John Hanlon Reviews

Film Reviews

Jurassic Park Movie Poster

Jurassic Park

Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Director: Steven Spieberg

Cast: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Richard Attenborough, Jeff Goldblum, Joseph Mazzello, Ariana Richards

MPAA-Rating: PG-13

Release Date: June 11, 1993

Twenty-two years after it was originally released, viagra dosage
Jurassic Park remains a tremendous cinematic experience. In preparation for the release of its third sequel— Jurassic World— I went back and revisited the film that started it all.

From what it seen in the film’s opening moments (more importantly, web
what isn’t seen), director Steven Spielberg quickly establishes this as another great blockbuster adventure. Eighteen years previous, Spielberg had brought horror to the ocean in the film Jaws. Here he brings a feeling of overwhelming dread to a wannabe amusement park. In both films, Spielberg hesitates to show the audience the main attraction. He builds up momentum slowly by showing the death of an innocent by a monstrous creature before eventually revealing the creature itself.

As the story unfolds, we’re slowly introduced to the cast of characters who will be visiting Jurassic Park for the weekend. Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), a couple who have worked together for years, are paleontologists, with Sattler’s focus being paleobotany. Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) is a new-age mathematician who focuses on chaos theory and Donald Gennaro (Martin Ferrero) is a lawyer worried about lawsuits leveled against InGen, the corporation led by John Hammond (Richard Attenborough), that has been financing the park. Hammond, the mastermind behind the park, will be spending the weekend on the island as well, alongside his grandchildren Tim and Lex Murphy (Joseph Mazzello and Ariana Richards).

Before the chaos ensues on the island, Spielberg beautifully sets up the opposing viewpoints about the existence of the island. Hammond and Gennaro both support the island for profit-driven reasons (although Hammond seems to believe that the island should be open to all people) while the three doctors question it for ethical reasons. At first, they are overwhelmed by its “power” but then they begin question Hammond’s decision to bring recreate previously-extinct animals.

The action scenes that eventually unfold are filled with great special effects and visuals. When the Tyrannosaurus rex first appears a little more than an hour into the film, its shape, form and movements are clear. Spielberg never seems to fear revealing the creatures clearly as the special effects wonders that they truly are.

There’s no hiding the craft and creativity that went into building these creatures and even when the tension builds in an action sequence, we as an audience can’t help but appreciate the beauty of the dinosaurs themselves.

In other action sequences, it’s not the actual chase that keeps the viewers enthralled. It’s the small memorable details in the chase sequences that Spielberg uses so effectively. There’s the plastic cup of water shaking before he T-Rex approaches. There’s the shot of the T-Rex in the mirror of the jeep that reads “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.” There’s the ladel that falls during the kitchen scene that the audience sees shaking before Tim does. These are small but important moments that reveal Spielberg’s powerful ability to create a unique tension around his action

It’s inarguable that Jurassic Park— which for years was the highest-grossing film of all time— is a classic blockbuster for a reason. It’s a movie with great action scenes but also strong, intelligent characters who are adjusting to this new strange world.

“Creation is an act of sheer will,” Hammond notes at one point, and it’s undeniable that Spielberg used his will and his power here to craft a movie that works as a strong companion piece to the Michael Crichton novel it was adapted from and as a visually-stunning masterpiece that stands on its own.

Review by: John Hanlon