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Jurassic Park

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Released: 1993

Directed By: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Sam Neill, Laura Dern

Certificate: PG

 

Reviewed By: Luke Cowdell

I recently went to see Jurassic Park (1993) at the cinema upon it’s re-release in the UK. As I sat there with my ridiculously priced popcorn and drink I started to feel that warm fuzzy feeling that made me fall in love with film. When I heard the JP music blasting for the first time during the helicopter scene en-route to the island the hair on the back of my neck stood on end. I genuinely felt relieved sitting there knowing the film I was about to watch was going to be a treat. Anyway back to the meat and bones, here you have an aging entrepreneur John Hammond (Richard Attenbourgh) hoping to set up a Florida style amusement park featuring real Dinosaurs on an island in the middle of nowhere.

Queue the arrival of Palaeontologists Alan Grant(Sam Neill), Ellie Sattler(Laura Dern) and the Chaos Theorist Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum). This trio is drafted in by Hammond in an attempt to make the island look more viable to potential investors. Obviously to begin with all the experts are stunned like us when we see the first dinosaur (a Brachiosaurus) feeding from tall trees we just sit there in owe of what we are viewing. This rose tinted effect soon wears off when the full scale of Hammonds plans start to come to full fruition.

To paraphrase, children, tropical storm, power-failure then dino escape all culminate to make for a heart pounding thrill ride. Whether it be a T-rex chasing a jeep, or children hiding from Velociraptors in a kitchen, each scene is memorable in its own way. Why? The film’s SFX set the industry benchmark at the time and this has rarely been surpassed. The narrative along with amicable characters manages to convey the real emotion of human survival clashing with mother nature. The ‘chaos theory’ element runs throughout the film, dinosaurs are created by man brought back from the dead like Frankenstein’s monster. Just as Malcolm states “your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should”. Take a closer look at the plot and it’s a lot more than just a load of dinosaurs chasing a bunch of chumps around a jungle. The film addresses real empathetic issues regarding nature, maternity (with all dinosaurs being female) and paternity (with Grant’s farther figure role developing in relation to Tim and Lex). Jurassic Park gets our hearts pounding, our brains engaged and our imagination running wild.

The film still resonates with me the same way it did as a child. The same scenes continue to scare me and the dinosaurs are still believable as ever. With two sequels and talk from Speilberg of a fourth instalment this film is a must see. If you haven’t seen it, what planet are you on? Seriously, jokes aside, if you like film then watch this, so much can be learnt from it. The film boasts superb character direction, stunning sets and special effects that still rival anything that can be seen at the cinema today.

Jurassic Park will go down as a Spielberg’s classic, although we cannot overlook the part Michael Crichton had in coming up with the original story. Whatever direction this franchise takes I hope it will look back to the original film for solid golden inspiration. I give this film top marks. It is one of those classics you feel happy to watch again and again and it just doesn’t lose its magic.

Fan of director ‘Steven Spielberg’? MM reviews for ‘War Horse’ and ‘Jaws’

 

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