'Jurassic Park 3' has come to Netflix

With the success of “Jurassic Park” and “The Lost World: Jurassic Park 2,” the powers that be figured out that they had a franchise going, an excuse to print money. “Jurassic Park 3” was greenlit and premiered in the year 2001. It was the first movie of the series not to be directed by Stephen Spielberg and the first to be an original story not based on either of the Michael Crichton books, though it did incorporate scenes from the two works.

The film starts with an adult named Ben and a 12 year-old boy named Eric parasailing near the island that was featured in the second movie. An accident causes them to drift toward the island, heavily implying that they crash-landed on it.

Fast forward a few weeks, and we find Dr. Alan Grant, played as in the first movie by Sam Neil, having fallen on hard times. The kind of paleontology that involves digging up dinosaur bones has fallen out of favor since the real things now walk the Earth again. A wealthy couple, Paul and Amanda, played by William H. Macy and Tea Leoni, approach him with a proposal. If Grant takes them on an aerial tour of the island, they will finance his research. While hesitant about going anywhere near anyplace where hungry dinosaurs reside, Grant agrees.

To make a long story short, Dr. Grant has been snookered. Paul and Amanda are really an estranged, middle-class couple whose son Eric is missing on the island thanks to an unwise outing by Amanda’s boyfriend Ben. They, being doting parents, will do anything to rescue their son, including cashing in all of their liquid wealth and lying to Dr. Grant and his research assistant, Billy.

Then, the movie goes straight from the “Ooh and aah” to the “running and the screaming.” Besides our old friends the T-Rex and the velociraptor, our intrepid heroes, and some of their dodgy associates, meet a new big reptile, a Spinosaurus that is vicious enough to rival just about any other monster on the island.

The movie got mixed reviews from the critics, but audiences flocked to it in droves. Movies about people being eaten by dinosaurs, and other people barely escaping being eaten by dinosaurs never get old. Sam Neil provided enough gravitas to carry the film somewhat, as well.

As an added note, the movie incorporated advances in the understanding of dinosaur behavior and appearance that have come to light since the second movie. It also was perhaps the first depiction of a 3D printer, a technology that becomes a crucial plot point. All is now available for live streaming on Netflix.