Even though JURASSIC PARK III was financially successful in its own right, the film didn’t really reach the same level of success as its predecessors. The third film of the franchise carries a 49% rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes and it seems as if most fans of the franchise don’t hold it in high regard. Sam Neill returned in Jurassic Park III to reprise his role of Dr. Alan Grant after skipping out on the second film and the actor feels the third installment is quite underrated, despite having issues with the last ten minutes of the film.
During a chat with “Collider“, Neill looks back at the third film pretty fondly and even likes the now infamous scene where a velociraptor talks to Dr. Grant in a dream (Screen Junkies makes fun of this moment in great fashion if you want to check it out). During the interview, Neill shares his thoughts on reading that scene for the first time and his overall positive feelings of the film as a whole:
“I thought, ‘That’s pretty cool!’ [Laughs] I was just talking to someone earlier in the day who said, ‘I really like Jurassic Park III and it gets an unfair [treatment].’ .. And I said, ‘Thank you very much!’ I agree that the last 10 minutes are way too easy and way too hurried, but I think up to that point, it’s pretty damn good.”
Neill’s appreciation of the third movie could have a lot to do with the fact that he felt more at ease playing Dr. Grant when compared to the original film. Neill wasn’t used to playing an action hero of sorts when he did the first Jurassic Park and he goes on to say he was much more comfortable in that role by the time he appeared in Jurassic Park III:
“For me, by the time I got to #3, probably a bit late in the day, I’d sort of worked out how to play that character, which I hadn’t really quite gotten around to in the first one. I was still trying to work out, how do you play that guy in the hat? .. And you have to think how to do that. It’s a special skill. You’re not just playing a character. You need a whole skillset. You need a whole armory to play an action hero and I wish I had known what those skills were when we did the first one, but there we are!”
This is going to be an unpopular opinion but I actually enjoy Jurassic Park III much more than The Lost World: Jurassic Park. The second film had to live up to the true experience that the first movie was and, because of that, its flaws are more glaring than the flaws in the third installment. The Lost World is overlong, has pacing issues, and don’t even get me started on that tacked on San Diego sequence that concludes the film. Steven Spielberg doesn’t have a ton of missteps but The Lost World is one of them. At least the third film is short and sweet, gets to the point, and is a bit of a fun ride, despite some of its flaws.
Jurassic Park III takes place on Isla Sorna and involves a divorced couple (portrayed by William H. Macy and Tea Leoni) who trick paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant (Neill) into helping them find their son (Trevor Morgan), who is missing on the island. The film also stars Alessandro Nivola, Michael Jeter, and Laura Dern.
Sam Neill is returning as Dr. Alan Grant in Jurassic World: Dominion, which reunites him with his cast from the first film, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern, and brings him into the fold of the new trilogy with Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. The film hits screens on June 10, 2022, and we’ll know then if this third outing will prove to be a new favorite of Sam Neill’s when it’s all said and done.
Are YOU a fan of Jurassic Park III?