Jurassic Park III
Review by Rosie
Director: Joe Johnston
Rating: Imperial Star Destroyer
Word has gotten out about Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna. But no matter how much the authorities try to restrict access to the islands, thrill-seekers will still break the rules to get close enough to see the dinosaurs. And that's where the trouble starts ...
Meanwhile ... Ellie Sattler has married someone who works for the State Department and has children but is still Alan Grant's best friend and will do anything for him -- he has only to call. He is visiting and tells her of the latest theories his research has developed, and that he is struggling to drum up funding to continue the research.
Reminiscent of John Hammond barging into the dig site, Paul Kirby piques Grant's interest in a return to the land of the dinosaurs by offering to fund his research and promising only a fly-over of Isla Sorna. All is not as it seems, however ...
From their crash landing on the island through terrifying encounters with yet more of InGen's dino creations, this movie is a roller coaster ride from the get-go. True motivations are revealed when Grant learns that the Kirby's tricked him into being their guide ... But let's not give away too much of the plot.
The third installment of the dinosaur epic lived up to my expectations. The story never dragged, the effects were impressive, there were nods not only to the first two JP films, but also to a favorite fairy tale -- but you can look for that yourselves ... If there was a weakness in the film, it was in the characters. Other than Alan Grant, the rest of the cast was not quite as engaging as those in the original film. Mitigating that though is Laura Dern's cameo. Unlike many cameos, hers serves a purpose.
Steven Spielberg chose wisely when he handed the directorial reins over to Joe Johnston. Johnston is well aware of the legacy of Spielberg, but some may not realize how well qualified to follow in the master's footsteps. Johnston worked for George Lucas for nine years -- starting from the days of ANH -- draughting, designing and crafting special effects, including the well-beloved X-Wing starfighters of Star Wars fame, before leaving to pursue directing.
JP3 was almost as good as the original film, and a heck of a lot better than Lost World. It's not high art, but it delivers summer blockbuster entertainment. One additional warning though: it can be somewhat graphic in parts so it may not be suitable for very young children. That caveat aside, step back into the Jurassic Epoch -- and don't be surprised if JP4 comes along ...!