Jurassic Park III
| ||This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (November 2013)|
|Jurassic Park III|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Joe Johnston|
|Produced by||Kathleen Kennedy |
Larry J. Franco
|Written by||Peter Buchman |
|Based on||Characters created |
by Michael Crichton
|Starring||Sam Neill |
William H. Macy
|Music by||Don Davis |
John Williams (original themes)
|Editing by||Robert Dalva|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Release dates|| |
|Running time||92 minutes|
Jurassic Park III is a 2001 American science fiction adventure film and the third of the Jurassic Park franchise. It is the only film in the series that was neither directed by Steven Spielberg nor based on a book by Michael Crichton (though numerous scenes in the film were taken from Crichton's novels Jurassic Park and The Lost World). The film takes place on Isla Sorna, the island from the second film, after a divorced couple tricks Dr. Alan Grant into helping them find their son.
After the success of Spielberg's Jurassic Park, Joe Johnston expressed interest in directing a sequel, a film adaptation of The Lost World. Spielberg instead gave Johnston permission to direct the third film in the series, if there were to be one. Production of Jurassic Park III began on August 30, 2000. Upon its release, the film received mixed to negative reviews, with many stating that despite the visual effects and action scenes the film was inferior and unoriginal. Jurassic Park III grossed $368 million worldwide.
Despite incidents surrounding Isla Sorna and warnings to the contrary, tourists Ben Hildebrand and Eric Kirby are para sailing around the island. When their boat crashes, Ben removes the line and they go sailing into the wilderness.
Meanwhile, Dr. Alan Grant has become famous from his survival and reporting on his discoveries on Isla Nublar, and Ellie Sattler has married a lawyer named Mark Delger and has a son, Charlie, who calls Alan "The Dinosaur Man." One afternoon, Alan's assistant Billy is able to replicate the larynx of a Velociraptor which he says indicates raptors are far more intelligent than Alan and Billy had previously been led to believe. When Paul and Amanda Kirby offer full funding for Alan's dig, he hesitantly agrees to give them an aerial tour of Isla Sorna. Along with Billy and the Kirbys' associates, Udesky, Cooper and their pilot Nash, the group flies over the plains of Isla Sorna which contain Brachiosaurus, Parasaurolophus, Corythosaurus, Triceratops, and Stegosaurus. Alan learns that the Kirbys plan to land on the island; when he objects, he is knocked out by Cooper, only to awaken to the sound of Amanda calling out to someone on the island using a bullhorn. This attracts a Spinosaurus and Cooper manages to lead it into the path of the plane before he is devoured. The plane then crashes into a tree and the Spinosaurus attacks the plane, killing Nash. The Spinosaurus soon departs and the others escape. As they continue to escape, a Tyrannosaurus appears and the humans escape in the fray before the Spinosaurus kills the T. rex's by snapping its neck.
Alan then demands explanation of what is really going on and the Kirbys explain they're actually a divorced couple looking for their lost son, Eric, who was stranded on Isla Sorna with Ben eight weeks ago. Their fortune is fake, and Alan's grim perspective of Eric's fate paints a sad portrait. After finding the para sail trapped in a tree and seeing a video of Ben's and Eric's final descent onto the island, Ben's skeleton corpse is found, prompting Amanda to freak out and stumble upon a group of raptor's nests, at which point Alan prompts the group to move on with Billy taking the unspoiled para sail with him. They make their way to the site compound in the hopes of finding communications equipment, but find nothing but broken test tubes and shut down equipment. It's then that a Velociraptor ambushes the group and chases them back out of the compound before signalling the raptors in the surrounding area to pursue them. During the ensuing chase, Udesky and Grant become separated from the others after causing a herd of Corythosaurus and Parasaurolophus to stampede and Udesky is killed by the raptors after being used as live bait, proving their intelligence. Alan is rescued by Eric, who has managed to survive for several weeks in an overturned supply truck, clearly impressing Alan. Eric recognizes the sound of his father's satellite phone which was lost when Nash was devoured; they're reunited with the Kirbys and Billy before the Spinosaurus arrives again.
Billy becomes possessive of his satchel, and Alan realizes he has taken two eggs from the raptors' nest to fund their dig, explaining the attack. Alan berates Billy for his careless behavior, comparing him to InGen. They make their way to a large outdoor complex which turns out to be a bird cage for a Pteranodon which attacks the group and separates Eric, taking him to be eaten by their young. Billy uses the remnants of Ben's para sail and rescues Eric, shortly before he falls into the river below, then is attacked and seemingly killed by a group of Pteranodons.
The group find their way out of the cage and make their way down river using a small boat. Alan is shocked by Billy's 'death', and explains to Eric that Billy was a person who wanted to do something, not just sit by and watch. The boat passes by a valley containing herds of Brachiosaurus, Parasaurolophus, Corythosaurus, Stegosaurus and Ankylosaurus while Eric states that "Billy was right".
The group finds and retrieves the satellite phone from the deposit left by the Spinosaurus. A Ceratosaurus appears and is repulsed by the smell. The Spinosaurus attacks and capsizes the boat as Alan is trying to contact Ellie, but he manages to tell her "The River, Site B" before he is disconnected. Alan and Paul manage to drive off the Spinosaurus and they start making their way toward the shoreline. Close to their goal, they are surrounded by raptors who see Amanda as a female 'leader' and a threat to their clutch. Using Billy's resonant chamber replica, Alan manages to communicate with the raptors and Amanda returns the stolen eggs before they're startled off by the sounds of helicopters. Returning to the beach, they find that Ellie had called in the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy to rescue them. And they discover that Billy, while seriously injured, is still alive, and even has Alan's hat, which he had lost earlier. As they leave the island, they see the Pteranodon group that had escaped from their cage after the humans are now flying free, and Alan recounts that it's time for them to find their place in the world again. The Pteradons fly off into the clouds, seemingly happy of being freed of their cage.
- Sam Neill as Dr. Alan Grant, the world-famous paleontologist who survived the incident on Isla Nublar and has since developed an extensive and groundbreaking theory concerning Velociraptor intelligence.
- William H. Macy as Paul Kirby, the owner of a hardware store who poses as a wealthy businessman in order to lure Grant into helping search for his son.
- Téa Leoni as Amanda Kirby, Paul's ex-wife who accompanies the group to Isla Sorna to search for her son.
- Alessandro Nivola as Billy Brennan, a young and over-enthusiastic graduate student from Grant's dig site; he knows how to fly a parasail and he is very physically fit.
- Trevor Morgan as Eric Kirby, Paul and Amanda's 12-year-old son who's stranded on Isla Sorna.
- Michael Jeter as Udesky, a meek but sardonic mercenary pilot who flies the airplane to Isla Sorna. Also a booking agent.
- Bruce A. Young as M.B. Nash, also a mercenary pilot: according to his dog tags he is a former Sergeant Major.
- John Diehl as Cooper, a tough mercenary and weapons specialist.
- Laura Dern as Dr. Ellie Degler, née Sattler, a paleobotanist who also survived Isla Nublar.
- Taylor Nichols as Mark Degler, Ellie's husband and an expert in treaty law at the U.S. State Department.
- Mark Harelik as Ben Hildebrand, Amanda's reckless boyfriend.
- Julio Oscar Mechoso as Enrique Cardoso, the owner and operator of the illegal "Dino-Soar" parasailing service.
- Blake Michael Bryan as Charlie Degler, Ellie and Mark's 3-year-old son.
- Sarah Danielle Madison as Cheryl Logan, one of Grant's graduate students at the Fort Peck Lake dig site.
- Linda Park as Hannah, Ellie's secretary.
Dinosaurs on screen
- Tyrannosaurus Rex
Joe Johnston had been interested in directing the sequel to Jurassic Park and approached Spielberg, a friend of his, about the project. While Spielberg wanted to direct the first sequel, he agreed that if there was ever a third film, Johnston could direct. Johnston never had any concrete concept for the third film, other than stating the film would be "more stand-alone" and feature a lot of flying reptiles. The third film was greenlit in August 1999 and Craig Rosenberg wrote a script involving teenagers who get marooned on Isla Sorna. An earlier storyline by Spielberg featured Alan Grant living in a tree on one of the islands and studying the dinosaur population.
New writers were brought in to scribe a story involving Pteranodons escaping from Site B and causing a spate of mysterious killings on the mainland, which was to be investigated by Alan Grant and a number of other characters including Billy Brennan, a naturalist named Simone, a tough military attaché, wealthy Paul Roby, and Roby's teenage son Miles. Grant's group crash-lands on the island, while a parallel investigation is being carried out on the mainland. The aviary sequence and laboratory set piece were initially much longer and more complex, including Velociraptors stealthily entering the hatchery as the team spends the night there. Sets, costumes, and props were built for this version, before Johnston rejected the entire script five weeks before filming in order to pursue the "rescue mission" plot, which had been suggested by David Koepp. Johnston said that the script was never finished during production: "We shot pages that eventually went into the final script but we didn't have a document". During the pre-production phase, concept artists created advertising for the film using a number of working titles including Jurassic Park: Extinction and Jurassic Park: Breakout.
After a teaser trailer debuted with Pokemon: The Movie 2000 on July 21, 2000, Production began on August 30, 2000 without a finished script, with filming in California, Oahu, and Molokai. The storyline contains minor scenes from Crichton's Jurassic Park and The Lost World novels that were not featured in the film versions, such as the Pteranodon aviary and the use of the boat. In a deviation from the previous films, the Spinosaurus is considered the primary antagonist: Johnston stated, "A lot of dinosaurs have a very similar silhouette to the T-Rex ... and we wanted the audience to instantly recognize this as something else." The silhouette of the Spinosaurus is also on the poster behind the Pteranodon, taking the place of the Tyrannosaurus which had been used in the previous films' posters. Baryonyx was originally considered to be the "big bad" before Spinosaurus was chosen. Within film dialogue, Billy interprets the animal encountered as a Baryonyx or Suchomimus, but Dr. Grant corrects his analysis based on its sail.
The special effects used for the dinosaurs were a mixture of animatronics and CGI. Due to new discoveries and theories in the field of paleontology, the portrayal of several dinosaurs differed from that of the previous films. Discoveries suggesting that Velociraptors were feathered prompted the addition of quill-like structures on the head and neck of the males in the film. "We've found evidence that Velociraptors had feathers, or feather-like structures, and we've incorporated that into the new look of the raptor", said paleontologist Jack Horner, the film's technical adviser.
Given John Williams was busy writing the music for Spielberg's own A.I. Artificial Intelligence, he recommended Don Davis to write the Jurassic Park III score. Williams' original themes were integrated into the score as well as several new ones, such as one for the Spinosaurus that focused on low sounds, with tubas, trombones and timpani. The fight between him and the Tyrannosaurus, compared by Davis to King Kong fighting a dinosaur in the 1933 film, had a juxtaposition of the Spinosaurus theme with the one Williams wrote for the T. rex.  In addition, "Big Hat, No Cattle", a song by Randy Newman, was used in a restaurant scene.
The film earned $181,171,875 in the United States and $368,780,809 worldwide, making it the eighth-highest-grossing film of the year worldwide but still earning less than either of its predecessors. As with the other films in the franchise, there was a large marketing push, including seven video games and a novelization aimed at young children. The film was released on VHS and DVD in December 2001. It was re-released with both sequels in December 2001 as the Jurassic Park Trilogy, and as the Jurassic Park Adventure Pack in November 2005. The film has also been released as a two-disc DVD set alongside Hulk. In 2011, the film was released on Blu-ray as part of the Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy. The soundtrack was released in July 2001.
Scott Ciencin wrote three children's books to tie in with the film; the first detailed the eight weeks Eric spent alone on Isla Sorna; the second had Eric and Alan returning to Isla Sorna to rescue a group of teenage filmmakers; and the last involved Eric and Alan leading the Pteranodons home after they nest in a Universal Studios theme park.
Jurassic Park III has received mixed reviews from critics. It currently holds a 49% "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 158 reviews. The general consensus stated that "The dinos are as cool as ever, but there's too much of a 'been there, done that' feel." It also has a 42% on Metacritic, indicating mixed or average reviews. On both sites, it is the lowest rated film out of the Jurassic Park trilogy.
Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman, who praised both the previous Jurassic Park films, awarded the third film with only a C grade, writing "Jurassic Park III has no pretentions to be anything more than a goose-bumpy fantasy theme-park ride for kids, but it's such a routine ride. Spielberg's wizardry is gone, and his balletic light touch as well, and that gives too much of this 90-minute movie over to the duller-than-dull characters." Derek Elley of Variety Reviews felt likewise, calling the film "an all-action, helter-skelter, don't-forget-to-buy-the-computer-game ride that makes the two previous installments look like models of classic filmmaking" Ben Varkontine, however, called it "not as good a ride as the first", but "better than the second." Much of the criticism was leveled at the plot as simply a chase movie with no character development; Apollo Movie Guide panned the film as being "almost the same as the first movie" with "no need for new ideas or even a script". Empire magazine gave the film 3 stars out of 5, commenting that it was "Short, scrappy and intermittently scary" and that the film ultimately "skews young". There were also complaints about its short length and small cast.
Hasbro released a line of 3.75" action figures in the spring of 2001 to coincide with the release, including electronic dinosaurs, humans, and vehicles. The figures were scaled down from the original Kenner action figures from the pre-JP3 toy lines. A smaller die-cast line of toys was also produced, along with clothes, books, and an interactive game. An arcade game, produced by Konami, and a video game, were also part of the Jurassic Park 3 merchandise.
Awards and nominations
|Saturn Awards||Best Science Fiction Film||Nominated|
|Best Special Effects||Jim Mitchell, Stan Winston (uncredited), Danny Gordon Taylor, Donald Elliott, John Rosengrant||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards||Best Visual Effects||Nominated|
|Best Sound Mixing||Howell Gibbens||Nominated|
|Golden Trailer Awards||Best Horror/Thriller Film||Nominated|
|Golden Reel Awards||Best Sound Editing - Effects & Foley||Howell Gibbens, Christopher Boyes, James Likowski, Frank E. Eulner and Ken Fischer||Nominated|
|Sierra Awards||Best DVD||Won|
|BMI Film Awards||Best Music||Don Davis and John Williams||Won|
|Golden Raspberry Awards||Worst Remake or Sequel||Nominated|
|Stinkers Bad Movie Awards||Worst Actress||Tea Leoni||Nominated|
|Worst Screenplay for a Film Grossing More Than $100 Million Worldwide Using Hollywood Math||Peter Buchman, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor, based on the book by Michael Crichton||Nominated|
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- Scott Ciencin (October 2001). Prey. Boxtree. p. 123. ISBN 0-375-81290-3.
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