YMMV: Jurassic Park III

  • Author's Saving Throw: This is probably the first Jurassic Park film that doesn't have the Tag Along Kid be nothing but a crying load who doesn't become useful until near the end of the film. Eric, unlike Tim, Lex, and Kelly, is one of the smartest and sanest people in the cast along with Dr. Grant after living on an island full of dinosaurs for weeks by himself. It also helps that his parents are the ones who now own the role as being Too Dumb to Live and The Load.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Alan's bad dream. Sure it's Foreshadowing but it's still pretty random.
    • While retrieving the phone, a Ceratosaurus approaches to the group. It's a pretty big predator and the audience expects it to attack, but it merely sniffs the heroes, smells the Spinosaur dung on them, then leaves.
  • Badass Decay: When the T. rex shows up to fight the Spinosaurus, two enter, one wins ... and the T. rex goes down in less than a minute, its attacks barely even damaging the Spinosaurus.
  • Base Breaker: The Spinosaurus in spades. He's either The Scrappy or an Ensemble Dark Horse.
    • Ellie marrying someone else and having kids with him. Granted, in the books she didn't have a romance with Alan (and indeed, she was engaged to someone else as well).
      • Sort of. The Lost World book mentions offhanded that Ellie used to be involved with Grant, but was now married to a physicist.
  • Contested Sequel: Where Lost World is more hotly contested, III tends to more often be dismissed as So Okay, It's Average.
  • Creepy Awesome: The titular Spinosaurus, Pteranodons, and, per the norm, the much more intelligent Velociraptors.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Much like the Velociraptor, Spinosaurus became one of the best-known dinosaurs because of this movie.
  • Fanon: Most fans believe that the raptors in this film are a separate sub-species from the raptors in the previous films. This is due to the difference in their appearance, and how the raptors in III seem to be more intelligent and cooperative than in previous films. A similar theory is also used for the Pteranodons in order to explain how a small group were seen flying freely at the end of The Lost World, with notably different appearances to the later Pteranodons.
    • There are also certain fans who think that the individual T. rex here is a matured version of the baby from The Lost World. Which is fairly dark way to look at it, considering what happens to the T. rex in this film. At the same time, though, it could explain why it is so easily defeated; it is young, inexperienced and possibly still has a crippling injury.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Spinosaurus hunting the team underwater becomes this due to later evidence suggesting that the real Spinosaurus was primarily an aquatic predator.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Depending on how one views it; the events of Jurassic World could've been avoided had the events of Jurassic Park III not happened, or if at least Amanda Kirby had closed the Aviary, as according to the tie in websites for Jurassic World, Vic Hoskins was promoted and hired to work on Isla Nublar because Masrani liked how he and his team took care of the Pteranodons after they reached the mainland, which led to Hoskins and his team to make a deal with Henry Wu to create weaponized Dinosaurs such as the Indominus rex. Had Amanda Kirby closed the Aviary, Hoskins would've likely not been hired to work on Nublar, he would've likely not meet Wu, the I. rex could've been made less dangerous and many lives would not have been lost.
  • Ho Yay: There's some between Alan and Billy.
  • Never Live It Down: The T. rex vs. Spinosaurus scene. Dear, god. In every conversation having to do with this movie, someone will always bring up the scene and complain non stop about it.
  • Older Than They Think: The Spinosaurus has been in Jurassic Park merchandise before — as a raptor-like predator in a spin-off fighting game, and a toy — but both had completely different designs from this film's spinosaur.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The Pteranodons only play a major role in one (admittedly lengthy) scene, but they were among the most popular creatures in the film and certainly less controversial than the Spinosaurus.
  • Only The Creator Does It Right: Until 2015's Jurassic World, III was the only movie in the franchise which was not directed by Steven Spielberg or directly based on one of the Michael Crichton novels. It's also the most poorly received by critics. However, many fans prefer this installment over the second film.
  • Replacement Scrappy: The Spinosaurus for the T. rex and it is arguably one of the most infamous examples of this trope.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: There are minutes here and there that the movie tries to dedicate to Paul and Amanda rekindling their relationship ... but it's sadly an absolute bore to sit through.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Mr. and Mrs. Kirby have a huge hatedom. Amanda Kirby is probably the least popular character in the series for her frequent screaming and general idiocy on an island full of predatory dinosaurs. Paul isn't much better due to the Romantic Plot Tumor. Not to mention that both are outright liars who not only get the three mercenaries they hired killed, but deceive Dr. Grant into taking them to the island. After it's all said and done, their family is back together. Hurray!
    • The Spinosaurus for being a Replacement Scrappy for the T. rex and a Villain Sue.
    • Depending on your interpretation of the "Barney" scene, either Barney himself for distracting Ellie's son while Grant and company are in mortal danger ... or Ellie's son for being distracted by Barney while Grant and company are in mortal danger. Or both.
  • Sequelitis
  • Signature Scene: Again, the controversial Spinosaurus vs. T. rex scene.
    • The entirety of the "bird cage" scene, which is the only part of the film people can unanimously agree was good.
  • Special Effects Failure: As if the Spinosaurus wasn't hated enough, for about half the movie it's a blatantly obvious animatronic. The CGI model fares a little better, however.
    • With the possible exception of the raptors that transition between animatronics and CGI almost seamlessly, the effects, both practical and digital, are a bit weaker than in the previous two films. Examples include the green screen effects in the opening, and the CGI herbivores that turn up every now and again.
  • Villain Sue: It may not be evil, but the Spinosaurus is this in a downplayed sort of way. It easily kills the all time favorite T. rex (which is unlikely in real life and the way the Spinosaurus won is even less likely), constantly finds the main group, it takes the T. rex's ability to swim from the books, survives being shot at and being hit by a plane, and it doesn't die at the end of the movie.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The effects that brought the Pteranodons to life weren't half bad. The practical effects used for them are particularly praised, especially with the little baby Pteranodon puppets and the adult suits/animatronics whose movements are scarily birdlike.