It’s hard to imagine that Jurassic Park is already 20 years old, and by tradition it’s getting another shot at the silver screen. Thankfully for someone like me who missed it the first time around, this is the experience that I’ve been waiting for.
Do we really need to go here? Has anyone NOT seen this movie?
If you haven’t seen Jurassic Park on the big screen, then this a must see. The 3D effects are okay but don’t really justify the admission of a return visit alone.
The Bottom Line
Lets rewind to 1993, if you were old enough to remember, Jurassic Park was the biggest movie of the year – everyone was going ape over it and I should know, my schoolyard friends revealed the entire film before I had a chance to watch it on the big screen…which never happened. Tragedy befalls the penniless youth that couldn’t afford to sneak into the local multiplex for this epic flick, but owning the tape on VHS was at least a consolation as I watched Jurassic Park until the tape succumbed to the faults that marked the now archaic medium.
It took 20 years of waiting but I too eventually got my turn to experience Steven Spielberg’s pulpy classic, and damn was it worth the wait. The film itself barely seems to have aged a day (unlike the actors of course) and it stands the test of time as most Spielberg films do. At first I was a little worried that the then revolutionary computer generated effects would have shown their age but they surprisingly hold up, mostly due to combined use of animatronic puppets in addition to polygon models.
The story itself is of another time, it has an old world charm to it – a laboured first act propels the film into a mashup of science-fiction, horror and adventure that isn’t often seen nowadays. For some, the pacing may be a little on the slow side but the lengthy introduction sets up the scene for some of Hollywood’s most memorable and iconic moments. The plot itself is absolutely ridiculous, drawing upon the 1990 novel which in turn is inspired by the silly science-fiction stories of Burroughs-era tales, but it carries at least a little bit of science fact in terms of the genetic theories that are used to justify the fantasy.
Jurassic Park is also, what I feel to be, John Williams’ last great cinema score – that’s not to say that everything he has done since hasn’t been top class, but listening to the iconic themes booming through the surround sound setup of a cinema, I feel that he hasn’t quite composed an anthem in recent years that is as catchy and epic as his accomplishments on Jurassic Park. As a fan of Williams and his older work, this was likely my first reason as an adult filmgoer to return to the land that defies time.
At the time of release, Jurassic Park’s greatest box office snare may have been it’s larger than life production values, but it lives on today as an astoundingly well told adventure that is packed with memorable characters – and I’m speaking specifically about Jeff Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm, an obnoxious character that manages to convey a great deal of poignancy despite a comedic candy coating. In many ways, Jurassic Park epitomises the true cinema experience in that it’s really a theme park attraction of a movie while simultaneously operating as a tribute to cinema’s historic love of fantasy. Simply put, they just don’t make movies like this anymore, and everyone should experience Jurassic Park on the big screen – no matter your age, no matter how many times you may have seen it on TV, this Hollywood epic must be seen in cinema to be truly appreciated.
On a side note to parents, if your kids are begging you to take them to Jurassic Park, please listen to them, this might be their last chance to see something like this and from personal experience, I never really forgave my folks for refusing to take me. Boy, that sounds petty.