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Film / Jurassic Park III

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All spoilers for Jurassic Park (1993) and The Lost World: Jurassic Park will be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned.
"Some of the worst things imaginable have been done with the best intentions..."

"Great, just great. Here we are in the worst place in the world, and we're not even getting paid."
Alan Grant

The third Jurassic Park movie, directed by Joe Johnston and released in 2001. Unlike the first and second films, it's not a direct adaptation of Michael Crichton's novels, though it does incorporate scenes from the books that were left out of the previous two movies. It is also the shortest Jurassic Park movie (92 minutes).

As the years have passed, Isla Sorna and Isla Nublar have fallen into disrepair, the laboratories and training facilities now entirely abandoned — at least by humans, anyway... There are rumors of the deaths of people who came too close or were foolhardy enough to land, and the natives living on the neighboring islands never visit either island, which are known as "The Five Deaths". Instead, the place has become a tourist trap—emphasis on "trap"— for people hopeful to see its dinosaurs from sea and air.

Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and his protégé Billy, are asked to be tour guides to a rich couple, the Kirbys, and their company, who desire to see Isla Sorna. They need funds for their paleontological research, so they agree. But not until they arrive there is the truth revealed: the party is not there as tourists, but as rescuers to the couple’s son, Eric, who disappeared near the island eight weeks ago.

And guide or no guide, Alan Grant seriously doubts that any of them will get off Isla Sorna alive...

Like its predecessors, Jurassic Park III spawned half a dozen Licensed Games.

Followed by Jurassic World, which came out in 2015 after over a decade of Development Hell.

These aren't on InGen's list, but Jurassic Park III displays the following tropes:

    open/close all folders 

    A - H 

  • Aborted Arc: When Grant and Billy are identifying the Spinosaurus, Grant points out that species wasn't on InGen's list of cloned dinosaurs and wonders what else they've been up to. This plot thread isn't expanded upon after this scene and the Spinosaurus's presence on the island is left unanswered. It was eventually revealed in a promotional website for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom that the Spinosaurus, along with the Ankylosaurus and Carnotaurus, were developed by Masrani Corporation as a test run for the new park, albeit behind the back of the rest of the company and during a time when making more dinosaur clones was highly illegal.
  • Absurdly Ineffective Barricade: Inverted. The Spinosaurus, moments after breaking through a razor-wire-topped wall to get to the protagonists, is foiled in its pursuit when the protagonists... shut and lock a door on it.
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Several between Paul and Amanda. Also between Grant and Eric after Billy's Disney Death.
  • Adaptation Expansion: As Michael Crichton only wrote two Jurassic Park books, this is the point in the movie franchise when the storylines become original, although several scenes are adapted from both novels, such as the boat ride, the birdcage, and the dino cloning facility.
  • All Flyers Are Birds: The Pteranodons in general act alarmingly bird-like, between grabbing prey with a set of eagle-like talons (something that would have been physically impossible for real pterosaurs of any kind), bird-like nests, the babies begging for food the way baby birds would be expected to (a point rendered moot by the fact that they're shown to be capable of flight already), the constant pecking, etc. Grant even calls their enclosure a "birdcage", although this is kind of an accurate description (for what is an aviary if not a giant, expensive birdcage?).
  • All There in the Manual: Of the retcon variety: the viral marketing for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom adds some much-needed context to III that helps it feel more relevant in the overall arc of the series. The most notable is the implication that the Spinosaurus was one of Wu's earliest attempts at making a hybrid dinosaur that eventually got out of hand (and would lead him to the Indominus rex and Indoraptor in the next two films). This not only explains the extreme inaccuracies of the Spinosaurus, but also ties this film into the genetic hybrid storyline of Jurassic World and its sequel. This also allows Alan Grant's "what were InGen doing behind my back?" opinions to be seen as allusions to Dr. Wu's turn into being incredibly sketchy (especially since make more dinosaurs was illegal at that time).
  • Always a Bigger Fish: The producers wanted a dinosaur that could kick the T. rex's ass (and wasn't just another "T. rex but bigger" like Giganotosaurus carolinii), so they selected the Spinosaurus, which then-recent discoveries indicated would have been larger than T. rex, if only slightly. Eric says at one point that T. rex urine repels smaller dinosaurs but attracts the Spinosaurus, implying that the Spino hunts the T. rex for food.
  • Amicable Exes: Grant and Sattler have split up since the first film but are still very close friends. And apart from a few barbs traded early on, Paul and Amanda are actually pretty cordial with one another, though that's justified as they're working together to get their son back alive.
  • Animal Stampede: Following the tradition set up by the Gallimimus in the first movie, Grant and company have to outrun a Parasaurolophus and Corythosaurus stampede. Strangely enough, the Velociraptors are more interested in getting their eggs back from Billy than felling one Parasaurolophus or Corythosaurus.
  • Animals Not to Scale:
    • According to later discoveries, it turns out the Spinosaurus in the film was actually shorter in length than its real life counterpart but also taller. There has been some controversy behind the posture and hind limb length of Spinosaurus however.
    • The Pteranodon in the film are depicted as being more than twice the size of the real animals, with wingspans of close to forty feet across, while the real animals had wingspans of just under twenty-four feet at most. Even then, only the very largest males; females were much smaller, at only around twelve feet in wingspan. The film does not depict this sexual dimorphism either, even though at least one of them must've been female because of the nest of chicks.
  • Artifact Title: Like the second film, JP III is set on Isla Sorna — Site B, where the dinosaurs were bred by InGen. The fact gets brought up later in the film:
    Dr. Grant: Why me?
    Paul Kirby: [indicating Udesky] He said we needed someone who'd been on the island before.
    Udesky: Yes. But I did not tell you to kidnap somebody!
    Dr. Grant: I have never been on this island.
    Paul Kirby: Sure ya have. You wrote that book.
    Billy: That was Isla Nublar, this is Isla Sorna: Site B.
    Udesky: You mean there's two islands with dinosaurs on them?
  • Artistic License – Geography: The juxtaposition scene has the Spinosaurus attacking Grant & co. during nighttime, and Ellie's son being distracted by Barney during the afternoon. Costa Rica is in the same timezone as Central Standard Time, so there's no place in America where such a huge time difference would happen.
    • This can be Hand Waved by assuming it was just really cloudy, and not actually night. Especially since it's late afternoon and the sun is setting in the scenes not long after.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology:
    • One big mistake that stands out when it comes to dinosaur inaccuracies? Pteranodons didn't eat red meat (they didn't have the teeth for it). The Pteranodons do have teeth in this movie despite the fact that Pteranodon means "Toothless wing."
    • The Ceratosaurus in the film is depicted as looking like a T. rex with a horn on its nose. Real Ceratosaurus were sleeker, and had a thinner skull and a smaller horn above each eye.
    • Eric has a beaker full of T. rex urine to ward off smaller dinosaurs (though it attracts the Spinosaurus). Dinosaurs, being reptiles, do not urinate.
    • The T. rex vs the Spinosaurus — Scientists now know from the anatomy of both dinosaurs that the match would be impossible for both sides. Bigger does not mean stronger bite (Spino 's bite was nothing to laugh at, but T. rex's was stronger), and stronger bite does not mean deadliness. Spinosaurus was specialised to hunt aquatic life, and would only hunt on land in times of extreme drought to avoid competing with other large carnivores for prey.
    • On top of that, recent findings have found that due to the Spinosaurus' bone structure, it was unable to pivot its palms downward, rendering the entire way it killed the T. rex in the first place impossible!
      • On the other hand, it's been pointed out multiple times that the dinosaurs in Hammond's parks were very different to real dinosaurs — Grant even points out in this movie that they are "Genetically engineered theme park monsters" and that true dinosaurs are in the fossils. Which gives some inaccuracies such as pivotal palms something of a Hand Wave. Ha ha.
    • During the above mentioned battle, the T.rex manages to get in the first blow by biting the Spinosaurus neck and dragging it to the ground. Not only would the bite have been fatal in real life (the T.rex had one of, if not the strongest bite force of any known animal), but since a Spinosaurus sail was an extension of its spine, falling over would have bent it, snapping its spine and paralyzing it.
  • Ascended Extra: Pteranodon appeared very briefly at the very end of the previous film, but they are a much more major and direct threat to the humans now. Although their design is different and the set-up seemingly ignores their appearance in the prior film.
  • Aside Glance: A dinosaur, no less, does this. When the Ceratosaurus finds Paul, Alan, and Amanda by the Spinosaurus dung, it looks up at the camera with an expression that says "No way am I sticking around here", when it smells what dinosaur made the pile of dung.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: After the plane lands on the island, the mercenaries set off to secure the area. One loud roar and several gunshots later, Udesky and Nash are running back to the plane.
  • Author Tract: The choice of Spinosaurus as the new dinosaur mega-carnivore the film focuses on over Tyrannosaurus was primarily the decision of the film's palaeontology consultant, Jack Horner, who is probably most infamous for spearheading the hypothesis that Tyrannosaurus was purely a scavenger (an idea that is not seriously considered anymore and that Horner himself has walked back on), and wanted to show it T. rex being usurped by what he considered to be the true alpha predator amongst the dinosaurs.
  • Awe-Inspiring Dinosaur Shot: After narrowly surviving one hazard and threat after another, including a Velociraptor family, a startled herd of hadrosaurs, an aggressive flock of Pteranodon, and an insanely persistent Spinosaurus, Dr. Grant's party has one non-confrontational encounter with a dinosaur, which comes from a herd of Stegosaurus, Ankylosaurus, and Brachiosaurus. It comes off as a relieving breather moment to remind the audience that in spite of their ferocity, dinosaurs are still normal if fantastical animals when not provoked.
  • Behemoth Battle: A Tyrannosaurus rex fights a Spinosaurus.
  • Behind the Black:
    • The group arrives at the deserted beach to find a lone man in a suit calling out for them with a megaphone. There's no boats, no parachute, nothing to indicate where he came from. The beach, the sea, and the sky are all perfectly vacant. They run at him to make him stop, and all of a sudden an entire landing force, complete with several amphibious vehicles and helicopters, appears spontaneously on the beach.
    • When Dr. Grant and Eric meet up with the rest of the group, the Spinosaurus somehow manages to sneak up on all of them, even though half of them are facing it (though a theory behind this is brought up in this video).
  • Big Bad: The Spinosaurus, which is portrayed as the biggest and most lethal predator on an island filled to the brim with predators, and pursues the heroes so often and relentlessly that one starts to wonder whether it is actually sadistic.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Eric saving Grant from the raptors.
    • Billy saving Eric from the Pteranodons.
  • Bigger Is Better/Evil Is Bigger: Spinosaurus is made into one of the main threats in the film thanks to its size — larger than the T. rex.
  • Bluff the Imposter: Not in the usual sense of "imposter," but Billy tricks Paul into revealing that he never climbed K2 by asking if he camped above 30, 000 feet (K2 is less than 29, 000 feet tall). Every other lie quickly unravels.
  • Brick Joke: When the party lands on Isla Sorna, Amanda calls for Eric through a megaphone and Grant yells at her to stop because it's "a very bad idea." Later, when they're about to be rescued, the government agent is doing the same thing and they all run out onto the beach yelling "It's a very bad idea!"
  • Bullying a Dragon: Billy steals eggs from a Velociraptor nest for profit, which Dr. Grant deduces is why the raptors are chasing them and so he decides the only way to be spared by the raptors and leave the island alive is to return the eggs in-person to the raptors.
  • Call-Back:
    • When Grant and co. are confronted by T. rex, he still remembers that it tracks prey based on movement. Too bad that nobody listens to him.
    • The scene where everyone is digging through Spinosaurus dung to find the ringing satellite phone is a Call-Back to the first movie where Ellie is digging through Triceratops droppings to discover why the animal has fallen ill.
    • In the end, Dr. Grant looks out of the helicopter window to see a flock of Pteranodons. He did the same thing in the first film, albeit he saw pelicans.
    • The conversation between Grant and Eric about Ian Malcolm's book (the second movie) and the guy's obsession with Chaos Theory (the first movie).
    • As in the first movie, Grant is initially reluctant to go out to the dinosaur island, but is won over with the promise of invokedextra funding for his paleontology work.
  • The Cavalry: In the end, the Navy and the Marines.
  • Celebrity Paradox: During the film’s climax, Ellie’s son Charlie is watching Barney the Dinosaur. Eric’s actor, Trevor Morgan, had a leading role in the Barney film, Barney's Great Adventure.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Possibly done to the Spinosaurus in supplementary material to Jurassic World. When it appeared in III, it was thought of as just another one of InGen's cloned dinosaurs that went loose after the abandonment of the breeding facility, deadlier yes, but still a normal dinosaur (relatively speaking). However, the official website of World implies it to be one of the hybrid projects that Dr. Wu created in cooperation with Hoskins, and with the Spinosaurus being a prototype of sorts for the Indominus rex. Specifically, hybrids that are designed to be much more powerful and intelligent than normal dinosaurs. This is probably why it goes through so much trouble in hunting the humans, and why that poor Tyrannosaurus gets killed so easily. As shown in World, it takes six dinosaurs in total to bring a hybrid down.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The model of the raptor voice box is one of the most straight-forward examples of this trope in any of the films.
    • When the characters escape the birdcage, we see Amanda left the door unlocked and half-open. At the end, we see that the Pteranodons have found their way out of the cage and are flying into the sunset.
    • The eggs Billy takes from the raptor nest.
    • The ringtone from Udesky's phone conversation with Paul Kirby later helps Eric find his parents.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Ellie and her family appear in an early scene, and Ellie tells Grant that he can call her anytime if he needs help with anything. Near the end of the movie, Grant calls them for help.
  • Chekhov's Hobby:
    • Billy has experience in base jumping, which comes in handy during the birdcage chase when he deploys the parachute.
    • Paul mentions that he's taken up swimming, which comes in handy during the Spinosaurus attack at the river.note 
  • Cool vs. Awesome: T. rex vs. Spinosaurus. The Tyrannosaurus rex was the big heavy of the first two films, but loses the fight and the title of big bad to the Spinosaurus.
  • Crashing Dreams: On the plane to the island, Grant dreams there's a raptor in the plane seat next to him, which speaks to him in the voice of the person who's trying to wake him up.
  • The Croc Is Ticking: The Spinosaurus eats Paul's satellite phone, and its ringing continues in its stomach. Bonus points since the Spinosaurus might have actually been the dinosaur equivalent of a crocodile.
  • Cutting the Knot: The characters find a row of vending machines, and Mr. Kirby starts pulling out change and counting how much he needs. Billy, remembering that they're on an abandoned island, simply walks up and kicks through the display window of the next vending machine and takes what he wants. Mr. Kirby tries to follow suit, to no avail.
  • Death of the Hypotenuse: Ben Hildebrand does not survive landing on Isla Sorna (he doesn't even make it out of the tree), freeing Amanda to get back together with Paul as a result of their experiences on the island.
  • Demoted to Extra: Unlike the prior films, the Tyrannosaurus is reduced to one appearance where it's subject to an infamous case of The Worf Effect and quickly dispatched by the Spinosaurus to show how much tougher it is.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Played with; all seems lost when the group realizes Nash had the phone on him when he became dino-chow. Said phone not only survives being eaten, but it is later dug up from a pile of dung and successfully used to call for help.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Stealing raptor eggs? Yeah, can't see how THAT could go wrong, Billy.
    • Mrs. Kirby using a loudspeaker to call out for her missing son... on an island filled with man-eating dinosaurs. Alan even calls her out for it.
    • Cooper runs to, and then stands in the middle of a runaway in front of a plane that's taking off and not quite high enough to clear the area, while being chased by the Spinosaurus, demanding that it stop even though it should be obvious to anyone that it wouldn't have been able to stop at that point even if they wanted it to. Of course he causes the plot to kick off as the plane then crashes into the Spinosaurus as it snaps him up, because of course it didn't just stop chasing him.
  • Disney Death: Billy is seemingly killed/drowned by Pteranodons, but survives and is picked up by The Cavalry to provide a Hospital Surprise.
  • Dumb Blond: Amanda Kirby, although like her ex-husband she eventually wises up.
  • Dwindling Party: The expedition starts with Dr. Grant, Billy, the Kirbys, and three mercenaries. By the end of the movie, although they found Eric, the party has been reduced to Grant and the Kirby family. Billy turns out to have survived, but the mercenaries are all dino chow.
  • Evolutionary Retcon: invoked The raptors are brightly colored and frilled as a nod to the then-recent discovery that they had feathers.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: When Eric tells his parents that he found them by listening to their sat phone jingle, Paul explains that he no longer has the phone, having lent it to Nash just before he got eaten by the Spinosaurus. Cue the Spino.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The Kirbys hire Alan Grant because he's a dinosaur expert and has supposedly already been to the island. Grant points out that the Jurassic Park incident took place on Isla Nublar, a different island and that he has never set foot on this one before. To make this even more extreme, Isla Nublar is a solitary island located hundreds of miles further north of Isla Sorna, which is part of a chain of five islands.
    • Of course, it also cuts both ways. After all, Grant and Billy didn't do any background research on Paul Kirby and Kirby Enterprises before or after their first meeting. If they had, the jig would've been up far sooner.
  • Flanderization: The raptors were always very intelligent, but only by dinosaur standards in the first two films. They are now veritable evil geniuses that have their own language and are capable of setting traps that are at human levels of sophistication. Indeed, at times they seem even smarter than the human protagonists.
  • Flare Gun: Used to drive off the Spinosaurus the final time the characters bump into it. The Spinosaurus had ruptured the fuel tank when it attacked their boat, so the flare gun sets it on fire, at which point it retreats in pain.
  • Forbidden Zone: The Costa Rican and American Governments have restricted any and all access to Isla Sorna in the interim since the previous film (and especially after what happened in San Diego).
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Mr. Kirby tells Grant that he can pay him any amount of money, the song in the background plays the line, "And I lie, lie, lie..."
    • And careful listeners will hear Kirby talking on the phone to Udesky just before meeting with Grant. If it's just an aerial tour of the island, why would he need mercs with BFG's?
    • During the Q & A session following Dr. Grant's lecture, he has to specifically clarify that he neither saw nor was involved in the San Diego incident. The public's confusion about the events surrounding Jurassic Park and Site B is later exhibited by Mr. Kirby's mistaken assumption that Grant is familiar with the geography of Isla Sorna.
    • It seems quite likely, with the events of Jurassic World, that the Spinosaurus being an off-the-books creation of InGen is an early attempt by some figures in the company to weaponize dinosaurs. Its seemingly enhanced ability hints at the I.Rex as well.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Grant doesn't ask what happened to Udesky when he and Eric reunite with the others, and the second party is a man short, though Grant could have heard Udesky screaming in pain as he was killed by the raptors.
  • From Bad to Worse: This happens to everyone once the plane, their only means of transport, is totalled.
    • Udesky, the only surviving mercenary on the team, is not really a mercenary, more like a booking agent who only came because the actual third guy came up sick.
    • The Kirby's "recruited" Dr. Grant because he had an actual encounter with the dinosaurs. Unfortunately, Grant had only been to Isla Nublar, not Isla Sorna, where the events take place.
    • Grant finds out that Paul lied about being a millionaire, and that the check he gave him was a fake. Meaning that he's risking his life for literally nothing and even if he survives, his work back home probably won't.
  • Genre Savvy: Grant calls the one person he knows can get shit done when they're in danger - Ellie, who's husband works in the State Department and is able to send in the Marines and the Navy.
  • Giant Flyer: The Pteranodons.
  • Guns Are Worthless: As normal for the series, the dinosaurs completely ignore bullets, when they even hit. Most notable when the mercenaries demonstrate a BFG firing 20mm explosive shells for the Kirbys. We hear it get fired a few times, then Gilligan Cut to a bleeding mercenary tearing ass through the jungle, having abandoned his heavy rifle in favor of running like hell.
  • Hand Wave: All of the issues with dinosaurs are handwaved by Grant who says that these creatures are mutants, not dinosaurs. Echoed in Jurassic Park: The Game.
  • Hands Go Down: During Dr. Grant’s lecture:
    Host: Does anyone have a question?
    [all hands in the room go up]
    Grant: Fine. Does anyone have a question that does *not* relate to Jurassic Park?
    [most of the hands go down]
    Grant: Or the incident in San Diego, which I did *not* witness?
    [several more hands go down]
  • Heroic BSoD: Grant, after witnessing Billy's apparent demise.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Billy Brennan and Paul Kirby narrowly subvert this to Disney Death status.
  • Historical Badass Upgrade: The real Spinosaurus, despite being huge and powerful, was probably quite slow on land. Also, while it was bigger (at least in terms of length, and probably weight and height) than Tyrannosaurus, T. rex was likely much faster on foot, had a stronger bite, and can tear apart flesh. Here, it's depicted as the ultimate superpredator who eats T. rexes for breakfast. They also enhanced Spinosaurus in terms of durability; it easily breaks out of a T. rex bite to the neck in the opening moments of their fight, and is not in the least hampered by the wound. In reality, such a bite would've been crippling, if not fatal to pretty much anything.
    • A case of Author on Board, as the paleontological consultant was rather contemptuous of the popular notion of the T. rex as the apex predator of dinosaurs, and used the film in part to advance his own pick for that slot.
    • And thanks to certain revelations in Jurassic World, it's possible that this was invoked by InGen if they made Spinosaurus as an early version of the Indominus Rex.
  • Homage: The Pteranodon scene continues both previous films' homaging to King Kong (1933), and also references the Pterosaurs scene from One Million Years B.C..
  • Hospital Surprise: A character who went missing turns up in a makeshift hospital at the end.
  • How Dare You Die on Me!: After Paul Kirby narrowly averts a Heroic Sacrifice to save his wife and son from the Spinosaurus, the crying Amanda calls him an asshole and begs him not to leave them alone. Then he reveals that he survived the scuffle and they're reunited again.

    I - N 
  • Idiot Ball: Aside from Billy stealing Velociraptor eggs (see the Nice Job Breaking It, Hero entry) or Amanda yelling at the top of her lungs through a frigging megaphone as soon as her feet touch Isla Sorna's soil, Dr. Grant gets to hold one when he doesn't immediately climb on a tree after getting to the forest. He nearly gets killed by raptors for it. He should have known better considering it was what kept him, Tim, and Lex safe for a night in the first film.
  • Ignored Expert: The Kirbys hire Grant because he's a dinosaur expert, then proceed to ignore most of his advice. (Or, at least, Amanda does. Paul seems more inclined to listen.)
    Paul: Dr. Grant says that a bad idea.
    Amanda: "Dr. Grant. Dr. Grant says—"
    Paul: What's the good of hiring an expert if you're not gonna use his advice?
  • Improbable Infant Survival: A standard for the film franchise, but taken up to eleven here. Against all odds, Eric survived alone on a dinosaur-infested island for over two months, a situation in which groups of heavily-armed adults struggle to survive even a few days.
  • In Name Only: During his lecture, Grant insists that the creatures on Isla Sorna are just "genetically-engineered theme park monsters" rather than true dinosaurs while trying to defend paleontology from accusations of obsolescence.
    • In Jurassic World, it's revealed that the InGen created dinosaurs differ from how real dinosaurs looked because they were supposed to look cooler and more menacing. Which means Dr. Grant is actually at least partially right.
    • Even in Jurassic Park, it was acknowledged that they were not pure dinosaurs, as the gaps in their DNA had been filled in with genes from other creatures such as frogs.
  • In-Universe Factoid Failure: It’s revealed that the reason the Kirbys needed to bring Dr. Grant to the island with them was because Udesky required them to bring someone who had been to Isla Sorna before in order for the rescue mission to take place. The problem is that Dr. Grant never actually set foot on Isla Sorna, but instead was present in the Isla Nublar incident of the first film.
  • It Can Think: The bits with the raptor climbing the mesh door, and setting a trap for Billy and the Kirbys, using Udesky as bait.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • The Spinosaurus in the final confrontation simply flees after being burnt by fire.
    • The Kirbys. The numerous deaths and injuries in the movie are all the result of them lying to people and disobeying the law about visiting the island, but they survive and they are reunited with their son, so that is all forgotten and the final scene is treated as a Happy Ending.
  • Killer Rabbit: The baby Pteranodons may look cute, but they're also mighty deadly.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Spinosaurus is defeated when Grant shoots it with a flare gun, which bounces off and lands in a pool of spilt gasoline.
  • Lifesaving Misfortune: Udesky mentions that there was another member of his mercenary team who missed the trip because he caught the flu a couple days before they left. He's the lucky one since all the mercenaries who did come get eaten.
  • Lighter and Softer: The third film was seemingly filmed with the goal of being more family-friendly than The Lost World: Jurassic Park in mind. It has actually shown up on ABC Family several times. Notably, the film has the lowest body count of the series, with at least two Disney Deaths at that, and also includes the plot point of Eric Kirby, a 13-year-old, being able to survive for over eight weeks on Isla Sorna amidst the predators on his own.
  • The Load: The Kirby parents. Paul and Amanda are clueless people on a hostile island filled with lethal predators and other dangers. They have no combat training like the mercenaries (who don't fare that long themselves due to what they're up against) and no dinosaur experience or knowledge like Alan and Billy, so they have to be told that it's a bad idea to use a megaphone. Averted by their son Eric, who's savvy enough to survive several weeks all by himself.
  • Logo Joke: The Universal and Amblin logos ripple along with a "THUD!" sound, referencing the Bad Vibrations when the T. rex walked.
  • Mama Bear:
    • Considering how determined the raptors in the third film are to get back their stolen eggs, one can only imagine how fiercely protective they must be of their young...
    • It's implied that one of the reasons the Pteranodons attacked the group was to protect their young. Well, that and to feed Eric to them.
  • Mauve Shirt: Udesky.
  • Meaningful Background Event: While Grant and the others are exploring the InGen facility, a raptor can be seen moving in the background out of focus.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Gibbons (native to South East Asia) can be heard.
  • Mock Millionaire: Paul Kirby presents himself to Dr. Grant as the multi-millionaire head of 'Kirby Enterprises' and would be happy to pay him any price for accompanying him and his wife for a flight over Isla Sorna. The company is actually a simple paint and tile store, and he tricked Grant to find their missing son Eric.
    Dr. Grant: That's beautiful. Not only are we stuck on the most dangerous island on the planet, we're not even getting paid.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: The Pteranodon that attacks and kidnaps Eric does so because she has a nest of infants to feed.
  • Monster Threat Expiration: There’s a moment where the Spinosaurus, who was so hellbent on eating the protagonists that it bust through a massive reinforced fence 10 seconds previously... is suddenly unable to break through an ordinary metal door and decides to give up after a few bangs on it.
  • Mood Whiplash: Rapid-fire between Grant and the others being attacked by the Spinosaurus and Charlie watching Barney & Friends.
  • Morton's Fork: When Grant finds that Billy has stolen raptor eggs, which is why the raptors are hunting them, he threatens to drop them in the river, but decides against it. Paul asks why in the world they're keeping the eggs when they're the reason the raptors are trying to kill them. Grant reasons that the raptors are hunting them either way, better they catch them with the eggs intact (thereby giving them the slim change to return the eggs to the raptors and survive) than without the eggs (at which point the raptors will just kill them all).
    Paul Kirby: What're you doing? Those things are after us because of those.
    Dr. Grant: Those things know we have the eggs. We drop them in the river, they would still be after us.
    Paul Kirby: What if they catch us with them?
    Dr. Grant: What if they catch us without them?
  • More Deadly Than the Male: Seems to be the case with the alpha raptor; her lack of quills and relatively dull colors signal that she's female, and she's the one who is shown giving commands to her mate and all the other (mostly male) raptors in the pack.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Ellie Sattler is shown in this film to have eventually settled down, married, and had children with another man, she and Grant simply remaining friends. In the original book, Grant and Ellie were just long-time friends and co-workers who weren't romantically involved like they were in the first film, and Ellie indeed was planning to marry someone else.
    • An aviary full of Pterosaurs was one of the locations in the original book.
    • The book also featured the characters attempting to escape via river as a large predatory dinosaur pursues them through the water. In the book it was the Tyrannosaurus, whereas the film features the Spinosaurus.
    • The plan to use the riverboat to navigate to the coast and possibly the mainland is how Malcolm, Thorne, and company escaped from Isla Sorna at the end of The Lost World (1995). Likewise, Billy swiping dinosaur eggs to take to the mainland for study and funding is a whole plot reference to Dodgson's plan in the same novel.
    • The film ends with a group of soldiers showing up and rescuing the survivors of the island by evacuating them on helicopters, which is how the first novel ended. Except they're American instead of Costa Rican in this film, and they don't firebomb the whole island.
  • Neck Snap:
    • Spinosaurus kills the T. rex by clamping its jaws on its neck, and twisting it with its much larger claws.
    • A raptor finishes off Udesky this way when it becomes apparent the others aren't going to come help him when they use him as bait.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Billy Brennan's attempt to bail his and Grant's research out by stealing Velociraptor eggs, resulting in Udesky's death and placing the survivors in the unnecessarily mortal danger of having an entire pack of raptors on their backs. The fact that it was done solely for the money puts it even further into Idiot Ball territory than Sarah and Nick bring the infant T. rex back to their camp in the previous movie; at least they were just attempting to aid the poor thing after it had gotten injured.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Actually averted, as there are said to be strong restrictions on visits to Isla Sorna (with good reason). Things only go wrong because the Kirbys ignore those rules and visit the island anyway.
  • Non-Malicious Monster:
    • The Pteranodons. Sure, they were aggressive, but can you blame them when they had babies to not only feed but protect?
    • For once in the series, the raptors. They chase the humans all the way to the beach, but it turns out that they too are out to protect their young, as Billy stole their eggs.
    • A Ceratosaurus confronts the group at some point. Unlike all of the other predators depicted in the series, it shows no aggression, and simply leaves after giving them a cursory glance after sniffing the pile of Spinosaurus dung.
    • Averted in the Spinosaurus's case. That thing really hates humans. Also somewhat justified, as their aircraft injured Spino's crest. Also possibly justified if it really is an early version of Indominus rex, and therefore meant to be as psycho as possible.
  • Noodle Incident: Eric never does say how exactly he managed to obtain Tyrannosaurus rex urine. He simply
  • Nothing Is Scarier: What the hell happened to the two guys on the boat? The film seems to imply the Spinosaurus was responsible, but we never see anything to confirm it. The book explains that the Pteranodons did it, explaining why the boat wasn't completely wrecked; like it would have been with the Spinosaurus, but no such explanation is ever provided in the film; instead, the movie seems quite content to forget it ever happened and even go so far as to suggest that the Pteranodons weren't able to escape their cage until the survivors left the door open.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Grant gives one to Billy during his What the Hell, Hero? moment, telling Billy that he's "no different to the people who built the place".
  • Numbered Sequels: The only film in the series to be numbered. Fittingly, the III are shown as claw marks.

    O - Z 
  • Oddball in the Series: It's the only film in the franchise made without either David Koepp or Colin Trevorrow on the scripting duties, the only one not to have a soundtrack by either John Williams or Michael Giacchino (Don Davis does the job instead), and the only one not to feature the Tyrannosaurus in the film's logo (which instead features the Spinosaurus).
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Paul, Grant and Billy both have one when they hear the Spinosaurus a few minutes after they arrive on the island, realizing that it's heading towards them.
      Paul Kirby: What was that?
      Billy Brennan That's a Tyrranosaurus.
      Alan Grant I don't think so. Sound's bigger.
    • Grant, when the Velociraptor that they trap starts making a certain vocalization — and he realizes what it is.
      "My God... it's calling for help!"
    • Eric when he hears compies gathering outside his hideout. It's more Informed Ability since we don't see them attack anyone like they did in the previous film.
    • Everyone gets one when Paul says he left the satellite phone with Nash, who was eaten by the Spinosaurus, and they hear the distinctive ring nearby.
    • Grant has a big one when he realizes that the area he, Amanda, Paul, Eric, and Billy have sought refuge from the Spinosaurus in is a giant aviary... which could only mean Giant Flyers. Given that nearly every animal on the island is from the Mesozoic, it takes him all of half a second to figure out what kinds of creatures those might be... right before one of the said flyers swoops down and snatches Eric away.
    • Eric has one once he realizes he's not alone on the bridge, then has a further one when he sees that this particular Pteranodon has a nestful of hungry chicks.
    • Everyone has one when the Ceratosaurus shows up. Subverted when it smells them covered in dung and leaves. The Ceratosaurus, meanwhile is having a more literal Oh, Crap! moment of its own, because the crap the humans are covered in belongs to a much more dangerous and aggressive predator, which is probably still in the area. It quickly departs the scene.
    • Ellie gets one near the climax of the film when she calls Alan back after missing his satellite phone call. When she hears the panicked Alan screaming about Site B, she looks completely horrified, most likely thinking she just heard her former lover's last words and knowing there isn't a thing she can do about it.
    • Everyone has one again once Billy reveals why the Velociraptors are still after them — he stole eggs from them. And the realization that if the raptors have pursued them this long over believing they have the eggs, it will not help in any way to get rid of them now.
  • Ominous Fog: After reuniting Eric with his parents and, once again, escaping from the Spinosaurus, the main characters enter an area of suspended chain-link walkways shrouded with a thick fog. Grant starts getting suspicious when he notices some white, chalky substance on the railing, and then he looks up and notices the entire area is covered by a massive dome of metal bars. He realizes with horror that they're inside a gigantic aviary, which can only mean one thing — gigantic fliers.
  • Ominous Walk: The first Pteranodon pulls a brief one at the beginning of the sequence it appears in. Simply put, the creature is surrounded by fog when it does this, and is slowly striding its way toward a thirteen-year-old boy. Bonus points for the fact that an animal known for its flying prowess is introduced by walking menacingly.
  • Papa Wolf: The male alpha velociraptor along with his pack goes to hunt down the protagonists after one of them stole his mate's eggs.
  • Parachute in a Tree:
    • Ben Hildebrand falls victim to this and is later found half-eaten and still dangling from the canopy.
    • Billy gets caught on a cliff face while trying to escape from the Pteranodons.
  • Parting-Words Regret: Grant gets pretty upset after Billy apparently sacrifices himself rescuing Eric, because the last thing he said to Billy was that he was bad as the people who built Jurassic Park in the first place for stealing the raptor eggs, and redeeming himself was clearly a significant factor in his high-risk rescue attempt. Fortunately, Billy turns out to be alive and is also rescued at the end, allowing them to make amends.
  • Peek-a-Boo Corpse: Upon finding Hildebrand’s parachute, his corpse falls on Amanda.
  • Post-Climax Confrontation: After Alan and Paul successfully scare off the Spinosaurus for good by lighting their boat's fuel on fire, the next day as the group is about to escape, they are confronted by a few raptors, until Alan confuses them and Amanda surrenders the stolen eggs to them.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Upon running into a T. rex:
    Dr. Grant: Nobody –- move -– a muscle.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The infamous Spinosaurus vs T. rex fight was intended to be much longer and more even than it ultimately was, but had to be cut short to its current length and quick end when the Spinosaurus animatronic, a newer model than the T. rex (which was repurposed from the previous film), turned out to be much stronger than anticipated. As a result, it ended up decapitating the T. rex animatronic in one swipenote , forcing the fight to be massively shortened.
  • Red Shirt Army: The mercenaries hired to accompany Grant and the Kirbys to Isla Sorna end up biting it almost immediately after landing, with the exception of Udesky, and even he eventually meets a gruesome end.
  • Relationship-Salvaging Disaster: The divorced Paul and Amanda Kirby trick Alan Grant into accompanying them on an expedition to save their son Eric after he got stranded in the dinosaur-filled jungle on Isla Sorna with Amanda's new boyfriend, Ben Hildebrand (who didn't make it). Through the dangers on the island they reconcile their differences and reunite as a family after Paul is almost killed saving them from the Spinosaurus.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Billy is on the receiving end of a rather scathing one when Grant learns that he stole a pair of Velociraptor eggs.
  • Redemption Equals Death: After Billy's theft of the eggs comes to light, he sacrifices himself to save Eric from the Pteranodons. But he survives after all, and is rescued by the Marines.
  • Redshirt Army: Nash and Cooper, who are meant to provide security, die within minutes of arriving on the island, though Udesky manages to hang around for a while before dying midway through the film.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The baby Pteranodons are absolutely adorable.
  • Run or Die: When the group comes face-to-face with the Spino, Grant has this to say:
  • Savage Spinosaurs: This film codified the trope in popular culture and popularized the Spinosaurus as a stock dinosaur now probably second only to the T. rex among the large carnivores in popularity. The film depicts the animal as an aggressive and powerful predator capable of easily killing a Tyrannosaurus and pursuing the humans across the entire island for days on end.
  • Schmuck Bait: On suspecting that the Kirbys aren't who they claim to be, Billy asks them whether their base camp when climbing K2 was at 25,000ft or 30,000ft. Anyone who had actually been near the mountain would have immediately spotted that it was a trick question (the former is about 7,000ft higher than any halfway sane mountaineer would put their base camp, and the latter is not only 1,000ft higher than the mountain itself, but higher than any mountain on Earth), but Paul's giving the latter answer proves how utterly clueless he really is.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: After learning that Eric Kirby been lost on Isla Sorna for eight weeks, Grant pretty much sees this as a lost cause and decides to escape the island.
  • Sequel Escalation: Pteranodons and Spinosaurus, a threat bigger than T. rex, are introduced.
  • Shark Fin of Doom: Played with. We see the Spinosaurus's massive dorsal sail jutting out of the water before it attacks the protagonists.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Cooper being the first one to die, and doing so virtually the second he sets foot on the island, could be a shoutout to Dino Crisis, where a team member named Cooper does the exact same thing.
    • Billy "rescuing" Alan's hat at the end is a mild one to Indiana Jones.
    • The Spinosaurus fin rising from the water when chasing the boat calls back another Spielberg monster.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Cooper only appears for about three minutes total and is killed off less than half an hour in, but he's the main reason that the rest of the characters end up stuck on the island because him running out onto the runway causes the plane to hit the Spinosaurus and crash.
  • So Last Season: How do we truly know the Spinosaurus means business? He kills the T. rex without much effort!
  • Spinosaurus Versus T. rex: The iconic fight between the two superpredators is the Trope Maker.
  • Stand-In Portrait: The characters are looking through the ruins of Jurassic Park's Mad Scientist Laboratory. Amanda walks along a row of murky tanks holding the remains of failed experiments and even a raptor...which looks directly at her and then jumps out from behind the tank to try and bite her head off. Fortunately the tanks are too close together.
  • Stupid Question Bait: At the start of the movie, Alan Grant has just finished giving a talk about prehistoric Raptors to an audience, and asks if anyone has any questions. Hands go up all over the room. Grant adds that he means any questions that aren't about the events of Jurassic Park (1993), and most of the Hands Go Down. When he further specifies that he doesn't want questions about the events of The Lost World: Jurassic Park either, there are hardly any hands left.
  • Super Cell Reception: Kirby’s satellite phone works perfectly quite some time after being eaten by a dino. He does mention that they'll only get a single call out of it, but fortunately for the protagonists, this doesn't extend to call-backs.
  • Super-Persistent Predator:
    • The Spinosaurus, with the exception of the T. rex fight, spends all of its on-screen time trying to chase down the main characters. It does eventually get driven off for good when it's shot by a flare gun and caught in a gas fire ignited by the flare, but only after its fourth encounter with the protagonists.
    • More like Super Persistent Parent with the raptors— they do go to great lengths to track down and seemingly, to kill, the main characters, but it is revealed later on that it's not because they wanted to eat them; they were solely motivated by Billy stealing their eggs, and, once they're returned, the raptors take their eggs and leave. Mind you, they are going through all of this trouble to get back two eggs when they have several clutches back in their home territory.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Access to Isla Sorna has been restricted by the American and Costa Rican governments in the interim since The Lost World. Considering what happened in San Diego or what takes place the world over two-three films later, you can't blame them for trying to prevent any more dinosaurs from getting off the island (or to prevent anyone from trying to sneak back in and acquire more specimens).
    • Similarly, as part of those security measures, InGen was forced to turn over their records of their cloning operations and what kinds of species they had ressurected. Perhaps unsurprisingly, InGen cooked their own recordkeeping books and withheld information like the Spinosaurus (something that retroactively became important to Jurasic World: Fallen Kingdom's viral marketing over a decade later.
    • The Unmasqued World has also kneecappped the Palentology field and funding for Grant and other diggers. After all, with actual ressurected and living dinosaurs now living on Sorna, who needs to go digging for fossils anymore?
    • On the flip side of this, it could be argued that the reason paleontology hasn't been completely nixed already and Grant still even has a job is because just enough people realize how utterly dangerous it would be to study live dinosaurs, ones that were genetically cloned and might not even be behaving accurately to their forerunners at that. Especially after what happened in San Diego four years ago.
  • Take That!:
    • Grant and the others are being attacked by the Spinosaurus, so Grant uses the satellite phone to call Ellie for help. Her toddler son picks it up, and he would have gotten it to his mother a lot quicker were he not distracted by another dinosaur....
    • This exchange between Eric and Grant:
      Grant: Did you read Malcolm's book?
      Eric: [nods] invoked I don't know. It was kinda preachy. And too much Chaos. Everything Chaos. It just seemed like the guy was high on himself.
      Grant: That's two things we have in common.
  • Terrifying Tyrannosaur: The film exploits the fearsome reputation of the T. rex by using it as a benchmark of typical terror you can find on Isla Sorna, and then uses Spinosaurus to demolish the T. rex in every single category. T. rex pee? Scares away regular carnivores, but attracts Spinosaurus. Its signature roar? Spinosaur's roar is much bigger. T. rex squaring off against Spinosaurus? Spinosaurus easily wins.
  • Tempting Fate:
    Eric: Mom, I've been in the jungle by myself for eight weeks. I think I can survive the next few minutes without you.
    [cue a Pteranodon snatching him up]
    • Also Dr. Grant at the conference:
      Alan Grant: No force on Earth or Heaven can get me on that island.
  • Terror-dactyl: While The Lost World had Pteranodon in the closing scene, this time they play a much bigger role as vicious monsters that attack the humans. They are extraordinarily unlike real Pteranodon: they are much bigger than the already Giant Flyer, don't display the sexual dimorphism they are known to have, are able to grab humans with their feet like a bird-of-prey, have scaly skin, and, most egregiously, have beaks filled with sharp teeth (the name Pteranodon literally translates to "winged without teeth").
  • Thematic Sequel Logo Change: The usual Tyrannosaurus has been replaced by a Spinosaurus and the "III" is gouged out with its three-clawed hand (T.rex only has two clawed hands) to represent the latter being the story's new Big Bad.
  • There Are Two Kinds of People in the World: Those who are content to observe from a safe distance, and those who feel the need to explore hands-on.
    Dr. Grant: There are two kinds of boys: astronomers and astronauts.
  • This Way to Certain Death: Amanda Kirby's "very bad idea" is to use a megaphone in a predator-filled island.
  • Time Zones Do Not Exist: The climactic confrontation with the Big Bad dinosaur of the movie happens at what appears to be nighttime in Isla Sorna, and when Alan Grant calls Ellie Sattler for help, her home (established through a Freeze-Frame Bonus to be in the American East Coast) is still in daytime. Isla Sorna is established to be near Costa Rica, which is in the Central Standard Time zone.
  • Toilet Humour: Everyone has to go digging in ''Spinosaurus'' dung to find the satellite phone. And Eric keeping a flask of T. rex urine in his trailer. This, in turn, was turned up to eleven by Will Marshall.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Ben Hildebrand parasailing over an island with restricted airspace (because it's full of lethal dinosaurs) ends about as well as you'd expect.
    • Mrs. Kirby seems to genuinely not understand why Grant is advising her not to shout through a megaphone while wandering aimlessly through a jungle full of giant, feral predators. Mr. Kirby, too; at one point he tells his wife to shut up because "Dr. Grant says this is very dangerous territory." Obviously, being chased by a Spinosaurus and a T. rex within seconds of each other wasn't enough for him to realize that by himself. They get better at it.
    • Billy stealing the eggs from the raptor nest. This results in the raptors coming after them and even killing Udesky in revenge. Grant is pretty pissed to discover it's Billy's fault they're being hunted by raptors now, too.
    • Cooper tries to get the plane to stop by standing one-hundred feet in front of it as it is barreling towards him at takeoff speed. Even if they wanted to stop, he would still have been run over. And he was also standing and yelling right out in the open as he was being chased by a huge predatory dinosaur, which was still in the middle of chasing him. Justified in this case, as his desperation for survival outweighed his logical reasoning.
  • The Unmasked World: A variation. InGen's activities on Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna — and the existence of cloned dinosaurs — are now public knowledge thanks to the San Diego Incident in the previous movie.
  • Voodoo Shark: Word of God establishes that the two guys on the boat were eaten by Pteranodons. This would certainly explain why the boat wasn't wrecked and why the Pteranodons had a human skull in their nest, but it gets really confusing when it's revealed later that they were essentially trapped in the aviary without any means of getting out until the protagonists accidentally left the door open.
  • Wham Line: While the protagonists take refuge in an unknown, seemingly abandoned enclosure, things seem to be going relatively fine... until Grant gets a good look at the enclosure's ceiling and makes a startling discovery...
    Grant: It's a birdcage!
  • Wham Shot:
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Alan gives a massive one to Billy after he discovers that Billy stole velociraptor eggs.
  • The Worf Effect: The T. rex suffers from this. Its species were portrayed as the biggest and baddest creatures, and now one is easily defeated by the Spinosaurus. Of course, there's a lot of debate about how this scenario would play out in Real Life, though. Pretty much everybody agrees that Spinosaurus would need to dodge when T. rex went for its neck rather than just no selling, though. This is partly Real Life Writes the Plot, as the fight was intended to be much longer and more even, but the Spinosaurus animatronic was a newer model than the T. rex one and far stronger than expected, resulting in it literally ripping the T. rex animatronic's head off in a single swipe. So ironically, The Worf Effect was due to a real life example of this trope happening with the animatronics.
  • You Do Not Want To Know: Eric says this in response to Grant's question about how he got a jar full of T. rex pee.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The raptors use an injured Udesky as bait for the other humans. After their trap failed, one of the males snaps the poor guy's neck.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Jurassic Park 3


"It's a birdcage..."

The Jurassic Park films famously depict Pteranodon among the token non-dinosaur prehistoric creatures. The ones that appear Jurassic Park III lack the downy covering many pterosaurs had, have leathery wings and toothed beaks (ironically, the very name Pteranodon means "toothless wing"), and are able to carry off a teenager with their talon-like feet; they also construct bird-like nests, and the young are also less flight-capable than they should be and are unrealistically aggressive. The junior novelization of the movie states that the Pteranodon were genetically altered to be more monstrous and impressive and are not the genuine prehistoric animal.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / TerrorDactyl

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