A new theme park, built on the original site of Jurassic Park, creates a genetically modified hybrid dinosaur, which escapes containment and goes on a killing spree. (IMDb)
I’m sure the anti-“bigger and better” thematic thread was more hypocritical than cleverly self-referential, but I appreciated it all the same (Owen has a great-and surprisingly lengthy-early back-and-forth with Hoskins: “Progress always wins” “Maybe progress should lose for once”), and so help me, despite some plot contrivances, I loved the bigger, darker dino-action (see the bird snatch) and the badass final bite. It’s decently funny too (see Lowery and his failed aftermath-kiss attempt).
When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. (IMDb)
The first half contains some really great sequences; the volcano adds an exciting natural-disaster element to the dino action (see the unique sound editing of the underwater drama) and the snarky Zia and fearful Franklin are welcome additions to the cast of characters. It really starts to tire in the predictable second half though, when we’re mostly left with the two bland leads, a cliche villain, and an unexceptional big bad dino. The underlying dino-rights thread never really works either.
A decidedly odd couple with ulterior motives convince Dr. Alan Grant to go to Isla Sorna (the second InGen dinosaur lab.), resulting in an unexpected landing…and unexpected new inhabitants on the island. (IMDb)
Surpasses the second installment largely thanks to its shorter run time, the return of Neill as the steady Indy-like wry lead Dr. Grant, and the addition of the always-good Macy. A couple of interesting new settings (see the “bird cage”) also help keep this installment of dinosaur escapes fresh and popcorn-munching fun until the end in spite of another contrived plot. It’s campy (see the dino dung digging), but it seems to know it, unlike the cheesy “bigger/more is better” sequel before it.
A research team is sent to the Jurassic Park Site B island to study the dinosaurs there while another team approaches with another agenda. (IMDb)
There’s a couple classic Goldblum quotes early on (“Where you’re going is the only place in the world where the geese chase you!”) but he doesn’t suit a lead role, though he doesn’t really end up getting it anyways as we’re treated instead to a thin spread of characters we don’t really care for who are just running around in a weakly premised sequel-plot (how convenient, another island with dinos) that ends in a King Kong rip-off sequence. Suspenseful at points, but ultimately flat and generic.
During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok. (IMDb)
Half build-up, half dino-action: Both acts are well done, with minor flaws: Goldblum’s slick scientist provides both prophetic moral commentary (“What you call discovery, I call the rape of the natural world”) and comic relief (“That is one big pile of shit”) for the first, but Nedry’s side-plot feels unnecessary; the excitement of the second is second-to-none (the camerawork is impeccable; see the first T-Rex scene) but without many breaks from the action it feels much too long and tires a tad.
7.5/10 (Really Good)