Sam Neill defends 'Jurassic Park III' and notorious talking raptor scene

Tom Beasley
·Contributor
·3-min read
The talking raptor scene in 'Jurassic Park III' is a controversial one. (Credit: Universal)
The talking raptor scene in 'Jurassic Park III' is a controversial one. (Credit: Universal)

Sam Neill has spoken in defence of the maligned sequel Jurassic Park III, including the scene in which a raptor talks to his character in a dream.

The 2001 adventure — in which Neill’s palaeontologist Dr Alan Grant is duped into travelling to another island of cloned dinosaurs — was far from beloved by film critics, with its approval score on Rotten Tomatoes currently set at just 49%.

Read more: First look at new baby dinosaur in Jurassic World: Dominion

Particularly, the scene in which a sleeping Dr Grant is addressed as “Alan” by a talking velociraptor has become notorious as an example of the movie’s failings.

Neill, though, has told Collider he thought that sequence was “pretty cool” when he first read the script for Joe Johnston’s movie.

Watch: Jurassic Park tops box office, 30 years later

The 73-year-old star said: “I was just talking to someone earlier in the day who said: ‘I really like Jurassic Park III and it gets an unfair [treatment].’

“He was from Rotten Tomatoes, I think it was him. And I said: ‘Thank you very much!’

“I agree that the last 10 minutes are way too easy and way too hurried, but I think up to that point, it’s pretty damn good.”

Read more: Is Sam Neill going to be in Thor: Love and Thunder?

Despite the negative reaction to the movie, Neill said he had only truly figured out the role of Dr Grant by the time he appeared in the third film.

“You’re not just playing a character. You need a whole skillset,” he said.

“You need a whole armoury to play an action hero and I wish I had known what those skills were when we did the first one, but there we are.”

Sam Neill stands out in the rain in a scene from the film 'Jurassic Park', 1993. (Photo by Universal/Getty Images)
Sam Neill stands out in the rain in a scene from the film 'Jurassic Park', 1993. (Photo by Universal/Getty Images)

Neill is due to reprise his role as Dr Grant, alongside fellow original movie stars Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum, in the upcoming Jurassic World: Dominion.

Director Colin Trevorrow has suggested that fans are underestimating the size of the trio’s roles, saying they will be part of an “ensemble” rather than simply making cameo appearances.

Read more: Trevorrow says Dominion is a celebration of the franchise

The film is reportedly set to begin a “new era” for the franchise, with leading man Chris Pratt comparing it to Avengers: Endgame in its size and spectacle.

Dominion had been slated to arrive in June 2021, but was recently delayed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and will now be released on 10 June, 2022.

Neill is currently promoting his role in Rams, in which he portrays a sheep farmer warring with his brother in Western Australia.

The film is due to be released on VOD platforms in the UK from 5 February.

Watch: Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum duet