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What You Never Noticed About The Kirbys In Jurassic Park 3

Coming off the coattails of the poorly received The Lost World: Jurassic Park, fans crossed their fingers in the hopes that Jurassic Park III would be a return to form for the beloved franchise. Unfortunately, the film did not live up to expectations, and is generally looked back upon as an underwhelming entry. Introducing a new dinosaur bigger and badder than the classic T. rex and bringing back Sam Neill as fan-favorite character Dr. Alan Grant just wasn't enough.

Still, Jurassic Park III does have its supporters here and there. Redditor u/FightTheFeed is one of them, defending the film as "second ONLY to the original movie." They bring up a lot of interesting points, including a defense of characters other than Grant: the Kirbys. Posing as a wealthy couple willing to fund Grant's paleontological studies, Paul (William H. Macy) and Amanda Kirby (Téa Leoni) propose the scientist give them a tour of Isla Sorna. The real reason they're going, however, is to find their son Eric (Trevor Morgan), who's lost on the island.

Let's take a retrospective look at the Kirbys to see what makes them so great, and how they expand on the Jurassic Park films in relevant ways.

Family ties

Grant may not have visited Isla Sorna before — the original film takes place on Isla Nublar — but he generally knows what to expect around dinos, which is why the Kirbys place their stock in him in the search for Eric. The dichotomy of Grant's experience and the Kirbys' rookie status makes for an interesting dynamic: a wearied scientist and two "average middle class people who get themselves in way over their heads," as u/FightTheFeed put it. That relatability is something viewers don't really get in the other films, as — aside from the kids — most of the main characters are either experienced or knowledgeable enough to handle themselves.

The Kirbys also act as a natural evolution of the theme of family present in the first film, in which Grant forms a close bond with Tim (Joseph Mazzello) and Lex Murphy (Ariana Richards). The brother and sister come to see Grant as something of a father figure, even if it's never explicitly stated; they all care for each other as the dangers of the island rain down on them, and spend whatever quiet moments they can together.

Paul and Amanda are divorced — the remnants of a broken family — yet they still come to the island together to find Eric. A child of divorce isolated from his parents is no coincidence in u/FightTheFeed's mind, and Paul and Amanda realizing they still love one another after finding their son is a touching way to wrap up the family's arc. Whether you take the journey literally or view the island as a metaphor for divorce's aftermath, the rekindling of the family's bond "not only set[s] the story in motion," the Redditor remarks, "it holds the entire story together to the very end." It's a great point — one that makes Jurassic Park III much more interesting and rewatchable in retrospect.

Only time will tell how Jurassic World: Dominion will continue to evolve these themes of family and love amidst the craziness of dinosaurs running amok. With Neill returning as Grant once again alongside Jurassic Park alumni Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm and Laura Dern as Dr. Ellie Sattler, it's like the family is getting back together before the film's even released.