Retro: Why Jurassic Park is Awesome

"With lots of casting buzz surrounding Jurassic World, what better reason is there to take a look back at the original adventure that was 65 million years in the making!"

Earlier this year Jurassic Park was re-released in 3D for its 20th anniversary, and I couldn't believe it was that old already. One of the amazing things about Jurassic Park, I feel, is that it doesn’t seem to have dated at all, especially when you see the redefined visuals in 3D. I’m not a fan of 3D, but even if you see the normal 2D version it has been considerably spruced up with loving detail by Spielberg.

Jurassic Park was a monster (pardon the pun) of a film back in 1993, and it was the first time computer generated effects had been used like this; all the shots of a full dinosaur were computer generated. Any shots of parts of a dinosaur were all done with equally impressive animatronics. Though there were problems initially (there are reports of the animatronic T-Rex getting the shakes when it got wet),  the team of effects specialists for both groups should be commended for their work, a true testament is that it still stands today as an exceptional example of both.

Steven Spielberg adapted the script from Michael Chrichton’s eponymous novel, and cast Richard Attenborough in his first role for 15 years - it’s hard to see anyone else playing the part of John Hammond. Sam Neill and Laura Dern were cast as the two dinosaur experts brought to the park by Hammond to test it and give the backers assurance to endorse it. They were joined by Jeff Goldblum as Dr Ian Malcolm, whose character was so popular he appeared in the sequel as the main protagonist.

"His bite is worse than his bark!"

Everything starts out fine; the experts arrive by helicopter on the remote island and are in awe of what they see. It is then explained how, through new advancements in science, it has been made possible to resurrect dinosaurs. They are then joined by Hammonds two grandchildren to have a tour of the park in special cars that travel through the enclosure. Then everything goes wrong. A member of staff (Wayne Knight) involved in dodgy dealings messes with the electrics controlling the park, and the last thing you want when dealing with dinosaurs is the electric fences to fail. With dinosaurs on their tails it becomes a mad rush for survival and to get the hell off the island.

Steven Spielberg was so sure he had a hit on his hands he left the finishing touches to his good friend George Lucas, before going on to make his next picture, Schindler’s List; a film that incidentally went on to win Best Picture and Best Director along with 5 more awards at the Oscars the next year.

"What do you mean you don't need us in Jurassic World?!"

Alan Grant, played superbly by Sam Neill, is the protagonist of the film, and it is great to see his character grow throughout the film. Despite fleeing for their lives, Alan is able to find compassion within himself by connecting with the 2 children in his care. This makes him a much more relatable and likeable character. I feel that Laura Dern was far too under used in this film, the character of Ellie didn’t reach all the dimensions it could have, and I would have liked to have seen more.

As had become the standard with Steven Spielberg films, he used John Williams to score Jurassic Park, and again Williams created yet another classic soundtrack. His music belts throughout the movie, giving the audience an added adrenaline boost that really packs in the emotion into the finale, leaving us captivated and stunned.

With the re-release, Jurassic Park has currently made an estimated $63 million dollars, proving that Spielberg was right to be confident. Audiences were ready for dinosaurs, and this film gets a solid 9/10 from me. Though not Spielberg’s best film, you’d be mad to miss it - I mean how could you? It’s been out twice! What’s your excuse?

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