Jurassic Park III

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner16/08/2001

Two stars out of Five
Running Time: 85 mins

Joe Johnston has made a reasonable stab at filling Spielberg’s shoes and stretching out a basic plot – ‘Dinosaurs eat men…Again!’ for another movie.

He uses obvious devices but at least he does so competently - the opening scene feels a bit like an episode of Casualty, where the characters are happily engaging in some sort of activity and the audience plays spot-the-next-emergency.

There wasn’t too much guess work involved in this case – the potential for catastrophe when you’re paragliding too close to an island full of monsters in bad weather isn’t hard to pinpoint.

The schoolboy errors don’t stop there. Landing on the island in a small plane with no backup, no permission, and monkeys for colleagues doesn’t stack the odds in your favour either.

But subtlety was never part of the Jurassic appeal, and if the action crashes loudly on in dinosaur-sized boots at least it does so rapidly. It’s not long before the beasts are unleashed; the mighty T-rex is replaced at the top end of the range by an even more enormous reptile; and of course the Raptors return, with impressive if slightly improbable powers of intelligent communication.

Credit must be given to the quality of animation of the dinosaurs and particularly the all-new flying Pterodactyls-with noses that size, their speed and agility is nothing short of astonishing. There is nothing remotely Flintstones about this lot.

Sam Neill’s paleontologist is humorous and believable. He is perhaps at an advantage to the other actors in that his role builds on previous incarnations, but the acting in the other roles could be considerably worse.

There are even a few moments of unexpected comedy – ‘Tyrannosaurus Rex pee?? You got that HOW??’
‘You don’t want to know, but it scares the little guys off.’

There’s also nice touch with a mobile phone which gets gobbled along with a human, and thus symbolizes the only possible communication link with the rest of mankind, and also the impending presence of a very large beast.

It’s not brilliant, it’s rather predictable, but it’s ok; it bowls along nicely and it does make you jump. What more can you ask of dinosaurs?

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Content updated: 20/01/2020 11:20

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