"Jurassic Park III: A Roaring Adventure or A Fossil Best Left Buried?"
Posted Tuesday, Nov 21, 2023 56
The third installment of the Jurassic Park series takes us back to the dinosaur-infested Isla Sorna. This time, Dr. Alan Grant, persuaded by a seemingly wealthy couple, finds himself tricked into landing on the island to search for their missing son. Dinosaur chaos ensues as they navigate the perilous terrain and encounter fearsome new creatures in a race against time to survive.
While the familial undertones and the survival theme echo through the dense foliage of Isla Sorna, the film fails to recapture the wonder of the original. The tone is darker, more action-driven, sidelining the awe-inducing scientific musings that made us first fall in love with the possibility of dinosaurs walking among us.
Sam Neill returns as the beloved Dr. Alan Grant, bringing the gravitas we expect, but the new ensemble, while committed, struggle to resonate amidst the clatter of prehistoric predators and a script that favors spectacle over depth.
Joe Johnston takes the helm from Spielberg, crafting a briskly paced adventure that is efficient yet lacking the narrative finesse and cohesive vision of its predecessors. Johnston knows thrills but struggles to maintain tension in between set pieces.
The iconic John Williams theme is reprised with new compositions by Don Davis. The score does its job swelling in the right moments, but without Williams at the baton, it doesn`t quite reach the soaring heights of the original score.
The cinematography offers clear visuals that carry the audience through the lush but perilous landscapes of the island. The contrast of verdant greens against the prehistoric grey-brown beasts is striking, but there`s little innovative camera work on display.
The film`s production design faithfully reproduces the look and feel of a world where dinosaurs roam, with convincing sets and props that immerse viewers in the abandoned experiment that is Isla Sorna.
Jurassic Park III delivers on the special effects front, with convincing dinosaur encounters that leverage both practical and CGI effects. Notably, the Spinosaurus and the raptors are visual treats that continue to stimulate the imagination.
Slick editing keeps the adrenaline high and compensates for the film`s thinner narrative, but occasionally borders on choppy—particularly in scenes jam-packed with action where it`s crucial to maintain clarity and cohesiveness.
The pace is relentless, a double-edged sword that propels the film forward at a breakneck speed but also detracts from character development and the gradual build-up of suspense.
Dialog ranges from terse and pragmatic to occasionally cheesy—one-liners abound, but there`s a noticeable absence of the insightful and philosophical exchanges that gave the original film its intellectual curiosity.
Jurassic Park III knows its audience craves dinosaurs, and it delivers them by the bucket load. However, it can feel more like a theme park ride than a journey—exciting while it lasts but ultimately forgettable. The film struggles to find its own identity, often receding into the shadows of its groundbreaking forebear.
While Jurassic Park III offers a handful of thrilling moments designed to make the heart race, it falls short in capturing that magical cocktail of awe, fear, and fascination that once defined the franchise. Still, for those who seek an hour and a half of dino-induced excitement, it does scratch an itch. As the dust settles and the echoes of dinosaur roars fade, one can`t help but feel this sequel is a palerontologist`s leftover rather than a treasure uncovered.