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What Fans Think Was Missing From Jurassic Park 3

A blockbuster as successful as Jurassic Park was always going to spawn sequels, whether Michael Crichton — author of the series of novels the film franchise is based on — wrote more books or not. There'd been dinosaur flicks before and have been others since, but Steven Spielberg knows a thing or two about hooking audiences in. Though he only stayed on as director for the second film, there are five Jurassic films as of November 2020, with a sixth, entitled Jurassic World: Dominion, on the way.

Not every entry in the franchise proved an instant hit, and they aren't all looked back upon as Jurassic classics. Of all the questionable steps in the franchise, Jurassic Park III is arguably the one that fell furthest afield of watchability. The threequel underperformed at the box office, and earned the second-lowest critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and the lowest fan score before or since. The hype was real when fans heard Sam Neill's Dr. Grant was coming back after not appearing in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, but evidently, even his presence couldn't salvage the film.

What went wrong is entirely subjective, but a few Jurassic fans on Reddit posited some potential reasons the movie is considered underwhelming. Many of these reasons are related to the story or the filmmaking, but it's also noted that Jurassic Park III lacks the cool technology and gadgets of its predecessors. It makes some sense considering the ravaged state of the island in the film (Isla Sorna, the same island The Lost World takes place on), but fans nonetheless wish the void had been filled. Let's take a closer look at the tech that is and isn't in Jurassic Park III and how it measures up to its prequels.

Tech doesn't find a way

When the company responsible for bringing dinosaurs back to life, InGen, reveals its dinosaur cloning process through an easy-to-understand and humorous educational video in Jurassic Park, it's obvious that these guys aren't small potatoes. The park they set up is no less impressive, replete with self-driving vehicles equipped with tons of safety gear, enormous electric fences to keep the dinos from chowing down on visitors, and an efficient cryogenic storage system for dinosaur embryos — the works. It's a wonder things end up going so poorly, but as Dr. Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) says, "Life, uh, finds a way."

The Lost World continues the sci-fi tech trend, featuring InGen's all-terrain vehicles, mobile labs inside modified trailers, and the high-hides perfect for studying dinosaurs from a distance. Even some of the characters have neat gadgets of their own, such as Nick Van Owen's (Vince Vaughn) satellite video recorder — which could be replaced with any old smartphone in 2020, but everything's relative.

Jurassic Park III's highest-grade technology is a 3D printer, used to replicate velociraptor vocal cords that come in handy later in the film. Other than that, though, nothing really stands out. Parasails are fun, but they can hardly be counted among humankind's greatest technological achievements (though you have to respect the pun printed on them in the movie: "DINO-SOAR"). To be fair, they do serve as a Chekov's gun of sorts — introduced early on, integral to what happens later.

Then there's the pterosaur aviary. It's no small feat as far as architecture goes, but again, not too interesting from a tech perspective, since it really comes down to a giant, half-spherical metal cage. The InGen lab the characters stumble across is more promising, but — like the rest of the island — it's abandoned and rundown. Years before, the incubation and breeding center they find in the lab was definitely packed to the brim with the latest InGen inventions. Not so much anymore.

The criticism is a bit unfair considering the almost post-apocalyptic setting — something the lab encapsulates well. Regardless, the lack of gadgets does impact how fans feel, especially when even the films that precede it showcase greater degrees of technological advancement. Indeed, the idea of advancement is likely where the criticism stems from, because whether the island is left for the dinos or not, there are no signs that technology improved much in the years between The Lost World and III. A company like InGen is surely always pushing boundaries, and fans want to see that reflected in the Jurassic films as much as possible.