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Jurassic Park III is a 2001 film and the third in the Jurassic Park franchise. It is the first film in the series that is neither directed by Steven Spielberg nor based on a book by Michael Crichton, though numerous scenes in the movie were taken from Crichton's two books, Jurassic Park and The Lost World. The film takes place on Isla Sorna, the island from the second film, after a divorced couple hires Dr. Alan Grant to help them find their son.

After the success of the first Jurassic Park, Joe Johnston asked Steven Spielberg if he could direct the film adaptation of The Lost World, the sequel to Jurassic Park. While Spielberg wanted to do the project, he promised to give the helm of the second sequel to Johnston. Spielberg stayed involved with the film by becoming the executive producer. Three years after the release of The Lost World, production of the third film began in August 2000.


In the beginning of the film, a boy named Eric Kirby (Trevor Morgan) and his soon-to-be stepfather, Ben Hildebrand, go parasailing near Isla Sorna with Dino-soar parasailing. But when the boat's crew are killed, Ben and Eric crash on the island. Doctors Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) have continued their paleontological careers but are working independently. Ellie is married and has two children and Grant is still digging with his protégé, Billy Brennan (Alessandro Nivola). He is approached by Paul (William H. Macy) and Amanda Kirby (Téa Leoni), who say they are wealthy thrill-seekers who want Grant to give them a tour of Isla Sorna. Grant is reluctant at first, but he eventually agrees after the Kirbys promise to fund his dig.

Grant suspects that something is not quite right when the plane carrying him, Billy, the Kirbys, and a trio of mercenaries (Udesky (Michael Jeter), Cooper (John Diehl), and Nash (Bruce A. Young), lands. After Amanda uses a megaphone to try to call out to her son in the jungle, they are attacked by a Spinosaurus. They attempt to escape in the plane, leaving Cooper behind. Cooper tries to have them stop the plane and is killed on the runway by the Spinosaurus. They accidentally fly into the Spinosaurus and go down, fly through the forest and break apart when the Beechcraft Super King Air hits the trees, stranding them on the island. The Spinosaurus attacks them again and tears off the front of the cockpit. Nash is pulled out of the plane and killed. The plane falls to the ground and the Spinosaurus attempts to crush it, but Grant, Billy, Paul, Amanda and Udesky escape. They then run into a Tyrannosaurus, which follows them into the forest. They soon run into the Spinosaurus again, and the two theropods engage in battle, with the Spinosaurus emerging victorious, snapping the Tyrannosaur's neck. Grant learns that the Kirbys are actually searching for their son, Eric (Trevor Morgan), who was stranded on the island along with Amanda's fiance, Ben Hildebrand, in a parasailing accident 8 weeks beforehand. He decides to lead them to the coast, increasing their chances of getting rescued. Along the way, they discover the parasail as well as Ben's skeletal remains. Billy salvages the parasail, and the Kirbys discover several nearby Velociraptor nests.

The group then explores the abandoned InGen compound, where they are attacked by a Velociraptor. As they flee, they are ambushed by the rest of the raptor pack, Udesky gets separated from the others and is killed. When Grant becomes separated from the group, he is rescued from several raptors by the young Eric Kirby, who has been living on the island for eight weeks in an abandoned supply truck. When the group reunites, they are attacked again by the Spinosaurus. After they find shelter in another building, Grant finds out that Billy has stolen two Velociraptor eggs in the hope of selling them upon their return to the mainland, which provoked the earlier attack. Appalled, Grant tells Billy, "As far as I'm concerned, you are no better than the people that built this place."

To reach a boat docked in a nearby river, the group must pass through a massive aviary dome, where they are attacked by numerous Pteranodons. Using the parasail he salvaged, Billy redeems himself by rescuing Eric from a nest of Pteranodon infants, but is attacked and overwhelmed by several adults, and the rest of the group assumes he is dead. Amanda and Eric fail to lock the Pteranodons inside as the group escapes the dome. Grant and the Kirbys board the boat, and while floating down the river, they hear a phone ringing. This leads them to a dung pile containing a satellite phone the Spinosaurus had eaten from the plane, which they are forced to sift through in order to recover the phone. Ceratosaurus appears briefly but doesn't attack, due to the smell of the dung on the humans. Grant attempts to contact Ellie, but only communicates "The river- Site B! The river!" as they are again attacked by the Spinosaurus. Paul is briefly thought to have been killed in the attack, but manages to survive, and the Spinosaurus finally flees after it is shot with a flare gun.

The group is close to the shore when the raptors reappear, wanting their eggs back. Grant manages to alleviate the situation by imitating a Velociraptor call for help on a special pipe made by Billy, which almost causes some of the raptors to attack in order to silence him. Suddenly, a helicopter can be heard overhead. The eggs are given back to the raptors, and they retreat. The group arrives at the beach to see a United States Marine Corps detachment sent by Ellie's diplomat husband. As they board a helicopter, Grant finds Billy, who was injured during the Pteranodon attack but is still alive. As the helicopter flies off, the survivors see three Pteranodons flying off into the distance. Eric asks Grant where they might be going, and Grant speculates that they are searching for new nesting grounds.

As the movie ends, the trio of Pteranodon are seen flying off in the clouds.


Joe Johnston had been interested in directing the sequel to Jurassic Park and approached friend Steven Spielberg about the project. While Spielberg wanted to direct the first sequel, he agreed that if there was ever a third film, Johnston could direct. The third film was greenlit in August 1999 and was based on a story by Steven Spielberg, featuring Alan Grant after having lived in a tree on one of the islands and studied the dinosaur population for eight years. 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.

New writers were brought in to scribe a story involving Pteranodon escaping from Site B and causing a rash of mysterious killings on the mainland, which was to be investigated by Alan Grant and a number of other characters including wealthy Paul Roby and his teenage son Miles, Paul's love interest, Billy Brennan, a naturalist named Simone, and a tough Military Attache. Grant's group was to track the Pterosaurs back to Site B and crash on the island, while a parallel investigation was carried out on the mainland. Supposedly, the aviary sequence and laboratory set piece were much longer and more complex, including raptors stealthily entering the hatchery while the team spent the night. Sets, costumes, and props were built for this version, before Johnston threw out the completed script five weeks before filming in order to pursue the "rescue mission" plot, which was suggested by David Koepp. Also during the pre-production phase, concept artists created advertising for the film using a number of working titles including Jurassic Park: Extinction and Jurassic Park: Breakout.

Production began on August 30, 2000 without a finished script, with filming in Californiamarker, Oahumarker, and Molokaimarker. Although it is an original story, not based on a Michael Crichton novel, it does contain minor scenes from Crichton's Jurassic Park and The Lost World novels that were 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, Spinosaurus replaced T. rex as the main antagonist. As to why Spinosaurus was chosen for such a 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 Spinosaurus was chosen. Within film dialog, Dr. Alan Grant at first interprets the animal encountered as a Baryonyx, but quickly changes his analysis based on its size.

The special effects used for the dinosaurs are 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, technical adviser on the film.


The film earned $181,171,875 in the United States and $368,780,806 worldwide and was the eighth highest grossing film of the year worldwide, but still earned less than either of its predecessors. As with the other films in the franchise, there was a large marketing push, including seven video games and a novelization aimed at young children.

The film made its VHS and DVD debut on December 11, 2001. The DVD has also been re-released with both sequels on December 11, 2001 as the Jurassic Park Trilogy, and as the Jurassic Park Adventure Pack on November 29, 2005. The film has also been released alongside Hulk.The soundtrack was released on July 10, 2001.

Scott Ciencin wrote three children's books to tie-in with the film; the first detailed the eight weeks Eric spent alone on Isla Sorna; the second had Eric and Alan returning to Isla Sorna to rescue a group of teenage filmmakers; and the last involved Eric and Alan leading the Pteranodons home after they nest in a Universal theme park.


Jurassic Park III received mixed reviews from critics. It is currently ranked with a 49% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with 75 out of 154 critics giving it positive reviews. It also has a 42% on Metacritic. Critics were split over whether the third installment of the series was better or worse than the second. Jeffrey Westhoff of the Northwest Herald felt that it was worse, remarking that "Johnston inherits the series one film too late." However, Ben Varkontine called it "not as good a ride as the first", but "better than the second". Much of the criticism was leveled at the plot as simply a chase movie with no character development, with some going so far as to say it was "almost the same as the first movie" with "no need for new ideas or even a script". There were also complaints about its short length and small cast.

The movie was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film and Best Special Effects. For its shortcomings, it was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for "Worst Remake or Sequel".

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