Jurassic Park III (2001)

jurassic park iii poster 2001 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Faster paced and better than The Lost World

Abrupt ending leaves you wishing for more

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Jurassic Park III

Studio:  Universal Pictures/Amblin Entertainment

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  July 16, 2001 (Premiere)/July 18, 2001 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

jurassic park iii spinosaurus

There’s a new killer dinosaur in town

When Eric Kirby (Trevor Morgan) and Ben Hildebrand (Mark Harelik) try to get close to Isla Sorna, a paragliding accident occurs, and Eric and Ben crash on the island.  Alan Grant (Sam Neill) is trying to continue his research into raptors despite the discoveries of Jurassic Park and is contacted by Paul Kirby (William H. Macy) and Amanda Kirby (Téa Leoni) for a plane tour of Isla Sorna which could fun his entire research operation.  Travelling to Isla Sorna with his assistant Billy Brennan (Alessandro Nivola), Grant learns that the reasons behind his hiring might not be true…and Grant discovers himself in the one place he never hoped to be.  On the run and hunted, Grant and the others must find a way of Isla Sorna before it is too late…but there is a new predator hunting them every step of the way.

Directed by Joe Johnston, Jurassic Park III is an action-adventure movie.  A sequel to The Lost World:  Jurassic Park from 1997, the film received mixed reviews and the lowest grossing entry in the series.  The film received a Razzie nomination for Worst Remake or Sequel.

jurassic park iii pteranodon

Finally, Pteranodons…

While The Lost World didn’t wow me like Jurassic Park, I do actually find Jurassic Park III a bit more entertaining…simply because it feels like (in many ways) that Jurassic Park III gives up trying to impress and goes for simple fun.

The movie is pretty typical in the set-up.  Grant is roped into going back to the island, dinosaurs attack, and everyone runs.  It has a rather abrupt almost non-ending where the action is rather anticlimactic between the ho-hum final fight with the Spinosaurus and the escape from the Velociraptors.  It doesn’t really feel like it has much of an idea what to do besides “run from dinosaurs”…but it feels a bit more honest than the previous sequel that thought more of itself.

The cast is good with Sam Neill returning to the franchise as the grumpy Alan Grant.  William H. Macy and Téa Leoni are both good and frustrating as the parents who want to find their kid but continuously make mistakes in the process.  Alessandro Nivola plays the generic Billy who is also rather obnoxious (but well equipped with his base-jumping parachute).  Laura Dern has a small role and Michael Jeter is too quickly dispatched in the film as well.

jurassic park iii tea leoni velociraptor ending

Soooo…the scrambled eggs I made this morning might cause a problem

The dinosaurs are always the stars of Jurassic Park and this entry soars past the previous entry.  You still get the vicious Velociraptors, but the addition of the terrifying Spinosaurus was a great add (even if they didn’t end its story great).  The movie also finally fulfills the promise of the Pteranodons which should have been in the first film (but probably were avoided for cost and complications).

Jurassic Park III isn’t a great movie, but it is more fun than the previous entry because it doesn’t take itself so seriously.  The core of the movie is dinosaurs vs. humans and the movie does that (plus we get the great talking Velociraptor gif from it).  The film’s so-so reception lead to a break in the franchise (Jurassic Park III ended the “Park” part of the series).  Jurassic Park III was followed by Jurassic World in 2015.

Related Links:

Jurassic Park (1993)

The Lost World:  Jurassic Park (1997)

Jurassic World (2015)

Jurassic World:  Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Jurassic World:  Dominion (2022)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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