Jurassic Park III (2001)
Why We Love This Scene: Say what you will about the third Jurassic Park, it at least had Pteranodons! They were teased in The Lost World but finally Joe Johnston had the right idea to include them in a huge dilapidated aviary attraction and attack Alan Grant and company.
Personally, I like Jurassic Park III more than The Lost World and it isn’t just because of the Pteranodons either. The Lost World is one hastily made mess and terribly paced. It has been a long while since I’ve seen either of these films but I remember being bummed out that The Lost World was a let-down back then. And I totally remember being pleasantly surprised at how much fun and entertaining Jurassic Park III was. Sure it had way more annoying and out-of-place actors (William H. Macy? Téa Leoni? Michael Jeter as a mercenary?!) but it did happen to bring back Sam Neill and Laura Dern to better tie-in the franchise. It was fast-paced and had exciting moments enough to make me watch it multiple times.
Besides the perennial favorite, the T-Rex (who gets his ass kicked by the new Spinosaurus) there’s also the ubiquitous Velociraptors like every other Jurassic Park movie but finally we have an action scene involving the flying Pteranodons. I love how the kid slowly walks on the bridge or cat-walk and through the fog the Pteranodon walks toward him! It was unexpected to introduce the winged creature walking like that but it gave the scene a nuanced feeling. You would typically think that the flying monster would swoop down in its first encounter to try to take the kid away but I’m glad they went with this approach. Billy, Alan Grant’s assistant, then glides down to save the kid using a parachute, which I’ll admit is kinda cool, exciting and different. I’m just glad the Pteranodons had their moment in the spotlight for once rather than a T-Rex again and again.