Jurassic Park III (2001)

Rating: ***
Release Date: 7/18/01
Director: Joe Johnston
Special Effects: Industrial Light & Magic, Stan Winston Studios
Cast: Sam Neill, William H. Macy, Téa Leoni, cameo by Laura Dern

More dinosaur fun. Sure, it's stupid and completely implausible, but watching people get chased by dinosaurs is always entertaining. This time around, a couple of stupid adventurers decide to illegally parasail around the restricted waters of the dino-infested island from "The Lost World" (1997). A dinosaur attack ensues, leaving our doomed parasailers stranded on the island. Meanwhile, back in Montana, Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) continues his raptor research by digging around in the ground with ever shrinking financial support. Enter William H. Macy and super-babe Téa Leoni, who lure Dr. Grant into being their guide for a supposedly "approved" flyover of the island, with the promise of further funding. This turns out to be an elaborate ruse, and things quickly go south when their plane crashes on the island. From here on out, the film turns into a non-stop flight from persecution as our dwindling band of heroes fight to survive and try to figure out how to get off the island.

About equally absurd as "The Lost World," but in a much more subtle way (no dinos running through the streets of San Diego, thank god). The dinosaur effects are excellent, and it's always a treat to see them running around and doing dinosaur-type things. The story and characters aren't really worth mentioning, and only serve as tools for the increasingly outrageous set pieces. Especially in this film, what bothers me the most is the dinosaurs' relentless interest in human beings. It seems like they're just obsessively interested in hunting them - not because they're hungry, but out of sheer pleasure and/or blood-lust. The humans put up a pretty good fight when cornered, and most predators wouldn't be nearly as persistant. But if you're going to get picky, there are tons of other issues to nit-pick in the film. If you don't let the factual inaccuracies and ridiculous plot devices get in the way, the film can be a lot of fun.