'Jurassic' journey, part 3: What's bigger and badder than a T-Rex?
It’s been 25 years since “Jurassic Park” launched one of Hollywood’s most enduring franchises. Now, before “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” arrives in June, we’re taking a look back at the events of the first four films.
In spite of Dr. Alan Grant’s (Sam Neill) presence, “Jurassic Park III” exists largely on the periphery of the broader Jurassic Park narrative. The film takes place at an undisclosed time after the events of “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” and so far events from this story haven’t influenced or been referenced in subsequent films.
The franchise’s third installment brings back Grant, who’s become a minor celebrity since the events of the original film. There’s also a brief return by Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), who’s now married with two children.
Grant attracts the attention of Paul (William H. Macy) and Amanda Kirby (Tea Leoni), a wealthy couple offering a generous research donation in exchange for an aerial tour of Isla Sorna, the spot where John Hammond (Sir Richard Attenborough) originally cloned dinosaurs for Jurassic Park.
Grant brings his research assistant Billy (Alessandro Nivola) along for the ride, but they get more than they bargained for after learning that the Kirbys lured them to the island not for a nature study but to help find their missing son Eric (Trevor Morgan).
Despite Grant’s strenuous objections, the Kirbys land on Isla Sorna with a small team of mercenaries and begin their search for Eric. But their plane is wrecked by a massive spinosaurus that subsequently devours several members of the landing party. The remaining survivors flee to safety, encountering a new array of dinosaur creatures, including winged pteranodons.
Go bigger: In a bid to top its predecessors in the dino department, the poster for “Jurassic Park III” replaces the iconic T-Rex silhouette with the profile of a spinosaurus. While the film itself didn’t reach the same box office heights as the first two “Jurassic” titles, the spinosaurus does distinguish itself in a memorable plane crash-dinosaur attack action sequence.
Did you know? The spinosaurus was the largest animatronic creature ever built. It weighed 12 tons and was operated by hydraulics, which meant it could still function while completely submerged in water.
Click on the image below to continue the Jurassic Journey with at trip to “Jurassic World”: