The film is basically about the horrors of family breakup. The dinosaurs represent the psychological traumas that the children of feuding parents must unfortunately face.
Review by David Bruce
With a review by MIKE FURCHES


This page was created on July 19, 2001
This page was last updated on May 17, 2005

Directed by Joe Johnston
Original story by Michael Crichton
Writing credits: Peter Buchman, and Alexander Payne, & Jim Taylor

Sam Neill .... Dr. Alan Grant
William H. Macy .... Paul Kirby
Téa Leoni .... Amanda Kirby
Alessandro Nivola .... Billy Brennan
Trevor Morgan .... Eric Kirby
Michael Jeter .... Udesky
John Diehl .... Cooper
Bruce A. Young .... Nash
Laura Dern .... Dr. Ellie Sattler
Taylor Nichols .... Mark Degler
Mark Harelik .... Ben Julio
Oscar Mechoso .... Enrique Sarah
Danielle Madison .... Cheryl Logan
Linda Park .... Hannah

Produced by Larry J. Franco (producer), Kathleen Kennedy (producer), Steven Spielberg (executive producer), David Womark (associate producer)
Original music by Don Davis, John Williams (theme)
Cinematography by Shelly Johnson
Film Editing by Robert Dalva

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for intense sci-fi terror and violence.

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Jurassic Park III:
The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
John Williams and Don Davis

1. Isla Sorna Sailing Situation 2. The Dinosaur Fly-By 3. Cooper's Last Stand 4. The Raptor Room 5. Raptor Repartee 6. Tree People 7. Pteranodon Habitat 8. Tiny Pecking Pteranodons 9. Billy Oblivion 10. Brachiosaurus On The Bank 11. Nash Calling 12. Bone Man Ben 13. Frenzy Fuselage 14. Clash Of Extinction 15. The Hat Returns/End Credits 16. Big Hat, No Cattle - Randy Newman

This Time It's Not Just A Walk In The Park!

Click to enlargeAnxious to fund research for his new theory of velociraptor intelligence, renowned paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) is persuaded by a wealthy adventurer (William H. Macy) and his wife (Tea Leoni) to accompany them on an aerial tour of Isla Sorna. This infamous island, once InGen's site B, has become both a primordial breeding ground for John Hammond's magnificent creations and a magnet for thrill-seekers eager to encounter them.

Click to enlargeWhen a tragic accident maroons the party of seven, Grant discovers the true reason his deceptive hosts have invited him along. In their perilous attempt to escape with their lives, the dwindling group encounters terrifying new creatures undisclosed by InGen, and Grant is forced to learn the dreadful implications of his raptor intelligence theory firsthand.
© 2001 Universal Pictures.

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Family Chaos Monsters
by David Bruce

Click to enlargeFAMILY BREAKUP
The film is basically about the horrors of family breakup. The dinosaurs represent the psychological traumas that the children of feuding parents must unfortunately face.

Director Joe Johnson flawlessly sets the quick 90-minute film in the context of a classic B-movie with his typical genius.

In this incarnation of Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park idea we are introduced to come new characters. The focus is 14-year-old Eric Kirby whose parents, Paul and Amanda, have split apart. The story opens with Eric and his mother's new boy friend doing a promotional shoot, parasailing over the forbidden island of Isla Sorna which is the location of the doomed theme park of Jurassic Park II. Some how we know that this whole new relationship is not going to fly (all puns intended). Some how we know that there are monstrous problem to be encountered. Somehow we know that Paul and Amanda will have to face the chaotic consequences of their broken commitment.

Eric and his mother's boyfriend parasail through some fog (a classic horror film device) and when they emerge, they look down to discover that their tow boat crew is gone, blood everywhere. They are forced to glide down and land in the forbidden island.

From a psychological point of view this film is loaded with metaphors. The boy friend is the first to go -devoured by monsters. Eric, with childhood resilience, finds refuge inside the tank of a wrecked water truck. He goes into total isolation from every one, and has to learn how to survive on his own. And so is the plight of the children of divorce.

The film cuts to America. We are introduced to paleontologist Alan Grant who is seeking Grant money (all puns intended) for his research into prehistoric raptor communication abilities. Listening to his promotional lecture I realized the wonderful economy of words in this film. Every spoken line contributes directly to the plot.

In the very next scene Paul and Amanda offer Alan an enormous sum of money to fly them over the forbidden island. They pose as tourist in search of high adventure. Alan is seduced into the deception of the parents, who do not tell him of the their true intentions of locating their son. Click to enlargeThe dynamic going here is that crisis, not only separates people (family breakup), it can also bring people together (the search for a lost child). Paul and Amanda have come back together out of a common love for their son. And, they have even become coconspirators in a deception to find their son.

A plane is charted and the group of seven people is off. The plan is to fly low around the island. But, as you might imagine, the plane crashes on the island in the midst of chaos.

The team consists of the parents, Alan and his assistant, the pilot and two crewmembers. Their journey on the forbidden island begins. Along the way the chaos monsters eat a few of them. The principle here is that family problems impact a larger group of people than just the immediate family. Our forbidden island choices (deception, divorce, money seduction) can adversely affect the lives of other people. We are never alone on our islands of supposed isolation. There are consequences to our actions -we truly reap what we sow.

Paul is an individualist in the classic vein of Indiana Jones, Clint Eastwood, and John Wayne. He is what scholars of culture call the American Adam. This arch type is also found in England's Sherlock Holmes and James Bond. He is the stoic individualist that we depend upon to lead us out of chaos.

His counter type is Dr. Ellie Sattler (the Laura Dern character from previous episodes). She is now married and has children. She is not a stoic individualist. She has ascended to the ranks of motherhood and community. Guess who will be the ultimate savior at the end of the movie? Indeed, the individualist will shed his stoicism and reach out to community (the mother image). This reaching for the mother image can also be found in Spielberg's A.I. Artificial Intelligence, both in concurrent release.

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The special effects are as good as they can be. You will not be disappointed. And indeed, most people go for the dinosaur action. Only a few strange people, like myself, go for the deeper meaning and cultural relevance.
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By weathering the storm, the victory is won. The husband and wife worked together. The individualist and the Dr. mother worked. Together they defeat the chaos monsters. By working together the family is restored. The bottom line in this film speaks a noble truth. United we stand and divided we fall. Hmm, isn't that what Jesus once said?

Review by

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Mike is the Senior Pastor at United at the Cross Community Church in Wichita Kansas. United at the Cross is a church made up of individuals not often accepted in other churches. The church consists of former gang members, drug addicts, prostitutes and others. Mike also speaks nationally on various topics and is a freelance writer. To learn more about Mike and his ministry link onto www.furches.org. In the arts Mike has worked with top music artists such as Steppenwolf, Marshall Tucker Band, Kansas and has an active interest in film. Mike is pictured with his music band "Route 66." His reviews include The Mummy Returns. Amistad, The Apostle, Armageddon, The Cell, Hurricane, Dr Dolittle 2, ELO -Zoom, Frequency, The Patriot, Pearl Harbor, Rush Hour 2, Shrek, Extreme Days, The Last Castle, Serendipity, Ali, Reversal, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Jimmy Neutron, Mothman, Black Hawk Down

I am a fan of Michael Crichton and have read most of his books. The original book, Jurassic Park was laced with excellent concepts and Biblical truths as was the second book. Somewhere along the line, the movies lost much of the influence of the books and while it is generally said that books are never as good as the movie, I have found that to be a generalization and not always true.

Click to enlargeThere was a great deal of hope since the 3rd segment would pick up where the first two movies left off and address some of the material left out in the first two movies. While there were several fun aspects to the movie and some good message themes I still felt somewhat disappointed.

Click to enlargeOne note of comment here has to be made in regards to the many parents who take their children to the movie thinking that it is going to be fun family fair. This movie, in many regards, is no different than the first two. While there is a worthwhile story line the movie does include large, scary, dinosaurs that choose on occasion to eat people. It is scary and gross at parts and I would strongly discourage parents from taking very young children. Please listen to this caution before taking your children, paying for a movie ticket, and then getting up and walking out in the early scenes of the movie. This will save you money and the other patrons will not be distracted. While Planet of the Apes for example leaves a lot to the imagination, JP III does not and there is ample violence in the film.

Click to enlargeThere are a number of things in the film that I appreciated within the story line. The concept that we can not escape our past is evident in JP III. Dr. Alan Grant is once again taken back to his past to deal with the horrors that he once experienced. It is a good thing that he is along. Due to his experience of having to fight and survive the attacks of the enemies, the dinosaurs he offers the viewers as well as characters of the film some hope. This time he has a rag tag group that he is largely responsible for having to help and lead. JP III and its portrayal of Grant in many ways portrays the way Satan can use our past to deceive us and cause us to focus on things that we would just as soon forget.

Click to enlargeAlong the way Grant leads a family in the search of their lost child. Eric, played by Trevor Morgan is a young boy para-sailing off of the cost of Isla Sorna, Ingen's Site B. While para-sailing with his mothers new boyfriend, tragedy strikes and the two eventually end up on the island with all of the dinosaurs. Eric's parents, played nicely by Téa Leoni and wonderful character actor William H. Macy obtain the services of Udesky, played again by another wonderful character actor Michael Jeter of The Green Mile, The Boy's Next Door and other wonderful films. Their deceptive methods take this Enid, Oklahoma couple into the horrors of mans attempt to, as Grant puts it, "play God." As a result of men pretending that they know best others have to suffer for the foolishness of those who thought they were wise.

Click to enlargeThe consequences of man's attempt of playing God are wonderfully portrayed in the concept of Jurassic Park III. It is a concept which we are addressing now in our world with the concepts of cloning and genetic research. While 10 years ago JP III would have been perceived as being Science Fiction it could now be perceived as being Science Possibility. If we are reminded of anything from this film it should be that we can not improve on the creation of God. When God made the earth he saw each part of the creation as being either "good" or "very good." Through man's attempt at mirroring God and taking things into our own hands we see the consequences that ultimately can lead to distraction. From this perspective the JP films address real issues that face our world each day.

Another theme strongly portrayed in Jurassic Park III is the tragedy of the break up of the family. Only the threat of loosing a son can bring a family back together. It is from some wonderful scenes that we see Eric's mother and father, Amanda and Paul, noticing each other and depending on each other that we as the audience wonder, why did they ever break up to begin with? Later on in the film, Eric is even surprised that they are working together to rescue him. If they had only shown that type of love earlier than maybe he would never have been in the danger he is in the film. This also mirrors the horrors and effects in our world that exist in part due to the break up of the family.

There are a number of other plot twists along the way that keep the film moving along and the movie even throws in a shock scene now and then. It is also nice to see Sam Neill back in the JP series along with Laura Dern. Both actors do a decent job of reprising their roles although I would have preferred they been in the film even more, especially Laura Dern. That is due in part to the 90 minute time of the movie. This film could have been tied together much more nicely with an additional 30 - 45 minutes.

Click to enlargeWhile there are some redeeming value and messages to the film I was still, non the less, frankly disappointed. The story was not developed nearly as well as the earlier two films and I never thought they were exceptional films. JP III is still a fun film but, just that, a fun film with some descent value traits being portrayed.

JP III is certainly worth waiting for seeing at the discount theater house. On a scale of 1 - 10 an o.k. 5.

Subject: Jurassic_Park_III
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2001
From: Eldon

Whether or not the author intended it to be mainly about the horrors of family breakups, there is nothing wrong interpreting it that way. Often our interpretations can go beyond what is intended and adds to the art.

Subject: Jurassic_Park_III
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2001
From: Keith

It, would`ve been more realistic it the T-rex delivered a fatal blow to the sail, but we wouldn`t know it until it, dropped dead, just as it was about to eat someone, ala J1. I liked the fact, that Grant . transformed from; "Dr. Grant" to "Alan" during the film. sent with joy and love!

Subject: Jurassic Park III
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2001
From: "Tim and Carol Hampton"

Is there something wrong with movie theaters in themselves? My 19 year old bofriends parents refused to let him watch Jurassic Park III at the movie theater after repeatedly watching the other two on tape a home. Isn't that hypocritical??!! They say movie theaters are bad. Please reply, with Chistian info.

Response: Honor parents and house rules, no matter how hypocritical. Parents make so many stupid mistakes. But God bless them, it's a tough job. -David

Subject: jp3
Date: Thu, 2 Aug 2001
From: Taisha

um, except it was just really dinosaurs eating people....

Subject: Jurassic_Park_III
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2001
From: Kevin

I like the film.
And I agree, the films main point is about family

Jurassic Park III © 2001 Universal Studios . All Rights Reserved.