Good Bad Flicks: Exploring Jurassic Park 3

Exploring Jurassic Park 3

With Jurassic World newly released, let's explore Jurassic Park 3.

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I think I can explain the dislike people have toward this movie... It's utterly boring.

Sam Neil looks and sounds totally disinterested in every scene he's in, Tea Leoni is freakishly annoying, and the plot comes across like a 12-year old's fan fiction from the very first minute.

And while I'm sure the Spinosaur animatronic took a lot of work to make, on screen it looked and moved like a themepark attraction, not a living breathing animal. It also brings into question why we never saw this big bastard in The Lost World. And killing off the T-Rex so early on was a big mistake. You know what would've been awesome? If we had these two clash a couple times throughout the movie culminating in a big climactic fight at the very end.

The tagline for this movie really should've been Jurassic Park 3: I Guess, because the whole thing comes across as this flacid attempt to kick a couple of extra coins from a dead franchise.

The real problem with JP3, aside from William H. Macy and whatever-her-name-was being boring characters, is that it has no bite. In the first Jurassic Park movie, you got a feeling like anyone was fair game. All of the characters were reasonably developed and had believable personalities, so there was never a point where you felt like certain people were unkillable. Well, except the kids, you know Spielberg isn't going to kill kids, but we can ignore that.

In all the JP movies that have come since (and that includes JW), the only people who die either nameless extras (mercenaries, park security, etc), or people who the movie frames as "okay to die" because they're either bastards or (in the case of Mr. Indian guy who's name I can't remember in Jurassic World) they were responsible for making the monsters.

In JP 3, they're still in the mindset from JP2 where they can only kill off extras or characters who aren't developed enough for the audience to care about. JP3 kills off all the extras in the first five minutes of them getting on the island, meaning that for the rest of the movie, you know nobody is going to die. For all its great effects and attempts to build tension, it's dissolved by the inescapable outside awareness that you are watching a film that doesn't have the balls to kill anybody you know.

And also PTSD does not mean you dream about talking raptors. PTSD would mean having vivid flashbacks when something reminds you of what caused you to develop the disorder in the first place. If Alan had PTSD, he wouldn't have been able to continue digging up bones because just seeing the skeletons would have triggered panic attacks. So, in context or out of context, the talking raptor dream sequence is ridiculous.

CecilT:
Exploring Jurassic Park 3

With Jurassic World newly released, let's explore Jurassic Park 3.

Watch Video

very simple they used the biggest pariah in the paleontological world as their "expert" jack horner is an idiot who puts his bone head theories above proof and as such put a largely unknown spinosaurous in the film because he thinks T-Rex is a scavenger despite the evidence that proves otherwise. As such he rushed to put spinosaurous in before they know much about it, so by the time the film came out they knew the stupid thing was more like a croc semiaquatic and walked on four legs making the fight in the movie complete bullshit and as such pissing off a lot of dinosaur lovers.

I will still take The Lost World over JP3 any day. I do love Lost World despite its many, many flaws. Spielberg was phoning it in, to be sure, but its a testament to his raw talent as a filmmaker that so much of that movie is watchable. He's still a master of suspense, and he puts it to great use during the Rex attacks and the buildup to the Raptors in the long grass.

I agree with the sentiment that JP3 is better than Lost World. Not a lot better, but certainly more well-made. Lost World was at the outset an ass-pull, the characters are utterly unlikeable, the so-called villains are more reasonable than our heroes, and aside from the Tyrannosaurs attacking the trailer, there is very little actual excitement. Also, the T-rex in the city was just too silly to enjoy. Jurassic Park may be popcorn movie material, but that whole sequence was dumb and unnecessary.

The 3rd movie tried to change things up by introducing new dinos and telling a somewhat smaller story. Fewer characters and a simpler plot makes it feel much more streamlined than 2, which made it more watchable to me. And Sam Neill > Jeff Goldblum, whatever the Buzzfeed parodies say.

ecoho:

CecilT:
Exploring Jurassic Park 3

With Jurassic World newly released, let's explore Jurassic Park 3.

Watch Video

very simple they used the biggest pariah in the paleontological world as their "expert" jack horner is an idiot who puts his bone head theories above proof and as such put a largely unknown spinosaurous in the film because he thinks T-Rex is a scavenger despite the evidence that proves otherwise. As such he rushed to put spinosaurous in before they know much about it, so by the time the film came out they knew the stupid thing was more like a croc semiaquatic and walked on four legs making the fight in the movie complete bullshit and as such pissing off a lot of dinosaur lovers.

no that discovery came in 2014 long after the movie was released. When the movie came out we pretty much thought it looked like the one in the movie.

Yeah I'd probably be more inclined to sit through JP3 because I found the "heroes" apart from Goldblum more insufferable in 2.
As Vampwizimp said above even the freaking villains are more reasonable.
I do however like aspects of both films and find them enjoyable anough to sit through if they're on though.

I'm gonna chime in and agree with the people saying that the Spinosaurus animatronic looked bad. In fact, I think its the worst animatronic effect in the entire series. Hell, most of the CG in the first Jurassic Park, as dated as it looks, still looks better with the Spinosaurus. Additionally, I think the CG in JP3 was very much hit or miss. They did a fantastic job with the raptor CG, best CG in the series, even better than T-Rex introduction in JP1, the Spino CG was generally really good, and the Pteradactyls were good as well, but a lot of other CG moments were mixed to downrigh terrible. The scene of them flying over the island was decent for the most part, but moments where you went "thats CG" and the scene where they're going down the river and the longnecks come over and practically do a cheesy 3D shot was just terrible looking. Then there was that big red carnivore that laid the pile of shit, which looked faked. Good CG actually, but clearly fake again the backdrop. The hit or mess on those effects were sprinkled throughout the whole film instead of just around one central area, like how the CG in JP1 only really becomes noticable at the end. The fake-as-hell Spinosaurus was probably the final straw on a lot of people for effect though. To compare, Lost World had this really fantastic shot of one of the T-Rex parents, and nothing the Spino did got anywhere close to as good as that.

From 0:14 - 0:21

That one shot that lasts not even seven whole seconds and it looks miles better than anything the animatronic Spino did. Its especially weird to me that they used so much of the animatronic Spino for the night scene, where CG tends to look better. Spino CG actually looked pretty good, even in the daytime, so I'm kind of surprised that they used so much of the animatronic because the CG really does hold up pretty well. I think its a mixture of "in hindsight, we should've done this" and a director who didn't know how to really use a ginormous prop like the Spino.

Anywho, another complaint is generally about the story and characters. Story is bland and characters are uninteresting. I'm surprised that they didn't use the characters of Tea Leoni and William H. Macey to make them the bad guys to some extent. After all, they ended up getting three people killed, presumably lying to them about their fortune to get them to come onto the island like they did to Sam Neill's characters. The human villain element that was in JP1 and JP2 was, for the most part, absent in JP3. We find out Billy took some eggs and he gets axed off in the next sequence. I should note, the actor who played him got upset that his character dies so they rewrote the script so that he lived. That was also one of the problems with the film - no stakes. Nobody we cared about died. There were characters we liked in JP1 that died, with Malcolm seemingly getting the axe for a time. In JP2 one of the only two "protagonists" got eaten in the scene I just linked. In JP3, they axed off people whose names we never learn and have no character traits. We have "white guy who gets eaten on runway", "black guy who, of course, gets eaten" and "white guy who survived past the first three minutes on the island". The only characters that are really interesting are Eric and Grant, and we all know in the back of our minds that neither or those two are getting axed off. The plot is too damn predictable and they use too much screen time focusing on the parents and trying to make them victims rather than villains as well as trying to get them back together than focusing on other characters - I think if they spent more time on Eric-Grant the movie would've been much better off.

One final thing, JP3 kind of lacked vision. While JP2 is unitentionally a brilliant takedown of eco-terrorists, environmentals and animal rights activists[1] in a film thats meant to lionize them, and it had its fair share of really stupid moments, its got a heart that I don't think JP3 has. JP3 is good for one or two viewings, but there's really nothing interesting about it. A movie that is bad but in an interesting way has a much longer shelf-life and is more engaging than a film that you flatline throughout but isn't insulting your intelligence at certain moments. Like JP2 has a fair amount of awful characters and stupid moments, but its interesting and has some scenes that are really gripping. I remember vividly in a 150 minute movie that I left in this post that are just fantastic, yet what I remember most about JP3 is terrible Spino animatronics, and two other scenes. The first scene is the hysterically bad airplane raptor scene. If you wanted to get across that he has PTSD and was a dream sequence, there's a much better way to do it. The other scene, which was actually intentionally funny, was when they're wandering from the crash site and come across the T-Rex. Its not bad, perse, but I never feel that the movie does anything to deserve my attention past the first act act. It never builds thematically, never does anything interesting with most of the cast, and the plot armour alongside the obvious dead men walking kills suspense. There's a lot of little ways that this could've been improved, and honestly it really shines on through how rushed the script was. I mean, I love Alien 3, I really do. Filming for that started before they even had a script, but that movie was interesting, it had ideas, it had themes, it had some suspense. Yeah, its a mess, but its trying to be something, even without a finished script, whereas JP3 isn't trying to be anything and has a glaring lack of polish.

[1] the real bad guy of the film is Vince Vaughn - literally every bad thing that happens in the film can be attributed to him, responsible for the deaths of dozens of people.

The husband and wife from the movie were atrocious characters. The wife especially. She managed to be more annoying than both of the kids from the first movie combined. However, everything else about the movie was either fine or pretty good in my opinion. I definitely liked it more than Jurassic World.

as stated in the first 2 comments. it was just boring and the characters are forgettable and uninteresting. the dinos sure looked nice and i did read about the raptors looking different than what we saw in the first 2 movies. but part 3 as such was still bad. only because a lot of work went in to it, doenst make it automatically good. and the talking raptor scene is still stupid and cant resemble it with PTSD.

i still love watching part 1 over and over again, even after 20 years. because it is not boring, has way better characters, fitting humor and the right amount of drama and dino action you can ask for. i mean come on, how can you not forget the awesome kitchen scene that even now still holds me on edge? thats something the last 2 movie didnt have at all.

i have read both books. sure, huge differences to the movies (as always) but the lost world was far better than the movie. no trex in the city, only a handful of hunters and other differences i for some reason cant recall. has been nearly 20 years since i have read the books.

The Rex bit down on Spineosaur's neck. That's a literal ton of pressure with those massive teeth, it would have shattered it's bones and killed it right there. At the very least all the arteries would have been punctured and it would have bled to death.

The blond woman who's name I won't even mispronounce, is not the best actress in the world, she always comes off as grating and annoying to me.

The raptor breaking that guy's neck with a bite & twist. Yeah they are shown to be clever, but that's some clairvoyant level shit right there. How do they know human anatomy and what our weakspots are? I can buy Spino breaking the Rex's neck, during the heat of a fight, sometimes things happen.

Overall it wasn't a bad movie per se, definately the weaker of the 3. There just weren't enough likeable characters for me to become invested in it.

I'm gonna go ahead and call foul on your black and white fallacy. Just because the movie is based on an unrealistic premise (bringing dinosaurs back) doesn't mean it's okay to throw ALL realism out the window. There's this thing called willing suspension of disbelief. You can't have a series establish one of its main suspense hooks on how the big dinosaurs shake the earth when they walk, and then suddenly decide that one of them was able to all ninja and sneak-up on them just because you want to have an "Oh shit there's one right here" moment.

Now I don't know, it's been ages since I've seen the movie, so I don't know how that entire scene plays out. Maybe you can argue that they were distracted enough that they wouldn't have noticed the ground shaking. Maybe there's other reasons you could justify it as not being a plot hole when the Spinosaur was able to sneak-up on them, but to argue that demanding one form of realism means that we need to demand pure realism is just a desperate defense.

RJ Dalton:
And also PTSD does not mean you dream about talking raptors. PTSD would mean having vivid flashbacks when something reminds you of what caused you to develop the disorder in the first place. If Alan had PTSD, he wouldn't have been able to continue digging up bones because just seeing the skeletons would have triggered panic attacks.

Semantics are semantics.

WhiteTigerShiro:

RJ Dalton:
And also PTSD does not mean you dream about talking raptors. PTSD would mean having vivid flashbacks when something reminds you of what caused you to develop the disorder in the first place. If Alan had PTSD, he wouldn't have been able to continue digging up bones because just seeing the skeletons would have triggered panic attacks.

Semantics are semantics.

It's not a semantic argument. It's about the psychology that someone's attempting to portray. If they were really going for PTSD, they did no research on the subject and utterly failed to present it properly. If they weren't, then Grant just has nightmares about talking raptors. Either way, in context or out of context, the scene is just kinda stupid. It's neither funny, nor frightening, so it accomplishes nothing overall. Granted, Goldblume's kid gymnast kicking a raptor out the window is more stupid, given a large number of factors, but at least that accomplished something in the plot (IE, it saved somebody from a the raptor). It wasn't pointless and stupid, just stupid.

At the end of the day, we can argue which of the sequels is better or worse than the other, but the fact remains that the first one was the only good one. On that, I think we can *ahem* universally agree.

RJ Dalton:

WhiteTigerShiro:

RJ Dalton:
And also PTSD does not mean you dream about talking raptors. PTSD would mean having vivid flashbacks when something reminds you of what caused you to develop the disorder in the first place. If Alan had PTSD, he wouldn't have been able to continue digging up bones because just seeing the skeletons would have triggered panic attacks.

Semantics are semantics.

It's not a semantic argument.

Your entire argument hinged on the exact definition of PTSD when we all know what he meant by it. It is completely a semantic argument.

I remember enjoying this on the theatres when it came out and I've seen it a few times more on DVD and on TV and while I can see the complaints of many people, it's kind of a guilty pleasure for me, Lost World I've increasingly hated with each passing year, but JP3 I still enjoy quite a whole lot.

So much work went into it. It's amazing seeing so many professionals using all their know how to perfect the art. All let down by it's atrocious execution.

Seriously, there wasn't a proper build up or clever idea to unveil, they just land on the island and bang. They treated it like it's all been done before and just skipped to the action (same with Terminator 3), which wasn't written well enough to have that same impact as the 2 before. Plus my friends and I couldn't stand the stupid women. She become very annoying early on, and the rest of them didn't make up for it.

And unfortunately with the heaviest of sighs, The Lost World actually had the best execution when it came to the action, making it feel the biggest of the lot. There were a lot of errors (not helped by a lot of scenes left out) but the build up and tension were really well done. Didn't like the some of the characters, but the passion was there.

WhiteTigerShiro:

RJ Dalton:

WhiteTigerShiro:
Semantics are semantics.

It's not a semantic argument.

Your entire argument hinged on the exact definition of PTSD when we all know what he meant by it. It is completely a semantic argument.

GBF could have just said it was a silly dream and leave it at that without trying for a half baked PTSD explanation.

 

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