With the traumatic events of Jurassic Park far behind him, Dr Alan Grant vows to never return to the islands where dinosaurs still roam free. When an unusual couple, Mr and Mrs Kirby, ask Alan and his assistant, Billy, to guide them when flying over the second ‘Jurassic Park’ island, he reluctantly agrees in return for a generous donation to his dig. On arrival, Alan and his new companions crash on the island. He has to use his knowledge and experience to try to keep the small group together and bring as many of them home alive as possible. But the dinosaurs are more intelligent, more evolved, and deadlier than ever.

Jurassic Park III (2001) – Director: Joe Johnston

Is Jurassic Park 3 appropriate for kids

Rating: PG

Running Length: 92 mins

Starring: Sam Neill, William H. Macy, Téa Leoni

Genre: Action, Science Fiction

REVIEW

The third instalment of the ‘Jurassic Park’ franchise sees the welcome return of Sam Neill as the leading character, Dr Grant, who was the balanced voice of sanity among the madness in the first of the dinosaur-infested movies. Where the sequel (‘The Lost World’) went wrong was by setting some of the action on American soil making for a rather shaky Godzilla knock-off. ‘Jurassic Park III’ has taken the wise decision to stay firmly on an unknown and mysterious island which could believably be inhabited by creatures from another time.

As with the other two movies, ‘Jurassic Park III’ opts to focus on a small group of mostly unprepared people where the fun of the first half is guessing which of the more incidental characters will get killed and when. After this, the tension remains high with a huge dinosaur constantly following them as well as Raptors, Pterodactyls and other dangers to intersperse the plot of trying to find their way to safety.

While it doesn’t really break any new ground set out from the original, ‘Jurassic Park III’ is very enjoyable. There are plenty of scares, the characters are likeable (although several are inevitably stupid at times) and the action doesn’t take too long to get going and it continues to the very end. Therefore, if you want some excitement without a plot that’s too taxing, ‘Jurassic Park III’ is a great movie to sink your teeth into.

IS ‘JURASSIC PARK III’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

There are many intense scenes in this movie but to ensure that we do not list every scary part which could spoil any unexpected moments, we will highlight the strongest scenes and therefore if children are ok with them, they should be fine with the rest of the film.

The movie opens with a man and a young boy going parasailing off the coast of an island. The men who work on the boat are all very friendly but when the pair fly into the air, they soon come across trouble and when they look down into the boat, it is empty but the sails are torn and there is some blood on the deck. The implication here is that the men on the boat have been taken by an unknown creature and are dead. Nothing graphic is seen and these characters are incidental but this could be upsetting for younger children.

When the group first gets to the island, one of them heads out into a forested area. The rest soon hear gunshots and hurriedly return to the plane; the man from the forest runs out and is clearly injured and afraid. He sobs and quietly begs for them to stop, however they are beginning to take-off and can’t help him. Just as the plane leaves the ground, a huge dinosaur emerges from the trees, snatches the man in its jaws and blood suddenly splatters on the window of the plane as they fly overhead. The following scene is very intense and frightening with the same dinosaur attacking the plane and another character being killed. If a child struggles with this scene then they are likely to find the rest of the movie to be too scary.

The group finds the partly decomposed body of a person which suddenly flies at the screen; one of the characters gets stuck in some ropes that are suspending the corpse and they scream in terror – it takes around five seconds for them to get free. This is all filmed very close to the screen so will be frightening for many young viewers.

There is an intense scene where Pterodactyls attack, one character is taken to a nest of babies which aggressively peck at him and intend to eat him. Another is attacked relentlessly by several of the adults which constantly pounce on him and peck and bite him.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?

VERDICT

Although not as groundbreaking as the original, ‘Jurassic Park III’ is a very exciting movie with plenty of action, terrifying dinosaurs and a good amount of scares to keep even those with a short attention span gripped. Although the certificate of this movie is a ‘PG’ we feel that the intensity of the violence will be too much for most kids aged under 10.

  • Violence: 4/5 (As always, the raptors are very scary, they hunt in a pack and when attacking the group for the first time, one stabs a character in the back with a huge claw making him cry out in pain. One of the raptors also graphically breaks a character’s neck)
  • Emotional Distress: 2/5 (some characters who the audience are bound to get emotionally connected to are attacked and killed which could be quite upsetting, however deaths are rarely dwelt upon so any distress should be relatively short-lived)
  • Fear Factor: 4/5 (as well as the violence, there are many frightening and suspenseful moments where the group are in danger but it is not always immediately clear what is going to happen)
  • Sexual Content: 1/5 (a male and female character undress in front of each other but this is simply to change clothes and there is no sexual implication)   
  • Bad Language: 1/5 (some infrequent mild cursing)
  • Dialogue: 0/5  
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of accepting and dealing with a bad situation, bravery, staying calm when others are panicking, divorce and survivalism.

Words by Laura Record

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