Although panned by a great deal of critics, Spielberg’s “The Lost World” was still highly successful. However, he then stepped down from the series, although he still had a producer credit. Screenwriter David Koepp also pretty much left the project, although he served as a consultant. Also, the film would not be based on any Crichton novel (Crichton himself died in 2008) although like TLW’s film adaptation, it would incorporate some scenes left out from the earlier adaptations. In addition, the franchise dropped the T-rex logo, replacing it with a Spinosaurus, in order to showcase the film’s new “big” Dinosaur.
JP III had a somewhat troubled production, which often hurt the film’s publicity, especially when William H. Macy reportedly called the production a “100 million ship without a rudder” (He later said he was talking about something else, but I think it’s pretty obvious he was talking about this film, and then told by Universal to shut up). The film in particular had numerous massive rewrites, right before production and even *during* production.
The film I think mainly functions as sort of an alternate take on “Lost World”, much smaller in scale, and of course with Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) returning after skipping TLW instead of Ian Malcolm( Jeff Goldblum) and Hammond ( Richard Attenborough). It also seems to focus a lot more on the Raptors, as TLW kind of made them a bit stupider.
The film starts with tourist Eric Kirby, and Ben, presumabely his Mother’s boyfriend (He says “Babe” on the camera footage Amanda views later) going on an illegal Parasailing tour of the Island coasts. On a side note, the shots of Eric and Ben (Not pictured) flying look pretty much badly green-screened it.
The guys on the boat end up dead, eaten by something (It’s not quite clear what) after passing through a mist, and Eric and Ben have to detach and sail to the Island before the boat crashes. We then cut to a scene of Alan Grant talking to a kid playing with toy Dinosaurs, with Grant trying to explain to him about how herbivores don’t attack each other, but Carnivores can. It’s obvious he’s warmed to kids after Lex and Tim, as he’s certainly not giving him the Raptor talk from JP’s beginning.
….Although Ellie tells him to back off being overly scientific. Turns out it’s her kid, and she has a baby daughter too. But….
…They’re definitely not Alan’s kids, as she married some other guy. Actually is more similar to Grant and Ellie’s relationship in the original novel, but this guy’s kind of a walking plot convenience, as he works for the state department, and therefore can come in handy if you find yourself stranded on a Dinosaur island.
People with quick eyes might recognize Ellie’s secretary-she’s Linda Park, best known for the Star Trek: Enterprise series as communications officer Hoshi Sato
As Grant and Ellie talk over dinner, Grant sort of geeks out about some new Raptor discoveries, although Ellie of course is a bit uncomfortable about it at first,
- Ellie: So what are you working on now?
- Alan: Raptors mostly.
- Ellie: My…favorite.
- Alan: Do you remember the sounds they made?
- Ellie: I try not to.
- Dr. Grant: All our theories about raptor intelligence, what they were capable of, we weren’t even close.
- Ellie: Tell me.
- Dr. Grant: Well, we did cranium scans of a fossil skull. We found what looks like a very sophisticated resonating chamber.
- Ellie: Wait a second? So we were right. They had the ability to vocalize.
- Dr. Grant: I’m convinced that’s the key to their social intelligence.
- Ellie: Which explains why they could work together as a team.
- Dr. Grant: And coordinate their attacks to the prey wouldn’t know what was going on.
- Ellie: They could talk to each other.
- Dr. Grant: To a degree we never imagined. Elle, they were smart. They were smarter than dolphins or whales. They were smarter than primates.
Seriously? This is really kind of overselling the intelligence here-and since technically, We’re primates it sounds even sillier.
After saying goodbye to Ellie, Grant is giving a lecture at some college, but of course everybody wants to ask him about the Park, which is of course public knowledge now after the San Diego incident. There’s actually a bit of a jab there when Grant says he wasn’t a witness there. He also says he has no intention of ever returning to that island, and makes a clear distinction between the JP Clone Dinos (Calling them “Theme park monsters”) and the originals that are now fossils.
Next we’re introduced to pretty much the film’s only Dino victims all in one scene, Mr. Udesky and his two mercenary guys. They don’t seem to be the smartest guys, and honestly given the sheer amount of the other team of mercs in TLW (Who pretty much all died except Roland Tembo) Jeter-a character actor who unfortunately passed away shortly after this film was released, is still lots of fun in the role although his screen time is rather brief.