he original Jurassic Park was a best-selling novel
about genetic engineering used on dinosaurs by the prolific novelist/filmmaker Michael
Crichton. The book was turned into a movie by Steven Spielberg as an adventure
romp that tackled some of the elements in Crichton's excellent book, including moral ethics, Darwinism, and a host of other
questions in regards to genetic engineering. The usage of dinosaurs as the
product of genetic cloning was simply a means to an end. Crichton was more
concerned with the morality of science and man's attempts to mess with nature.
Spielberg's movie version of Jurassic Park
became a child's fantasy about
dinosaurs, and while the movie does address genetic engineering, it quickly
tossed the question out of the window and went for cool dinosaurs, running from
dinosaurs, and fighting dinosaurs instead. I distinctively remember falling
asleep halfway through the movie in a theater filled with people. As you
probably guessed, I never played with dinosaurs as a kid.
After the phenomenal success of the Jurassic Park
movie, Crichton wrote The Lost World, a sequel to Jurassic Park.
Spielberg once again took the book and adapted it into a movie but this time completely discarded all the questions and points made in Crichton's book
for a dumb adventure movie. The
biggest points made in Crichton's The Lost World
is not that dinosaurs are
cool, but that mankind is inherently dinosaur food. The simple reason is that
humans are too small and too weak to compete with the dinosaurs, and as per the
rules of Darwinism, humans are meant to be food for the dinosaurs. Look at it
like this -- humans eat cows and all manner of animals for one simple reason:
because we can, because there's nothing those animals can do to stop us.
It is the same with humans and dinosaurs.
I bring up Crichton's books to illustrate the simple nature
of dinosaur movies. You can't have deep thoughts when watching a dinosaur movie.
You can't ask questions that are meant to be rhetoric, which can never be
answered, because the answers do not exist (or is still to be discovered). Questions such as morality and
genetic engineering will never be answered by a single voice; as the saying
goes, "Opinions are like a-holes, everyone has one." Which brings up Jurassic
Park 3, the second sequel to Spielberg's original Jurassic Park,
which is neither directed by Spielberg nor adapted from a Crichton book.
Jurassic Park 3, much like The Lost World
did, was bring back a character from the original movie in order
to link the sequels into one universe. In the case of The Lost World
filmmakers brought back Chaos Theory mathematician Ian Malcolm, played in both
movies by Jeff Goldblum. The second sequel brings back two characters from the
original, Doctor Grant, played by Sam Neill, and Ellie, played by Laura Dern. Dern shows up in the beginning to
give background story on Neil's character.
Before anyone knows it, Grant has
been hoodwinked by a couple into flying to Isle Sorna, the dinosaur island
from The Lost World, an island off the coast of Costa Rica that has been
closed off from the public. Unfortunately, for an island filled with dangerous, man-eating dinosaurs,
it's open to anyone who wants to break the law and
land or visit the island anyway. Gee, "restricted area" sure doesn't
mean what it used to, huh?
Before you can say, "Restricted area,", the plane carrying Grant and the
couple, 3 mercenaries, and Grant's assistant, Billy, is being knocked out of the
air by a dinosaur and it's chomping time. The couple quickly reveals that they
had lied to Grant about wanting to sight-see Isle Sorna, and is in fact here to
retrieve their son who had fallen down on the island 8 weeks ago after
para-sailing over the island. Is the Costa Rica government so cheap that they can't
afford to hire at least one cop to sit on a boat to ward people away from an
island that pretty much devours any flesh that comes near it? Talk about
irresponsible! Then again, if logic meant anything to Jurassic Park 3,
there wouldn't be a Jurassic Park 3. So there you go.
Jurassic Park 3 made one very crucial mistake when
they first wrote the script. There isn't enough dinosaur meat.
What I mean by that is, there isn't enough characters to be chomped by
dinosaurs. Two of the mercenaries are killed off right away, leaving Grant, the
couple, Billy, and a third mercenary. That's 5 people, including the couple's
son, who is eventually found and comes along for the ride. That makes 6, and
that's not nearly enough to last 90 minutes. One of the most enjoyable aspects
of Jurassic Park 2 was the wanton killing by the dinosaurs. That was made
possible because there was an army of extra to be sacrificed, thus it gave the
movie urgency and a sense of dread and doom. You started to think that almost
everyone is game.
Not so with Jurassic Park 3. There's never any sense of real
dread, of doom, or even of danger. The survivors constantly joke about their
situation and things are played for laughs. I surmise this decision to make Jurassic
Park 3 a lighter adventure romp is due to the lack of characters to begin
with. Then again, if this is supposed to be a comedy, didn't I just see two men
get chomped to death by dinosaurs? Those were not very, uh, funny moments in my
After the last two Jurassic Park
no one goes to a third Jurassic Park movie to work out their ethnical and
moral dilemmas as relating to science. You go to see Jurassic Park movies
to see dinosaurs and lots of them. With Jurassic Park 3, you get plenty
of dinosaurs, and they are all seamlessly integrated into the movie. The film is
a fun ride if all you want is a fun ride, but I doubt if the filmmakers really
cared about exploring any question besides how many dinosaurs is too much.