Directed By: Joe Johnston
Written By: Michael Crichton (characters) Peter Buchman, Alexander Payne, and Jim Taylor
This isn’t a bad movie. Of course it isn’t up to the same caliber as its predecessor, just as its predecessor wasn’t the same caliber as the original. Though it may not be a great film, it isn’t for any lack of trying. They seemed to really pull out all the stops with this one but still failed to live up to expectations both critically and financially. I think this movie is decent enough but I think it would have been much better had Steven Spielberg stay behind camera instead of simply serving as an Executive Producer. While I do think the movie could have been much better I think it was good enough and I’ve enjoyed revisiting it.
I like a few things about this movie despite everything else. I really like Sam Neill’s return to the franchise. I have always thought it was a bad idea to continue the franchise with Ian Malcolm’s character and not with Alan Grant. Neill has never had much of a career as a leading man but I think he was great in the first film and I thought he was good enough in this one. He doesn’t pull off his Indiana Jones persona as much this time but he gives it his best shot. I can’t really explain why because he is a great actor but for whatever reason I just can’t stand William H. Macy. He is just so whiny and weird looking that he gets on my nerves. However I will admit he is a terrific actor, and actually well cast for this role as a lying man who knows nothing about what he has gotten himself into. I loathe Tea Leoni and don’t know that I have ever seen her in a role I enjoyed. She is best suited to play a mega bitch as we saw her in Spanglish but I suppose it’s fitting that she was cast as the screaming and panicky mother in this one. I think the better roles went to the men who simply played the parts of fodder to be eaten by dinosaurs. I have always liked Michael Jeter and miss what else he may have done in his career had he not died at the age of 50. I grew up watching him on Evening Shade and like many of his movie roles. He lived for over 20 years as HIV positive before dying in 2003 of an epileptic seizure. I also like John Diehl who died really quickly in this movie but played a significant role in my favorite TV show of all time, The Shield.
This movie had plenty of stupid parts to it and really if you step back and look at it the whole concept of the film is a bit ridiculous. However it does sport a ton of dinosaur action and that has to count for something right? I think it was really awesome that Pteranodons finally made it into one of these movies. The flying “dinosaurs” were part of the first book and actually intended to be included in the second movie but got cut. I put dinosaurs in parenthesis because based on very limited research it seems these creatures weren’t actually dinosaurs despite what we all think. I think the addition of the Spinosaurus was cool but it was used a bit too much in the film. Though the battle between it and the T-Rex was really cool. I think this might have been the first time all the dinosaurs were digitally done instead of using animatronics and I think you can really tell a big difference. I might be wrong about that but for whatever reason they just didn’t look as real or as good as they did in the first film.
The stupid parts of this movie would include the child surviving on the island for eight weeks. Literally every “professional” through three films gets killed in these places yet this little boy just sets up shop and lives there for two months? That isn’t as farfetched and ridiculous as them being saved by Laura Dern’s character from the first movie. I thought it was weird they had her in this movie at all and I felt her coming in as the hero in the end was simply poor writing. Not only would she probably not be able to get anything done, she doesn’t even really know what’s going on and seems to simply figure it out from her child making dinosaur noises. I also think they went too far with the velociraptors. Yeah these are the most popular and deadliest of the dinosaurs we see in these movies but they were going too far by making them so intelligent and organized.
This isn’t a great movie but it is a second sequel and more often than not those are only going to be so good. I always maintain hope for the potential of third films but can’t think of many that amounted to anything. Obviously this one isn’t a movie I would say qualified as one that amounted to anything but if you are a fan of the franchise then it’s still worth your time. If you haven’t seen the first two then this is not worth your time and it would be a waste to watch it.
This is the poster for the third movie. The same thing, just updated to a more modern look and the 3 is slashed into three thrashes. I still like it. I think it is smart to use the iconic logo. It’s very marketable and helps the fans and viewers get really psyched about the new installment.
NEXT MOVIE: Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)