Jurassic Park III is a 2001 science fiction-adventure film and sequel to The Lost World: Jurassic Park and the third entry in the Jurassic Park franchise. The film was directed by Joe Johnston and stars Sam Neill, Alessandro Nivola, Téa Leoni, William H. Macy, and Trevor Morgan.
Four years have passed since the events of The Lost World: Jurassic Park. The public is aware of the existence of cloned dinosaurs on Isla Sorna but humans are now prohibited from making contact with the island. Taking advantage of this an illegal boat-towed para-gliding operation "Dino-Soar" has been set up to give "safe distance" coastal tours of the island. Young dinosaur enthusiast Eric Kirby (Trevor Morgan) and family friend Ben Hildebrand (Mark Harelik) decide to go parasailing. However, the boat is seemingly attacked by reptiles and left unmanned, heading towards a cluster of protruding rocks. Eric and Ben then detach the tow rope and drift towards Isla Sorna.
Meanwhile, Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler continue their paleontological careers but are now working independently; Ellie is married and has two children while Grant has furthered his digging career, now with a young protégé named Billy Brennan. Together they have made some interesting discoveries about raptors, even using a 3D printer to produce a replica of the creature's resonating chamber, equivalent to a voice box.
Grant is approached by Paul and Amanda Kirby, who claim to be wealthy thrill-seekers who want Grant to give them an aerial tour of Isla Sorna. Grant is very reluctant to begin with, but once the Kirbys' propose a donation to fund his dig, he accepts.
Grant, Billy and The Kirbys fly to Isla Sorna by their own plane, with three mercenary associates: Cooper, Nash and Udesky. Grant realizes that the Kirbys try to land on the island and tries to stop them but is knocked unconscious by Cooper. Billy wakes Grant after the plane has landed, and they overhear Amanda shouting someone's name through a megaphone. Grant tells her to stop, but she persists. Her actions attracts a Spinosaurus. The mercenaries, who have entered the jungle to make sure the area is "safe", burst through the trees and urgently insist on leaving the island. Billy notes Cooper's absence, but Udesky urges him back into the plane. Cooper appears on the runway as the plane begins to take off, yelling for them to stop the plane. The Spinoaurus emerges from the undergrowth and devours Cooper as Nash is forced to make a premature takeoff.
Clipping the Spinosaur's sail, the fuel bunker gets cut off causing the plane, to fall right into the jungle where it crashes into the branches of trees. The survivors find themselves intact and immediately look for an escape, only to find that the Spinosaurus has followed them. The Spinosaurus decimates the plane and kills Nash before chasing the rest of the group. Escaping, the group briefly lose the Spinosaur only to encounter a Tyrannosaurus rex feeding on the carcass of a dead Parasaurolophus. Despite Grant telling the group to remain still, the others flee but manage to lure the Tyrannosaurus to the Spinosaurus. The ferocious fight between the two predators gives enough time for the group to escape and despite having the upper hand, the Tyrannosaur is eventually overpowered when the Spinosaurus snaps the T.Rex's neck, effectively killing it.
Grant demands the truth out of the Kirby couple, and learns that they are a divorced middle-class couple looking for their son, Eric, who has been missing for eight weeks. The group finds a parasail with a camcorder and the skeletal remains of Ben's dead body. Amanda becomes horrified and traumatized when seeing the skeleton and runs away, but Paul intervenes on her behalf. Billy decides to take the parasail with him while the group next discovers a cluster of raptor eggs by a river.
After Billy has finished photographing the nest, the group enters a derelict InGen compound. While they explore the compound, a male Velociraptor attacks Amanda but they manage to trap it. The group flees the building while the raptor calls for help. The group runs into a a herd of Parasaurolophus and Corythosaurus, causing a stampede. Grant picks up Billy's satchel that he dropped and becomes separated from Billy and the Kirbys. Udesky is also separated and runs into the jungle wherein more raptors await and attack him. The raptors use his crippled body as a trap to lure Billy and the Kirbys from the tree they climbed to hide. Amanda and Paul sense that Udesky is alive by his arm movements and they descend the tree to help him. Billy senses the trap and when he tries to warn the Kirbys, Amanda slips and clings to a branch wherein two raptors scurry out of the bushes and leap towards Amanda, trying to pull her down. The raptors realize the failure of their trap wherein one kills Udesky by snapping his neck before departing to the call of one of their breed.
Meanwhile, Grant suspects that the raptors are searching for something while observing two of them communicating and is ambushed by raptors. Eric throws tear gas to fend off the raptors and rescues Grant. They take shelter in an overturned supply truck wherein Eric reveals that he managed to survive by salvaging supplies and food from the InGen compound and used gas grenades to evade dinosaur attacks. The next day, Grant and Eric hear Paul's satellite phone ringing and are reunited with the Kirbys and Billy. Paul explains that he gave the phone to Nash before he was devoured. The reunion turns sour when the Spinosaur appears, as evidenced by the satellite phone ringing from inside the dinosaur. They manage to find shelter in an abandoned observatory and the dinosaur ends the pursuit. Grant discovers that Billy has stolen some raptor eggs, explaining the earlier attacks and new behavior. When Billy explains that he did it with the "best intentions", Grant furiously tells him that "some of the worst things imaginable have been done with the best intentions" and decalres that Billy was "no better than the people who built this place"; he decides to keep the eggs to ensure the group's survival.
The group must cross a bridge in order to acces a canal boat docked in a nearby river. While walking the fog-engulfed bridge, Grant notices some defecations and realizes that they have entered a massive aviary where Pteranodons were housed. One of the species attacks Eric and takes him to its young. Using the para-glider he salvaged before, Billy rescues Eric from the species' nest and is attacked by several adults. He plunges into the river as they continue to attack him, seemingly killing him.
The group manages to board the canal boat on the river but inadvertently leaves the aviary doors unlocked. During the boat ride, they encounter some Parasaurolophus, Brachiosaurus, Stegosaurus, and Ankylosaurus grazing in a field. Grant marvels at the way they coexist with each other and their environment.
By nightfall, the group hears the phone's ringtone. They find mounds of Spinosaurus defecations containing the undigested bones and clothes of the mercenaries. As they retrieve the phone, a Ceratosaurus approaches but leaves the group unharmed. As they off down the river, Eric notices the fish in the water seem spooked. The Spinosaurus emerges from the water and capsizes the boat, tearing the engine open and spilling petrol oil into the river. Grant attempts to contact Ellie, but only manages to say "The river! Site B!" as the boat is submerged. They swim to the surface where Paul distracts the Spinosaurus by climbing a construction crane while Grant fires a flare gun, igniting the spilled petroleum and scaring the beast away for good.
The group is close to the shore when the raptors suddenly reappear, wanting their eggs back. The eggs are returned to the raptors, and using the raptor resonating chamber, Grant fakes a signal that momentarily confuses the carnivores, who retreat with their eggs when they hear the approach of some helicopters.
The group arrives at the beach to see a detachment of the United States Navy & Marine Corps, including two aircraft carriers, no doubt notified by Ellie and her husband. As they board a helicopter, Grant finds Billy is still alive, but seriously injured. As the helicopter heads towards an amphibious assault ship, the Pteranodons fly past (a scene similar to the pelicans in the first movie), apparently looking for new nesting grounds.
For a full list of the cast and crew see here
- Sam Neill as Dr. Alan Grant: World-famous paleontologist who survived the incident on Isla Nublar and has since developed an extensive and groundbreaking theory concerning Velociraptor intelligence.
- William H. Macy as Paul Kirby: The owner of a hardware store who poses as a wealthy businessman in order to lure Grant onto Isla Sorna to help search for his son.
- Téa Leoni as Amanda Kirby: Paul's estranged wife who accompanies the group to Site B, feeling guilty for having lost Eric. Knows very little about dinosaurs.
- Alessandro Nivola as Billy Brennan: A young and overly-enthusiastic graduate student at Grant's digsite whose impulsive actions land the entire rescue party in jeopardy.
- Trevor Morgan as Eric Kirby: The 12-year-old son of Paul and Amanda who ends up stranded on Site B for eight weeks, and fends for himself without Ben Hildebrand.
- Michael Jeter as Udesky: A meek but sardonic mercenary "booking agent" who travels with his two associates to the island, and is ultimately crippled and killed by Velociraptors.
- John Diehl as Cooper: A tough mercenary who's quickly abandoned by Nash and is killed by the Spinosaurus on the Site B runway.
- Bruce A. Young as Nash: The mercenary pilot who is eaten by the Spinosaurus while carrying the satellite phone.
- Laura Dern as Dr. Ellie Degler: A paleobotanist who also survived Isla Nublar and is Grant's former flame, and makes good on her promise to help him when he needs it most.
- Taylor Nichols as Mark Degler: Ellie's husband and an expert in treaty law at the US State Department, who uses his connections to help Grant's group get rescued from Isla Sorna.
- Mark Harelik as Ben Hildebrand: Amanda's reckless boyfriend who does not survive his landing on the island after he is killed.
- Julio Oscar Mechoso as Enrique Cardoso: The owner and operator of the illegal "Dino-Tours" parasailing service, which offers to take tourists close to Site B so they can see the dinosaurs. He and his crew are killed by unknown dinosaurs while taking Eric and Ben on a tour on Isla Sorna.
- Blake Michael Bryan as Charlie Degler: The three-year-old son of Ellie and Mark, who thinks of Alan Grant as "The Dinosaur Man."
- Sarah Danielle Madison as Cheryl Logan: A graduate student who flirts with Billy (or who is flirted with) at Grant's dig site in Montana.
- Linda Park as Hannah: Ellie's assistant whose duties include dealing with Tom, Ellie's editor.
- Sonia Jackson as Symposium Leader
- Bruce French as Science Reporter
- Bernard Zilinskas as 'Male Student
- Rona Benson as Female Student
- Frank Clem as Man in Suit'
- Karin M. Gaardner as Paleontology Student #1
- Edward C. Gillow as University Professor
- Craig Richards as Billy's Bar Buddy
- Brad Everett Young as Paleontology Student #2
List of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures in the Film
- Tyrannosaurus rex
- Baryonyx (mentioned) (cut)
- Carnotaurus (cut)
- Mosasaurus (cut)
- Ouranosaurus (cut)
- Suchomimus (mentioned)
- Unidentified dinosaur fetuses
Click here: Jurassic Park III/Media for images and videos related to this article.
JP3 was originally going to be called "Jurassic Park: Extinction", but then Universal decided to drop it. JP3 was greenlit in 1999, with the first draft of the script being written by Craig Rosenberg. The script greatly differed from the final film and was about six teenagers who become marooned on Isla Sorna. Joe Johnston rejected it because he felt it was like an episode of "Friends", and no one wanted to see six teenagers on the island, though Johnston did not think it the script was poorly written. The second script was closer to the final film in that featured both Billy and Grant with a family who had a child crash landing on Isla Sorna. This script would have also had a parallel storyline where people were mysterious being killed on the Costa Rican mainland and the cause of these deaths would be revealed to be the Pteranodons. Though it had been storyboarded and filming had been scheduled as well as budgeted, the second script was later scrapped five weeks before filming when David Koepp came up the idea of the rescue mission, which the filmmakers liked. Johnston never had any concrete concept for the third installment, other than stating the film would be "more stand-alone" and feature lots of flying reptiles.
Production began on August 30, 2000, without a finished script, with filming in California, Oahu, and Molokai. Although it is an original story, not based on a Michael Crichton novel, it contains minor scenes from Crichton's Jurassic Park and The Lost World novels that were ultimately not featured in the film versions, such as the Pteranodon aviary and the use of the boat. In a change from the first two films, the Spinosaurus replaced the T. rex as the main antagonistic dinosaur. As to why the Spinosaurus was chosen for the role, Johnston stated, "A lot of dinosaurs have a very similar silhouette to the T. rex... and we wanted the audience to instantly recognize this as something else." Baryonyx was originally considered to be the "big bad" before the Spinosaurus was chosen.
The special effects used for the dinosaurs were a mixture of animatronics and CGI. The portrayal of several dinosaurs differs from that of the previous two films. Due to new discoveries and theories in the field of paleontology, suggesting that Velociraptors were feathered, the male Velociraptors in the film have quill-like structures on the head and neck. "We've found evidence that Velociraptors had feathers, or feather-like structures, and we've incorporated that into the new look of the raptor," said paleontologist Jack Horner, dino adviser on the film.
Allusions to the novels
A major point of critique on Jurassic Park III was that it wasn't based on a novel of Michael Crichton, but was merely the product of the script writers. However since Crichton only wrote two novels, a third movie could only contain novel material that had not already been used in the first two films.
- Like in the novels Ellie Sattler marries and has children with a man that isn't Alan Grant.
- Billy steals dinosaur eggs, just like Lewis Dodgson, Howard King and George Baselton do in The Lost World.
- The laboratories of the InGen Compound resemble those of the Lost World novel. The laboratories were not specifically seen in The Lost World: Jurassic Park but did show an abandoned facility building.
- The Aviary first appeared in the Jurassic Park novel (but was ultimately not seen in the first film).
- The Pteranadons ultimately fulfill the role of Cearadactylus in the first novel.
- The travel with the boat over the river and the subsequent attack of the Spinosaur ultimately resembles the scene from the first novel. There Dr. Grant and the kids travel in the rowboat over the river and are attacked multiple times by the Tyrannosaurus.
JP3 opened to mixed reviews and audience reaction. IMDb has given it a rating of 5.8, based on +100,000 ratings. RottenTomatoes holds a 50% positive rating, based on 157 reviews counted. The general consensus states that "The dinos are as cool as ever, but there's too much of a 'been there, done that' feel." On Ebert and Roeper, Richard Roeper gave it a Thumbs Down, while Roger Ebert awarded a Thumbs Up. In a subsequent review, Ebert called it "the best blockbuster of the Summer". In his written review, Ebert gave the film three stars and wrote that while the film was not as awe-inspiring as the first film or as elaborate as the second, "it's a nice little thrill machine. [...] I can't praise it for its art, but I must not neglect its craft..."
Some believed it was an improvement over The Lost World: Jurassic Park, while others felt the series was spiraling into B-movie territory, something that had also happened to the Jaws franchise. It has been described as a "continuous chase scene", heavy-handed on the action and adventure but doing little in the way of character development. Although the film was a big success, earning $180 million domestic and $365 million worldwide, it grossed less than either of its predecessors.
Fans also reacted unfavorably to the Spinosaurus vs. T. rex Scene, claiming they were "throwing away the icon of the series".
The film was criticized for being a shallow cash in on the series, as unlike the other films. Critics and fans who hated JP3 did not praise the direction of Joe Johnston.
- JP3 is the first Jurassic Park film not to be directed by Steven Spielberg, written by David Koepp, or composed by John Williams. It's also the first film in the series not based on a Michael Crichton novel, although it ultimately contains minor scenes from Crichton's Jurassic Park and The Lost World novels that were ultimately not featured in the film versions.
- According to director Joe Johnston, he was interested in directing the sequel to Jurassic Park and approached friend Steven Spielberg about the project. Spielberg said that should interest come in doing a second sequel, Johnston would be allowed to direct.
- This is, so far, the only Jurassic Park film where the T. rex is not the lead giant carnivorous dino-star. That role was instead given to the Spinosaurus. In the Spinosaurus vs. T. rex Scene a Tyrannosaurus rex is killed by a Spinosaurus. This in itself was due to the advice of Paleontologist Jack Horner, Speilberg's chief Paleontological expert advisor. He actually expresses his obvious disdain for Tyrannosaurus on a behind the scenes video clip, claiming Spinosaurus was the real super-predator and that it could 'cause an extinction on the island'. However, the decision was controversial as the Spinosaurus was poorly received by fans.
- Several of the action sequences, such as the Pteranodon aviary and the Spinosaur's river attack, were ultimately featured in the original Jurassic Park novel, but were previously abandoned due to budget and story concerns. The sequence in the laboratory, with all the dinosaur fetuses in the tanks of liquid, was in the Lost World novel, but ultimately not in the film.
- The landscape of Isla Sorna is very drastically different from that in The Lost World. In reality, this is because much of The Lost World was only shot in the coniferous forests of California, while JP3 was instead filmed in Hawaii. This is considered a major flaw by many Jurassic Park fans, although this could be because the parts of the island seen here are in the lowlands of the island which is tropical, while the sections scene in TLW is only from the highlands of the island. While this is possible, some dispute that such changes in terrain would occur on an island the size of Sorna.
- Surprisingly, a vast majority of jungle scenes are actually studio based with artificial trees and plants.
- Some draft scripts featured Billy's death. He was brought back in late revisions to remove all tragic elements from the ending in order for the film to end on a higher note.
- The film originally included Jeff Goldblum and his character, Ian Malcolm. A few days into filming, Goldblum injured his leg and decided to drop out, stating that his character wasn't that important to the script. Many fans were pleased Goldblum dropped out, saying that the character would get boring if they used him for a third time. The irony though should be noted as his character injured his leg in the first movie, and in before the third, he broke his leg, following in the steps of his character.
- The film was going to be released in Summer 2000, but delay of production reslated the film for a Summer 2001 release.
- There were also some other titles for this movie such as Jurassic Park: Extinction, and Jurassic Park: Breakout. The DVD shows some early poster artwork.
- If you look closely, you will see that in the first scene to feature the Spinosaurus, a fly lands on Mr. Kirby's shoulder as he is talking with Dr. Grant.
- In the "Valley of the Dinosaurs" scene, you will notice a number of small white birds resting on the dinosaurs' backs and flying above their heads. They likely accompany the herbivorous dinosaurs on the island, and perhaps eat harmful parasites from their skin while perched on their backs, in a similar fashion to the relationships between Oxpeckers and Rhinos and African Buffalo of the African plains.
- This is the only film where the film's logo isn't a T. rex instead it is the Spinosaurus.
- Dr Grants dream about the Velociraptor while on the plane makes very little sense as the dream involved a breed of raptor that he had never seen before and did not know existed. This scene is often made fun of by the JP fanbase.
- The ending scene of Dr Grant looking on as a flock of Pteranadons fly past the helicopter was origionally supposed to be the ending for Jurassic Park, it is unknown why it was changed.
- 2001 WORLDWIDE GROSSES, from boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved at 2012-01-03.
- Evolution of the dinos - Ten questions with Joe Johnston DVDFILE.com.
- Topel, Fred. Jumanji's Joe Johnston Joins Jurassic Part 1: Shooting without a script. About.com
- Jurassic Park III DVD Featurette: "The New Dinosaurs of Jurassic Park III"
- The Lost World (novel), Palo Alto, page 445 (Novel bundle).
- IMDd, Jurassic Park III, data retrieved at 2012-07-21.
- rottentomatoes.com, Jurassic Park III