Jurassic Park sequels: a tale of two reviews

We already knew that Universal was prepping a 3D re-release of the original Jurassic Park (1993) for this coming April — two months before the film’s 20th anniversary. And we already knew that Universal had hired Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, the writers of Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), to come up with a brand new Jurassic Park sequel.

But it wasn’t until today that Universal committed to an actual release date for the new film — and it isn’t that far away: June 13, 2014, or less than a year and a half from now. That’s somewhat ambitious, for an effects-driven film that currently has no director or cast attached.

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Review: Jurassic Park III (dir. Joe Johnston, 2001)

There are any number of reasons to expect the worst from Jurassic Park III. It’s the second sequel to the original Jurassic Park, and sequels, as a rule, are supposed to get progressively worse. In addition, it has been eight years since the first film came out, and the computer-generated lizards that seemed so ground-breaking back then have become all too common; thanks to Godzilla, Dinosaur, Evolution and similar films, the presence of larger-than-life reptiles virtually guarantees a film’s mediocrity.

As if these factors weren’t enough, Jurassic Park III is, at about an hour and a half, unusually short, so audiences may think they aren’t getting their money’s worth; and the creative minds behind the first two films — director Steven Spielberg and novelist Michael Crichton — had little to do with this entry in the franchise.

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