quarantine stream jurassic park 3

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Movie: Jurassic Park 3

Where You Can Stream It: Netflix

The Pitch: It’s the third Jurassic Park movie. You know the deal: dumb humans go to the island, get eaten by dinosaurs. Also, there’s a scene where Sam Neill’s Alan Grant has a dream that a velociraptor says his name, and it rules.

Why It’s Essential Quarantine Viewing: Did you see what I just said above? There’s a talking raptor.

Look, none of the Jurassic Park sequels will ever be as good as the original. And you might be thinking, “Hey, genius, why are you recommending the third movie when the first one is on Netflix, too?” Well, because I assume you’ve already watched the first Jurassic Park a dozen or more times by now. Let’s give Jurassic Park 3 some love. The Lost World: Jurassic Park still has that Steven Spielberg magic – although it’s one of Spielberg’s meanest movies – but Jurassic Park 3 is the first entry in the franchise to not have his touch.

Instead,  Joe Johnston was brought in to helm. Johnston is a good workman director, and he’s responsible for The Rocketeer, so he has my support. But he’s no Spielberg. And thankfully, he doesn’t really try to be. Johnston realizes that at this point, people watching these movies probably just want a monster movie, and that’s what he gives them: a big, loud monster movie where everyone is always running, and screaming, and dying.

The plot involves Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) being reluctantly drawn back into the world of dinosaurs to help rescue some dumb kid stuck on Isla Sorna. Who cares, right? The plot is just an excuse to have people become dino food. And they do! Almost immediately! The movie does make the boneheaded choice to kill off the T. Rex almost instantly and replace her with the Spinosaurus, which admittedly looks cool, but come on – we want more T. Rex.

The real pleasure to be had from Jurassic Park 3, though, isn’t in all of this stuff. Instead, it’s in the scene above with the talking raptor. To be clear, there’s some context for this – it’s not just completely out of left field. A subplot in the movie involves Grant and his assistant Billy (Alessandro Nivola) using a 3D printer to replicate a velociraptor larynx to hear what raptors sounded like. Of course, this, in itself, is kind of stupid, since this movie exists in a world where raptors are still alive, and therefore learning what they sound like isn’t some great feat.

But anyhoo, Grant has raptor “voices” on the brain, so it makes sense that he would have a dream like this. I guess. All I know is that when I saw Jurassic Park 3 in theaters, and this scene happened, I was overjoyed. It was so ridiculous I couldn’t help love it. And I maintain that this one scene is better than both Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom put together.

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