Jurassic Park III (2001)

Genres - Science Fiction, Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Prehistoric Fantasy, Sci-Fi Action  |   Release Date - Jul 18, 2001 (USA)  |   Run Time - 92 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Josh Ralske

When Steven Spielberg was looking for someone to take over the helm of his dinosaur series, Joe Johnston was a natural choice. He'd already worked on the special effects for the first Star Wars trilogy and directed Honey I Shrunk the Kids and October Sky, proving his skill at working with special effects without losing sight of a story's human interest. Johnston has done the series proud, as Jurassic Park III is a non-stop action-adventure of the highest order. The director was aided by a talented cast, including William H. Macy of Fargo, Alessandro Nivola of Face/Off, the charming Téa Leoni, and Sam Neill, returning as Dr. Alan Grant from the first film. They all deliver strong performances, bringing just the right level of gravity to the wildly improbable proceedings. The script, co-written by Election's Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, was still not finished when the film started production, which makes the contribution of the actors, who were forced to improvise some of their dialogue, even more impressive. But most of the credit for the film's success goes to Johnston, editor Robert Dalva, and the technical crew (both puppeteers and CGI artists) responsible for bringing the film's real stars to life. The dinosaurs look great, especially during a thrilling battle sequence between a T-Rex and an even larger, more ferocious Spinosaurus. Johnston and Dalva do an amazing job of keeping the proceedings moving at a breakneck pace. Without the exposition of the first two films to slow it down, Jurassic Park III leaps right into the action. It's the most action-packed, kinesthetically intense film of the series. A great summer popcorn movie, clocking in at a tight 92 minutes, the film moves fast enough to create its own air conditioning.