Friday, July 20, 2001

Movie Review: Jurassic Park III

Hmmm. I just saw this last night, so bear with me while I collect my thoughts. I think I liked it alright. But that's the thing, really. It's just one of those movies that you say, "Yeah, it was alright." Is that enough? Sure, if it's only 92 minutes of your time, which this one was.

The plot (maybe some spoilers, but this isn't "who shot JFK"): A couple of distraught parents, the Kirbys (William H. Macy, Tea Leoni), enlist--or rather, dupe--Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and his young paleontology ward, Billy (Alessandro Nivola), in helping them find their son, Eric (Trevor Morgan, who I recognized instantly as Tommy Tammisimo from The Sixth Sense), who disappeared on the island 8 weeks ago, due to a freak parasailing crash (I know).

Anyway, that's the excuse this time for stunts, special effects, and some new dinosaurs we've never seen before. Why is the primary goal of most sequels to offer "something we've never seen before"? I always thought that a sequel's job was to advance the story and characters from the first movie (a la Godfather Part 2 or T2 or The Empire Strikes Back). If they happen to offer "something you've never seen before," well, that's just a bonus. But whatever. I'm digressing, as usual.

Stunts: good. Special effects: dinosaurs looked ok, not as good as first two, and some of the matte work is blech (particularly the parasailing sequences (yes, there's more than one)). Story: whatever. Characters: don't care. But, like I said, it's only 92 minutes. Another half hour of it, and I would've been annoyed. But given its length, a couple of neat action sequences, and one very inspired use of a ringing satellite phone, it's... alright. But I'm too forgiving. Not a very good reviewer, I suppose, movie whore that I am. You go see it and decide... but I'm sure your reaction will be: eh.


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