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Jurassic Park III
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
label: uni / decca
released: 05.01.01
our score: 3.5 out of 5.0

Variations on a Theme
by: bill aicher

Jurassic Park III came about with a reduced set of expectations after the misguided second film. On the third installment Spielberg bailed, as did his musical sidekick, John Williams. Still, JP3 is a high-profile project, and Mr. Williams' shoes are tough to fill.

Don Davis fills them nicely, however. Most famous for his work on the soundtrack for The Matrix, Davis does a superb job or bringing back the original Williams' themes and updating them to match the style of the third installment of the Jurassic Park series. Like the film, these new compositions offer a darker, more action-oriented feel - while remaining true to the original feel of the Jurassic Park franchise. However, just as in the film itself, the soundtrack fails to offer much anything new.

It's in the Pteranadon scenes that Davis is given his chance to truly shine. He was offered a new creature, a new creature worthy of a new theme. And for the most part he succeeds. Still, due to the constraints of the previous films, he is forced to compose in a Williams style, and never quite comes into his own.

The album's largest downfall is the utterly idiotic inclusion of Randy Newman's track "Big Hat, No Cattle." The song didn't fit the movie at all - country has no business in an action-packed dinosaur film. And the inclusion on the album was a lack of poor planning. Rather than ending the album with a strong orchestral closing credits, this track was included. You'd do best to press stop at the end of track 15.

Fans of the Jurassic Park series will be more than pleased with this release. It's a worthy companion to the other two soundtracks, and matches the tone of the film. Unfortunately at times it seems a bit rushed, but then again so does the film.

Jurassic Park III was simply another chance for audiences to see their favorite actors battling it out with dinosaurs. Nothing extraordinarily groundbreaking. This disc is a perfect reflection.

If you liked Jurassic Park III...

1. Isla Sorna Sailing Situation
2. The Dinosaur Fly-By
3. Cooper's Last Stand
4. The Raptor Room
5. Raptor Repartee
6. Tree People
7. Pteranadon Habitat
8. Tiny Pecking Pteranadons
9. Billy Oblivion
10. Brachiosaurus on the Bank
11. Nash Calling
12. Bone Man Ben
13. Frenzy Fuselage
14. Clash of Extinction
15. The Hat Returns/End Credits
16. Big Hat, No Cattle