Jurassic Journeys: Jurassic Park III
Since we are continuing through the Jurassic Park franchise on our journey to the release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, we now find ourselves at Jurassic Park III. Easily the worst installment in the franchise, it was directed by Joe Johnston and released in 2001. The film follows a couple who deceitfully recruits Dr. Alan Grant to help find their son, who has gone missing on Isla Sorna. The film saw the return of Sam Neill as Dr. Alan Grant and a brief role for Laura Dern as Dr. Ellie Sattler. The movie also co-starred William H. Macy, Tea Leoni, Alessandro Nivola, and Trevor Morgan. While the film was not as financially or critically successful as its predecessors, it still managed to gross $368 million worldwide.
So, while we find this movie lacking in a lot of ways, what moments still manage to stand out?
1) Raptor Introduction
Will there ever be a moment when the velociraptor is not simultaneously cool and terrifying? I don’t think so. From the beginning of the movie, Dr. Grant talks about the intelligence and communication methods of raptors, and the first sequence with the raptors proves his statements. It is absolutely terrifying when that first raptor abruptly moves from behind the glass container, and it is just as equally disturbing when it discovers it can climb the chain link door to reach the humans. Their intelligence has always been showcased in the film franchise, and this sequence just adds to that terrifying realization. There are a lot of questionable dinosaur moments in this movie, but this is a solid introduction to the raptors.
2) Alan’s Rescue
If I am extolling the raptor sequences, then this has to be one of the best. In running from the raptors, Dr. Grant finds himself completely surrounded by them, which makes for an incredible visual. Of course, he has no idea it is because his idiot companion has stolen two of their eggs, but that is beside the point. He is completely surrounded, and it seems like a pretty hopeless situation. Eric Kirby saves the day, which also leads to a funny conversation between the two that I always appreciate. They bond over surviving against tremendous odds and their analysis of Dr. Ian Malcolm. I mean, it’s hard to believe that a young, teenage boy would be able to survive that place for eight weeks, but I can suspend believability to enjoy this scene.
3) Floating Downstream
This is just one of those shots that seems to be present in every one of the Jurassic Park movies. There is always a scene where the beautiful score swells and the dinosaurs move majestically across a wide shot. In this particular movie, we get this scene as the remaining group floats downriver on a rickety barge. In the shot we see groups of ankylosauruses, brachiosauruses, and other more benevolent species. The scene does not last long, but it always brings back some of the awe and wonder that should accompany this franchise.
I could easily argue that any scene with a raptor is a highlight of the film, but regardless, we’ve made our opinions known. So, what moments stand out from Jurassic Park III for you?
Be sure to share them in the comments below, and be on the lookout next Friday as we continue our Jurassic Journeys with a look at the 2015 revival of the franchise, Jurassic World.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.