7/6/11

JURASSIC PARK - REVIEW


There's no doubt that Steven Spielberg's dino-blockbuster made a huge impact upon its release. As a kid watching it for the first time: I was mesmerized. Seeing dinosaurs interact with humans in an action/sci-fi/comedy of this type was jaw-dropping and exciting as hell.

But looking at it now, how does it fare?

Well, thankfully the film still holds up as a suspenseful thriller with the raptors and that T-Rex still as intimidating as ever. Also the core concept of a theme park owned by a charming but somewhat misguided entrepreneur (Richard Attenborough) is inspired and it's hard not to feel for the guy even after the disastrous tour Sam Neill and co. unfortunately endure.

The cast is fun and some of the little twists here and there make the film unique in its approach and far more interesting than anything Michael Bay has to offer these days, by far. Who thought that things would turn sour so quickly for Wayne Knight's slimy backstabber or Martin Ferrero's weasely accountant? Daring but effective moves which I didn't expect as a kid and even now still manage to surprise me.

All that said, Jurassic Park has aged a bit. For one thing, the first CGI dinosaurs you see look far from impressive and it's only when the amazing practical effects kick in that those dinos really feel like more than a bunch of glowing pixels. Also, the script does have its corny lines and the film itself goes into Disney-style humour and sentimentalism from time to time which can be a bit jarring.

Laura Dern is particularly irritating as Sam Neill's partner and although it is rather fun to see her joyfully dig into a giant piece of dinosaur poo, everything she says is eye-stabbingly chilling in how annoying it is. As for Goldblum, the man is criminally underused and his character, besides adding sarcasm, doesn't seem to have any sort of purpose whatsoever. I guess you'll have to check out The Lost World for more Goldblum on Dinosaurs action...if you must.

Jurassic Park is a towering achievement in terms of sci-fi entertainment and certainly it still feels big and is still loads of fun. Kids will have the most fun though and although it doesn't feel like the most kid-friendly flick out there now, you'll be doing your kiddoes a favour by showing them this old gem rather than popping in a Gnomeo and Juliet or a Space Chimps 2.

Two sequels followed but neither of them could match the clever and exciting novelty of Spielberg's original.

Still holds up and well worth revisiting.

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