For the Adherent of Pop Culture
Adventures of Jack Burton ] Back to the Future ] Battlestar Galactica ] Buckaroo Banzai ] Cliffhangers! ] Earth 2 ] The Expendables ] Firefly/Serenity ] The Fly ] Galaxy Quest ] Indiana Jones ] Jurassic Park ] Land of the Lost ] Lost in Space ] The Matrix ] The Mummy/The Scorpion King ] The Prisoner ] Sapphire & Steel ] Snake Plissken Chronicles ] Star Trek ] Terminator ] The Thing ] Total Recall ] Tron ] Twin Peaks ] UFO ] V the series ] Valley of the Dinosaurs ] Waterworld ] PopApostle Home ] Links ] Privacy ]

Episode Studies by Clayton Barr


Jurassic Park III
Screenplay by Peter Buchman and Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor
Directed by Joe Johnston
Released in 2001

Strapped for cash for his work, Dr. Alan Grant agrees to lead an aerial tour of Isla Sorna…but during the tour chaos takes a hand.


Read the complete Jurassic Park III movie synopsis at the JP Wiki


Didja Know?


The various dinosaurs in this film are depicted with additional details discovered or theorized by scientists since the initial two films in the series, such as more colorful patterns on the skin and the addition of feather-like quills on the raptors.


Didja Notice?


The opening shot indicates that Isla Sorna is located 207 miles west of Costa Rica and that the island is restricted. (The Lost World indicated that the island was 87 miles west of Isla Nublar, so that would place Isla Nublar about 120 miles from Costa Rica, exactly as stated in "Genesis".)


As the Dino-Soar boat emerges from the fog bank at 3:20 on the DVD, the two-man crew is missing and we can see that the awning has been shredded and there is splattered blood visible on the aft deck. Yet, we get no explanation of exactly what happened to the two men. Ever since Jurassic Park III was released in 2001, there has been controversy among fans about how the boat was damaged. The implication is that one or more dinosaurs did the deed...but how? There is no suggestion of aquatic saurians in the film, and it seems unlikely that a pterosaur could appear, grab the crew from under the boat's awning, and disappear (however the original ending of the script implies that it was, in fact, a flock of free Pteranodons who did the deed).


The raptor toys that Grant is playing with at 4:19 on the DVD appear to be from the actual Jurassic Park toy collection by Hasbro!


When Ellie suggests to Grant that her son, Charlie, at 3 years of age, is maybe a bit young to learn of the ferocious nature of Velociraptors, Grant says, "Right. Sorry, Charlie." Possibly, this is a reference to the catchphrase "Sorry, Charlie" used in the StarKist Tuna television commercials featuring the animated character Charlie Tuna.


When Ellie's phone rings inside the house, her housekeeper tells her it is her publisher wanting to talk to her about the last chapter. She shouts back to just to tell him she is going to get the Jack Horner quote. Jack Horner is a paleontologist and was a consultant to all three JP films.


Ellie's husband, Mark, tells Grant he's now working at the State Department. This is a setup for how Ellie is able to get the U.S. military involved in the rescue of Grant's party on Isla Sorna at the end of the movie.


From his recent studies of fossilized raptor skulls, Grant now believes that they were smarter than whales, dolphins, even primates.


As Grant sets out after his evening with Ellie's family, she tells him if he ever needs anything at all, not to hesitate to call on her. This is another setup for the rescue at the end of the film.


It seems that Malcolm's wisecrack in Jurassic Park that Grant is about to become extinct is gradually coming true. He comments to Ellie that he is the last of his breed. And at the lecture, he seems to have grown a bit sensitive to the suggestion that his fossil-based theories are rather moot since the U.N. and Costa Rica will likely soon allow scientists onto Isla Sorna to study the dinosaurs that have been allowed to flourish there.


Grant calls Hammond and InGen's creations at Jurassic Park and on Isla Sorna "genetically-engineered theme park monsters". This goes somewhat against what he told young Lex in Jurassic Park when she says, "Don't make the monsters come over here," and he tells her, "They're not monsters, Lex, they're animals."


Nash calls the weapon he and Cooper are testing out at the airplane graveyard an "Iron horn 20-millimeter, gas-operated, semiautomatic..." As far as I can tell, this is a fictional gun made up for the movie.


As he and his mercenaries prepare for the expedition, Udesky tells Paul Kirby they are prepared, "'s gonna be a walk in the park." This is an ironic use of the cliché "walk in the park" since they are going to be walking in Jurassic Park.


Grant and Billy's latest dig is at Fort Peck Lake, Montana. This is a real lake.


At 11:24 on the DVD, Grant drives up to the dig in a truck with the seal of the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University. This is an actual museum and university. It would suggest that Grant now works for Montana State U. In the novel of Jurassic Park, author Michael Crichton states that Grant has a teaching position at the University of Denver. Since the movies differ from the novels, it may be that Grant never worked at the University of Denver or he may simply have accepted a position at Montana State to be closer to his dig sites in the state or for other reasons. The seal seen here may have been created for the movie; I've found no evidence that the museum or university has used this design.


Billy jokingly asks Grant if he likes computers and he answers, "I like the abacus, Billy." No, an abacus is not a PC brand name! It's an ancient type of calculator, still used by merchants and clerks in many parts of the world.


Billy shows Grant a device called a rapid prototyper, a computerized machine that can be fed data on an object so that the machine can quickly sculpt it out of relatively soft materials. This technology has actually existed in the real world since the late 1980s, though does not have the sculpting speed implied by the one seen in the film. Here, Billy uses it to recreate the resonating chamber of a raptor skull.


At dinner with the Kirbys, Grant and Billy each order an ice pick to drink. An ice pick is a mix of vodka and iced tea.


The Kirbys tell Grant they love the outdoors, saying they've been on just about every adventure tour that's come up, such as the Nile, Galapagos, and K2. Denial is a river in Egypt (yuk, yuk!). The Galapagos Islands are the Pacific island chain 525 nautical miles off the coast of Ecuador that helped Charles Darwin come to his theory of evolution by means of natural selection. K2 is the second highest mountain after Mt. Everest. Amanda Kirby goes on to say that she and her husband have reservations for the first commercial flight to the moon; this is a fiction she has made up, as there are as yet no commercial operations taking reservations for future flights to the moon. I suppose she is banking that Grant and Billy do not know that.


Grant seems to have a weakness for money, at least so far as it pertains to funding his paleontological research. In Jurassic Park, he gives in to Hammond to visit the park due to his offer to fund his dig for a further 3 years. And here, he again accepts the Kirbys' offer to fund his research in exchange for being their guide in a flyover of Isla Sorna.


Notice that, as the Kirbys and their hired crew hear the roar of the Spinosaurus for the first time, on the airstrip at 20:46 on the DVD, there is also the sound of gunshots in the background (Cooper, Nash, and Udesky firing at it).


At 21:52 on the DVD, as the plane is attempting take-off from Isla Sorna's airstrip, there are some power lines visible on the hills in the background. It's vaguely plausible as being lines strung by InGen during their occupation of the island, but I think in reality the audience is not supposed to notice them as being an artifact of on-location shooting.


At 23:09 on the DVD, besides the mini vodka bottle, there appears to be one of the mercenary's grenades rolling down the aisle way!


Before being corrected by Grant, Billy guesses that the super-predator they've just encountered after their crash landing was a Suchomimus or Baryonyx. Both were real dinosaurs, related to Spinosaurus.


Paul Kirby finally admits to Grant and Billy that there is no such thing as Kirby Enterprises, it's actually Kirby Paint and Tile + in the Westgate Shopping Center in Enid, OK. There is an actual shopping center by that name in the city and it was previously mentioned in Survivor.


At 38:26 on the DVD, there appears to be some kind of painting or poster on the wall of the InGen complex.


Grant's identification of the raptor's call for help after the chase through the animal pens is a foreshadowing of Grant using the same call to frighten off the raptor pack at the end of the film.


Escaping from the raptors at the InGen compound, Grant and the rest run into a mixed herd of hadrosaurs. The hadrosaurids appear to be of the species Parasaurolophus and Corythosaurus.


When Eric rescues Grant from the raptors in the middle of the jungle, we see he is wearing a sort of poncho of leaves. He first made one of these in Survivor. He is also wearing an oversized InGen jacket which he procured from the compound in that book.


Eric takes Grant to his island home, the inside of a water tanker first seen in Survivor.


Though we only see half the wrapper, Eric appears to be eating a Nestle Crunch bar at 47:26 on the DVD.


Eric has a vial of tyrannosaur urine that he says scares some of the smaller creatures away but attracts the Spinosaurus. I'm not sure why it should attract the Spinosaurus unless it's because the beast wants to eliminate rivals for prey.


At 49:27 on the DVD, a compy snags an insect out of the air.


When Eric and Grant leave the tanker to go searching for the rest of Grant's party, Eric doesn't bother to close the tank door as they leave. That seems unwise of someone who has learned how to survive on Isla Sorna for 8 weeks, especially since we saw that he had kept it closed while he was away and then returned having rescued Grant. Are they now so sure they won't have to return that they are no longer worried about something else climbing inside?


Although it happens quickly, at 52:28 on the DVD, it's obvious that Paul Kirby has just finished taking a pee in the background...there's even a quick sound of him zipping up his zipper!


The scene inside the aviary and the concept of pterosaurs walking on their wings is borrowed from a brief scene in the first Jurassic Park novel. The quadrupedal walking of pterosaurs is currently a generally accepted theory.


Although the Pteranodons depicted here are shown as capable of picking up an adult human and flying off with them, in reality they were not large enough to have done so.


At 1:02:46 on the DVD, the Pteranodon nest is shown on top of a stone, pillar-like formation. A series of these formations is clustered around this nest. Are these strange pillars natural formations or were they built by InGen to look natural for the purpose of pterosaur nesting and observation by researchers?


As the baby pterosaurs are about to launch themselves at him at 1:02:52 on the DVD, Eric picks up what appears to be a human skull from among a scattering of bones and throws it at them. How did the pterosaurs manage to catch and kill a human prior to the events of this film?


The pterosaur/parasail chase is borrowed from a discarded scene in an early draft of the film script for The Lost World.


At 1:07:26 on the DVD, the latch to one of the gates to the aviary is left loose, leaving the gate free to swing open. This implies that the pterosaurs can now escape to freedom. But then, according to the final scene of The Lost World and a couple of scenes in Survivor, there are already some flying free over the island.


The carnosaur that appears after Grant and his party dig the satellite phone out of the Spinosaurus dung is described in the film's literature as a Ceratosaurus, identified largely by the horn on its snout.


A school of fish swim by the boat and Grant calls them bonitas (also called bonitos). They are a medium-sized predatory fish in the mackerel family.


At 1:12:52 on the DVD, the Spinosaur's fin emerges from the water, perhaps intended as a callback to scenes of the shark's fin in the 1975 Steven Spielberg film classic Jaws.


During the Spinosaur's attack on the boat, Grant calls Ellie's house, and tells young Charlie to take the phone to Mommy, but ironically, the boy gets distracted by Barney the dinosaur on TV!


The lead raptor sniffs Mrs. Kirby and seems to think she is the one who stole the raptor eggs. Why, when it is Grant who is carrying the eggs in Billy's pack? Since the raptors seem to have a matriarchal hierarchy, does she assume the female of the human group must be their leader and thus responsible?


At 1:20:49 on the DVD, the lead raptor not only understands Grant's "call for help" through the sculpted resonating chamber, but she also hears the advancing sounds of helicopters in the distance, which makes her think the call for help is being quickly responded to.


As Grant's party runs towards the beach at 1:21:39 on the DVD, there is a cloud of smoke or dust billowing in the background for no discernible reason.


At the end of the film, a flock of Pteranodons is seen flying away from the island, implying that they are soon going to nest along the mainland. 


Unanswered Questions


Billy comments that Spinosaurus was not on InGen's list of dinosaurs for its breeding program. Grant agrees and says that it makes him wonder what else InGen was up to. Nothing more is said about it in the film. In all the talk of potential Jurassic Park IV scripts (and finally realized in Jurassic World), there have been rumors of plots involving genetically altered "mutant dinosaurs", so the brief dialog in this film may have been intended as a lead-in to that. 


Memorable Dialog


dinosaur man.wav

my favorite.wav

the last of my breed.wav

any questions.wav

go in and look for themselves.wav 

theme park monsters.wav 

no force on Earth or Heaven.wav

that does sound lucky.wav

reverse Darwinism.wav

you can not land on this island.wav

it sounds bigger.wav

we probably won't get off this island alive.wav

not even being paid.wav


I'm going with you guys.wav

if we lose you.wav

it's calling for help.wav

you still liked dinosaurs back then.wav

T. rex pee.wav

Malcolm's book.wav

you're no better.wav

phone ring.wav

don't call the US embassy.wav

God bless you, Ellie.wav 


Back to Jurassic Park Episode Studies