Jurassic Park III

Jurassic Park III, following the summer pattern for blockbusters (Shrek excepted), opened big, then dropped like a stone. No wonder. JPIII stinks worse than dino dung. Sure, the creatures look good, especially the badass spinosaurus and the flying pteranodons. And how about those raptors — they actually talk. It's too bad the script doesn't extend the same courtesy to the actors, who are saddled with dialogue neither man nor beast could respond to. "No force on earth or heaven will get me back on that island," says Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), the paleontologist who winds up back in the game for the same reason Neill is repeating his role from JP1: big bucks. Executive producer Steven Spielberg ran like a raptor this time, leaving the directing to Joe Johnston (Jumanji). Humans don't interest Johnston, who strands the overqualified William H. Macy and Tea Leoni, and strips the action down to a chaotic ninety minutes that make the entire movie play like a highlight reel. This is not a compliment.

From The Archives Issue 876: August 30, 2001