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Jurassic July - Jurassic Park 3 (2001)

Directed by: Joe Johnston
Starring: Sam Neill, William H. Macy, Téa Leoni,  Alessandro Nivola

Macy and Leoni are a divorced couple who trick Neill into helping look for their son on the infamous Isla Sorna.
After the plodding two hours plus of "The Lost World" we thankfully get a brisk ninety minute follow up which wastes no time cutting to the action and is all the better for it. The plot has more in common with the old school B-movies which influenced the series rather than it's direct predecessors. Within fifteen minutes we're back on Isla Sorna and already introduced to the Spinosaurus, a beast even larger and louder than the T-Rex. The dinosaurs look fantastic here and we get to see plenty of them. This is one of the few movies of the modern era which genuinely does have impressive effects work.
Johnston may not give us any outstanding set-pieces like those of the two Spielberg movies but he does keep the story moving along nicely. He's a journeyman director in the best sense of the term, never resorting to flashy and nauseating editing. Everything is up on screen clearly for you to see and it's easy to follow as a result. Had this been helmed by the likes of Michael Bay I suspect his use of the jungle setting would be akin to having your face repeatedly shoved into a salad bowl.
It's all moving along nicely until the final third when the bane of the series makes an unwelcome appearance. I'm speaking of course of the obligatory annoying child character. This time it's the son of Macy and Leoni and we are meant to believe he's survived for two whole months on his own on an island full of dinosaurs. Do Hollywood execs think kids won't watch a movie unless it features someone their own age? I know when I was a kid I was perfectly happy watching a film whose heroes were forty-plus.
If you're looking for inventive set-pieces like those Spielberg provided you will be disappointed but if you're happy with the sort of fun romp which would have starred Doug McClure in the seventies then you'll have a blast with this final installment of the trilogy. 
7/10

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