Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Jurassic Park III ★★1/2

Image result for Jurassic Park 3 movie poster

    "Jurassic Park III" is a prime example of a constituent to a franchise that desperately attempts to recapture the magic and wonder of the previous installments, yet ultimately leaving one dire aspect of filmmaking unaccounted for: inventiveness. Case in point: Our plot--which theoretically becomes the only element of any value--merely consists of Alan Grant (Sam Neill), a central protagonist in the first film, and his journey to Isla Sorna (also known as site B) with his esteemed colleague, Billy, and several other characters that would never be able to conjure memorability even if they had tried.

    I mean, the picture is what is is. Its intention is clearly to sweep us away from our mundane existences for ninety minutes to indulge in an escapist type atmosphere, which just so happens to include several large carnivorous dinosaurs and enough mind-numbing action to make anyone pine for intellectual stimulation afterward. With all of that being said, however, it is this rather banal storyline and several less than stellar performances that essentially contribute to a film that is not only routine in its primitive design, but quite dull. (Neill seems to be just going through the motions and this lethargic behavior seems to rub off on the rest of the cast throughout.)

    In any case, it is not so much as to what the final product delivers here, but what the picture lacks in its pre-production. The absence of Steven Spielberg's brilliance (as his role becomes that of executive producer instead of renown director) and Michael Crichton's writing could not be more evident; if anything, "Jurassic Park III" should be designated as nothing more than an extension of previously developed creativity, as even the score of John Williams becomes susceptible to this showing of sheer vapidity. (The original score to "Jurassic Park" is present, yet modified to an extent so that it can be viewed as revitalized instead of what it really is--one of the several examples of re-packaging.) In fact, the only contribution worthy of the title "original" would be that of Jack Horner, the resident paleontologist turned human reference book, who authorizes the franchise's correctness.

    What strikes me the most about this film, however, is its slight transition from traditional animatronic dinosaurs to those created by way of computer graphic imaging. There are a number of new additions to the roster of prehistoric actors (most notably that of the Spinosaurus, the largest meat-eater to ever grace the Earth, and the Pteranodon), and sure there are plenty of instances where the rather wonderful animatronic creatures make an appearance, yet their usage seems to have been diminished when compared to the film's predecessors.

    Of course, this minor conversion will inevitably come into context with any future "Jurassic Park" endeavors (simply because that is where the special effects department is headed), although one can never forget the genuine look of the animatronic predators created by Stan Winston, who rightfully earned an Academy Award for his role in the 1993 production of the franchise's first picture.

    Which brings us to this thought: There is this misguided notion that audiences will become somewhat jaded with regard to these dinosaur's abilities; a notion whose influence can certainly be seen in this film with the increased utilization of computer graphic imaging to provide scenes with more "Dino action." (Which is best encapsulated by an all out brawl between the Spinosaurus and the Tyrannosaurus Rex.) Although this conviction may be accurate in its claim, a filmmaker must never replace an audience's need with a so-called desire. The animatronic dinosaurs seem undeniably real in their design and add a level of authenticity to the production that a computer could never dream of doing. After all, if filmmakers routinely exchanged an audience's need with their carefree desire, then the art of film would suffer immeasurably.    

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