The Brunching Shuttlecocks Features

Jurassic Park 3

Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid.

I just saw Jurassic Park 3.

It was lame, lame, lame, lame, lame.

I know we're not supposed to expect much from these blockbusters. We're supposed to sit back and enjoy the effects; in this case we were supposed to enjoy the wondrous dinosaurs that roam around and eat people.

But I am fed up with films in which every member of the audience is infinitely more intelligent than everyone in the movie.

You can have your actors, your dinosaurs, your ominous soundtrack, your amazing set pieces and what have you, but when your script is absolutely, without doubt, utterly horrid, you lose. And we make fun of you.

Warning, I may give some stuff away, because anything I can do to make you not see this movie is a service I will have provided for the good of humanity.

The story, as they'd like you to buy into it, is as follows: Tea Leoni and William H. Macy, who claim to be big, rich adventure-craving studs, talk Dr. Grant (Sam Neill) into leading a sight-seeing tour over one of the damn Dinosaur islands (remember, there's two, not that anyone can tell them apart). He doesn't want to go to the island, but he needs money, they offer his tons of money, and what the Hell, they're just gonna fly over the island and look, right?


So they get to the island. They land on the island (and the only one in the world surprised is Sam Neill). Dinosaurs begins to eat them. Then, here's the big plot twist, it turns out Tea and William ain't rich. They're a divorced couple looking for their son, who disappeared over the island in the prologue. They conned Sam Neill into coming to the island the only way they knew how.

Which brings me to my first large problem. If Sam Neill is as terrified of these islands as he claims (he has the line "there is no force on Earth which would bring me back to those islands") then why does he go? Because they pay him? Except they don't pay him. They write him a huge check that's completely bogus. If you were being paid millions of dollars to go to the one pace on Earth you really, really don't want to go, wouldn't you MAKE SURE THE CHECK CLEARS?


There are other actors in the movie who accompany Sam, Tea and William to the island, but they may as well be wearing a hundred pounds of ground chuck around their necks. I mean the Red Shirts on Star Trek had a better chance of surviving.

Eventually, of course, they find the young boy, about thirteen or so, who has been living alone on the island for eight weeks. So guys with semi-automatic weapons are toast after five minutes on this uncharted Dino Isle, and Lord of the Flies survives for eight weeks? It only makes sense when you realize he's channeling Newt from Aliens.

OK, OK, but what about the Dinos? How do they look? They look fine.

The new stars of the Dino toy store are Spinosaurus and the flying dinos, Pteranodons. Spinosaurus is bigger than the T-Rex, and he has a long snout. So he can dig into things, like, say, an airplane fuselage, and hunt for humans as an anteater hunts for grubs. He chases our heroes for the entire movie.

The Pteranodons are cool. They fly. Our heroes walk into a huge birdcage and the Pteranodons assume it's feeding time. Also, the Pteranodons are involved in the stupidest, most heinous ending this side of Toxic Avenger 3- an ending where everyone in the audience is screaming at the screen. "Idiots!! You're all idiots!!!"

Some of our old friends are back, as well. There are Raptors, who now speak to each other. "Hi, Bob, eaten a human lately?" "No Frank, but I munched down on a crunchy Ankylosaurus last week. Yummy." There's mighty T-Rex, who lives for about ten seconds before the new Big Man On Campus, Spinosaurus, kills him in the most uninteresting grudge match since Hulk Hogan vs. The Undertaker.

There's your mandatory run-through-the-herd scenes, which are completely undistinguishable from the previous film's run-through-the-herd scenes. We find a broken down lab and yet more of the same crap about mankind playing God and what not. Yeah! We got it in the first movie! Don't need two more movies to nail down the same damn message!

And then there's the ending. Actually, there's a series of endings. And it really, really feels as though the writers got to a point just before the end and said "OK! We're done! Someone else finish it!" and then little Billy Meyers from Mrs. Crabtree's fourth grade class took a shot at it.


How lame? The only reason the Raptors don't eat everyone at the end is because Sam Neill asks them not to. He sticks a plaster cast of a Raptor's 'resonating chamber' between his lips and blows.

So the Raptors understand his message, agree to leave them along, give them directions to the coast, comment on the weather and discuss proper dining etiquette. Thank God Sam learned Raptorspeak at some point in the film.

And I'm not even going to start on how divorced mother and father stop every five minutes while being chased and try to repair their broken relationship. I mean shouldn't one of them say "You know, why don't we hold off on the bonding while we're being hunted by man-eating monsters?"

The family that is eaten together, stays together. As mush in the monster's stomach.

Nothing makes any sense. The word "River" is correctly translated as "Help! We're on the second dinosaur island, not the first one but the second one. There's a river on this island- check the maps and you'll find it- and if we can survive the next five minutes, we should be reaching the mouth of the river in about five or six hours. Could you send someone to pick us up? That'd be great. Thanks."

Sadly, there will be a fourth movie. Although just like many of this summer's disappointments, they should forget about trying to be anything other than a thrill ride. Leave the subplots out of it and just have dinosaurs chase people. That's pretty scary. That does the trick. I don't need "Dinosaurs chase people, and two people fall in love." Or "Dinosaurs chase people, and the little boy learns the value of sharing." Dinos. Chasing. People. Got it?

Jurassic Park 3 gets 1 Babylon. The dinos do look cool, and that is the only reason why this movie is not a complete zero. Well, that and the first cell-phone gag.

Editor's Note:

I need a Vitamin I.

Jurassic Park 3
Rated: PG-13
Directed By: Joe Johnston
Starring: Sam Neill, William H. Macy, Tea Leoni, Alessandro Nivola, Trevor "Newt" Morgan, a nice, fresh Michael Jeter-flavored rump roast, a tangy yet tender John Diehl smothered in orange sauce, Bruce A. Young with French-cut green beans and garlic mashed potatoes, and an assortment of dining utensils.

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