who paid their hard earned money to see the third chapter in one of cinema’s most enduring, iconic franchises.
Screenwriters Peter Buchman, Jim Taylor and Alexander Payne should be ashamed of themselves for writing something so unapologetically idiotic. The trio owes America its $181,171,875 back. Buchman is known for nonsense like “Eragon,” so I’d expect this from him, but Taylor and Payne have an Oscar for “Sideways.” They should know better.
Without giving too much away--- it really needs to be seen to be believed--- “Jurassic Park III” ends so suddenly it’s almost as if the filmmakers ran out of money and just had to stop. God I hope that’s the case and those three didn’t actually write it that way.
I could go on like this. What about the rest of the movie? Well, it’s the third film in an action saga so some of the faults are to be expected. Character development? HA! Don’t hold your breath. There are basically three kinds of characters in “JPIII”: nameless victims, untouchable heroes and Grant. Grant gets his own category because he’s awesome and I can’t bring myself to lump him in with rabble like the wealthy couple.
At least “JPIII” can fall back on its groundbreaking special effects, right? Yeah, not so much. Maybe the bar was set too high after parts one and two, but the dinos in part three look a little cheap. The special effects department seems to have taken a massive step back. Even comparatively basic stuff like showing a kid and a dude parasailing up close looks awful. If you can’t do that, how are you supposed to bring a Spinosaurus to life?
The movie’s requisite “kid in danger” storyline is hokey and downright unbelievable. I’m waiting for my check Payne, Taylor and Buchman.
Lastly, almost as egregious as the ending is the lack of attention paid to the movie’s centerpiece: a battle of the titans between a T-Rex and a Spinosaurus. It’s over before it begins. Considering how uninteresting the human leads are--- except for Grant--- I think we could spare more than a few minutes for a confrontation such as this.
---Director Joe Johnson would go on to direct the very good “Captain America.” Hmmm… it’s almost like he, Taylor and Payne all decided to do this one blindfolded.
---“JPIII” also features Pteranodons, large flying reptiles. Pretty cool.
---The one time you think the movie is going to show some guts and kill off a main character, it wusses out at the last second. Lame.
Worst of the Worst
The ending is a G-D mess.
Two minutes? Laaame.
There you have it. “Jurassic Park III.” Bumblebee tuna.