Everybody in the world loves Dinosaurs. Or at least, they did, for a while in the 90’s with the release of Jurassic Park. And with a successful movie comes… sequels. Sequels everywhere!
Suggested to us by Jude Hepborn and expertly over analyzed by our very own Chris Taylor, Jurassic Park III, widely seen as the least good JP movie, is the topic for today’s Defense.
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Hello ladies and Gentlemen, my name is Chris Taylor and I am the Advocate of the Devil.
Over the last few months of us putting together this show, a lot of you wonderful people have been responding. Most of the time you leave it to the topic at hand, but one question that always gets asked is: Do you guys do requests?
The short answer is Yes. Absolutely. For one, it makes it easier for me personally to write these things if I have an idea of a topic. Once something, anything gets suggested, my brain starts firing off at different ways that I can defend it, especially if it’s a topic I already had in mind, which does happen from time to time.
For another, I want you guys to feel like you’re involved too! So as a way of giving back, I would gladly take your suggestions under consideration. If I can do the episode, I will, and give you a shout out in the episode itself. Like today.
Jude Herborn asked if we could do a Defense of Jurassic Park 3. As a fan of EVERY Jurassic Park movie, and seeing how much hate just about all of them except the first one has gotten over the last several years, I think it’s high time we did exactly that.
So Hey Jude, this one’s for you. Today we’re defending Jurassic Park III.
First of all, there is one scene that, from what I’ve seen, many fans of the Original, The Lost World, or just dinosaurs in general, have taken extreme issue with.
Owch! That’s just brutal! How could anything take out our Tyrant Lizard King so easily?
Dinosaurs existed for hundreds of Millions of years in three separated time periods: The Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous. For a bit of context, we human beings have only been around for a few Thousand, so it’s near impossible for us to be able to properly quantify this.
When paleontologists first discovered Dinosaurs, the fossilized skeletons were few and far between, and it was difficult for them to be able to properly develop timelines for when these terrifying creatures existed. So, they were named and classified based on the time that WE found them.
Tyranasaurus Rex translates to “Tyrant Lizard King”. Based on when we originally discovered him, he seemed to be a predator who hunted down it’s fellow dinosaurs with reckless abandon, the King of ALL the Dinosaurs!
… But then more fossils are discovered, new realizations are made. New species are seen, and based on the placement of these bones we start to get a better picture of when these creatures were around, and how they behaved.
Sadly, the T-Rex no longer seems to be the King of the Dinosaur jungle… swamp… tropical thing. Instead of being a hunter, there is now fossilized evidence of it being more of an “eat the dead that have been killed by other, larger, better predators” type of creature. (Yes Dan, I forget the name…)
Other predators like a Spinosaurus maybe? Well, perhaps not, as there’s also evidence that these two, while both being in the Cretaceous period, had no interaction with each other since there was millions of years separating the two species.
Now we can’t even begin to talk about Dinosaurs without bringing up my absolute favorite: The Velociraptor. While in the movies it’s actually a Utahraptor that they use and just change the name of it, since the Velo variety actually only stands at about two feet tall and aren’t nearly as terrifying, the point still stands.
And when do we see this amazing pack hunter first in Jursassic Park III?
This… One… Scene… has been the butt of many a joke on this here Internet. On the outside, it just seems so ridiculous… and yet, if you delve just a tad deeper, it’s actually one of the most important parts of the entire series!
See, Alan Grant has dealt with real Dinosaurs before. Well, real fake dinosaurs, the closest that this particular world has seen. In the original you see him deal with the very Real threat of a T-Rex, a heard of Gallimimus, and… you guessed it, the ferocious curved clawed killers, the Velociraptors.
Coming face to face with such a vicious murder machine, and surviving… barely, to tell the tale. In fact, if it wasn’t for a surprise visit from the Tyrant King himself Insert the T-Rex rescuing Alan Grant in JP 1 then Dr. Grant would be a pile of Velo Excrement in the opening of the visitors center.
And this is part where I’m going to grossly over simplify an extremely complicated medical condition, and if anyone in the audience suffers from this, I truly apologize.
I’ve always thought that Alan dreaming about Velociraptors was a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Think about it. Grant almost dies on the first island many times, but it’s that scene where basically him still being alive is completely out of his control! His life, and the lives of Dr. Sattler, Lex, and Tim, were about to end. They were surrounded by the final two Velociraptors.
And the raptors were going to win. Only through the actions of the T-Rex (which when you really think about it, considering how there was always a visual or audio cue for that big, honking monster showing up, and the visitor’s center is so small, how in the hell did it enter the building with nobody noticing it at all??)…. sorry…. Only through the actions of the T-Rex did anyone survive.
And through it all, the memory, the fear of just how close to death he was would be at the forefront of his mind for the rest of his years! It stands to reason that he would still be dreaming about the time when a Raptor, the smartest of the Dinosaurs from what the movies have shown us, could have finished him off!
Was the delivery of this mental block of Dr. Grant shown well? Absolutely not! The delivery was terrible, and it looks tacky, not serious. But the issue that Alan has? Very serious, and I’d be hard pressed to not fully believe that, should this ever happen in real life to anyone, that the same thing would happen.
And finally, while there are many things that link all the Jurassic Park movies together, there is one that separates number 3 from all the rest: It gets you on AND off the island of the terrible lizards the quickest!
Think about it! While in the first and second movies the opening scene takes place on the Island, usually with the death of a nameless character and a lot of screaming, Jurassic Park 1 and the Lost World take FOREVER in getting back to what we all paid our money to see: The Dinosaurs!
Instead, we have to go over the scientists and finding out why they’d want to go (spoiler alert, it’s for the money), we need to see the espionage scene setting up how everything’s going to go horribly wrong (spoiler alert, it’s because of money here too).
It takes what seems like an hour but in both cases is… well actually almost an hour, to get to what we all want to see! Dinosaurs eating people! Like a good monster movie, we don’t care about the humans, we care about the humans getting offed in new, creative ways.
Jurassic Park III does away with science and reasons, it knows it’s audience, and we wanted to see a lot of carnage! On top of that, it’s the shortest of all, because the creators new what we all know but refuse to admit: Too much of something will desensitize us to it. Too many big explosions and the one that’s supposed to mean something won’t actually affect us. Too much porn and we have … certain problems!
And too much of Jurassic Park takes away the wonder of seeing dinosaurs on the big screen. We’re in, we’re out, we’re back home, or maybe we head to the library and look up how these creatures behaved 65 million years ago.
Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, I do hope I manged to shed some light into why I don’t think Jurassic Park III was a horrible movie. Whether it be in showing new information about newly discovered dinosaurs, or in the psychological trauma of an old favorite cast member from the original movie, Jurassic Park III tried to give us something just a little bit different from it’s predecessors.
And while some may still argue that the third still doesn’t hold a candle to the first, or even second Jurassic Park movie… at the very least, it’s the shortest.
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And most importantly, let us know in the comments below what your verdict is! Did you see some good in JP 3? Or is it, like most thing, the absolute worst in Dinosaur related cinema? By all means, bring up all of your points against my own… so that I may proceed to prove you wrong.
But for now, in the case of Jurassic Park III… The Defense Rests.