Jurassic Park (1993)

When John Hammond’s (Richard Attenborough) investors become jittery following a fatality, they request that the theme park be signed off by a series of experts. Recruiting dysfunctional palaeontologists Drs. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), along with chaos theorist Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), Hammond and lawyer Donald Gennaro (Donald Gennaro) initiate an all-expenses-paid tour of the island in the hope of clearing Jurassic Park for visitors. When head computer programmer Dennis Nedry(Wayne Knight) betrays his employer and attempts to smuggle dinosaur embryos off of the island, he shuts down the park’s defences and inadvertently unleashes Hammonds’ star attractions on the tour group – which now includes the entrpeneurs own grandchildren, Tim (Joseph Mazzello) and Lex Murphy (Ariana Richards).

It’s easy to be cynical about the studio’s motives for re-releasing Jurassic Park on a non-adversarial, really rather arbitraty date, eighteen years after it was initially released. With a new trilogy touted, this is the perfect opportunity for Universal to kick-start brand awareness in time for the next instalment, 65 and a bit million years in the making. On taking my seat in the cinema, however, two things quickly become clear: I had completely forgotten Samuel L. Jackson was in it, and, if the price to pay for a fourth film is a return ticket to 1993’s original on the big screen, I for one am all eyes.

But what is it that makes Jurassic Park so resiliently timeless? While there are those who might feel propelled to point out that it is far from Steven Spielberg’s best work, it is certainly his most accessible and entertaining. Boasting a winsome John Williams soundtrack and creature effects from the late Stan Winston which – largely – stand the test of time (the scene in which the ceiling patterns are reflected onto the Veloceraptors – to this day – fills me with joy), Jurassic Park is a veritable melting pot of talent. For me, however, it is the sound design that flabbers my gast; when that Tyrannosaurus opens its mouth, you just know that that’s what it must have sounded like all those years ago.

Jurassic Park is everything you could possibly want from a summer blockbuster: it’s action-packed, funny, scary and in the grandest possible sense, awesome. From the aerial approach to Isla Nublar to the first glimpse of the Park’s prized T-Rex, Jurassic Park is awash with cult moments, remastered for your ongoing enjoyment. While the newfangled cosmetic work fluctuates throughout, bringing a sharpness to some scenes and exactly nothing to others, it is nevertheless nice to know that such a momentous film is being taken care of. Just like artists maintain and restore prized paintings, so is it necessary to tend to the imperfections of important movies so that they continue to have the same impact on successive generations.

The truth is, however, that Jurassic Park manages this on its own, quite despite the studio’s tinkering. The moment in which our heroes catch their first glimpse of a grazing Brachiosaurus is every bit as mind-blowing as it was in 1993, overcoming the clearly dated effects thanks to a indelibly Spielbergian sense of wonder and delight. The performances may waver, the plot may wander (that ending. Really?) but this is why we go to the cinema: to be entertained. With dinosaurs.

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

One Response to Jurassic Park (1993)

  1. Pingback: September 2011 – What, there are no good sharks? « popcornaddict

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