In light of the very highly-anticipated “Jurassic World” trailer coming on Thanksgiving night, I wanted to reminisce and write up a review for old times sake of the first time we were introduced to John Hammond, Dr. Ian Malcolm, Dr. Alan Grant, and Dr. Elle Sattler. I had mentioned in an earlier post that this was one of my Top 10 favorite movies of all time. This was the movie that I saw when I was 11 years old and decided I wanted to be a filmmaker. So join me in one of those colorfully-painted cars stuck on a track and let’s take a tour of Jurassic Park.
The opening scene when they’re transporting the raptor out of the cage is the 2nd-most terrifying opening scene I’ve ever seen in a Spielberg film behind “Saving Private Ryan.” Just putting that out there…
Stephen Spielberg adapted this Michael Crichton novel as a story of two romantically-confused paleontologist and paleobotanist Dr. Alan Grant and Dr. Elle Sattler, respectively. When suddenly approached by multi-billionaire named John Hammond asking them to see his “island” for which he “spared no expense,” the audience is immediately just as intrigued and confused as the main characters themselves. From the very start to the very end of the movie, you are a guest on that island. There’s never any disconnect. You have the same heart-pounding experiences, get scared out of your wits, and then beg for more.
When we first arrive to the island, it looks like a lush rainforest; a beautiful vacation spot. Then, we see a brachiosaurus… a vegetarian dinosaur with a 30-foot neck “just chillin.” As Hammond explains to his first guests to the island, he has built a theme park of genetically engineered attractions by means of extracting DNA from prehistoric mosquitos. (I know it sounds a little nuts, but in theory, it could work, right?)
The rest of the cast (Wayne Knight, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum) and others really do represent a variety of personalities that add to the of the feel of being stranded on the island with them. Whenever I would watch it again and again as I got older, I’d find myself relating to different characters each time saying that if I were in their position, I’d probably do the same thing.
When the theme park has a massive power failure, everyone must run for their lives and figure out a way to get the power restored and off the island alive. Not everyone does…
Winner of 3 Oscars for sound and visual effects, the visuals of Jurassic Park still are nearly as impressive today as they were over twenty years ago and will continue to be for at least another twenty. This is the ultimate popcorn movie. Watch. Enjoy. Get lost in the fantasy.