Overall Grade: (A)
One of the memorable films that was ahead of its time in visual effects and wove a compelling dino-adventure that could pull the inner child out of anyone.
Scientists have discovered a technique to genetically clone dinosaurs for an amusement park and during a preview tour the cloned attractions free themselves during a storm leaving a group of people stranded on an island full of deadly dinosaurs.
Steven Spielberg created cinema magic yet again in his wildly creative world of Jurassic Park. The story-line was well written and delivered many climactic moments as the small group of characters struggle to survive. The screenplay is not perfectly written and there are some typical Hollywood conveniences, but it never detracts from the intensely fun adventure this film brings.
The characters are very likable with Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum making for an excellent leading trio. Goldblum was fun as the egocentric doctor and delivered a clearly charming performance. Neill was great as the archaeologist struggling to cope with the concept of the park. There were a handful of comical moments to ease the tension as Neill’s character finds himself on the run with two kids, something he was clearly not ready for. The screenplay doesn’t really embellish this dynamic with highly detailed writing but with the physical performances and the dinosaurs being the focal point, extremely well developed characters were not needed to make it entertaining.
Add strong smaller performances from Samuel L. Jackson, Richard Attenborough, BD Wong and Wayne Knight, the result is a well rounded cast that prevent any possible lulls in the pacing of the script. Also the entertainment of this film despite the detailed dinosaurs hinged on the performances of the child actors. Both Ariana Richards and Joseph Mazzello were excellent and given the bulk of the screen-time that was given to them, it was an entertaining result.
There was always something going on and throughout the story-line there are tense, suspenseful and dramatic moments that will have you on the edge of your seat and enthralled in the adventure. The group faces various near death scenarios and with the awesome backdrop of the tropical island you are pulled into the world, and the action. The special-effects were cutting edge for the time and the dinosaurs looked as life-like as you could imagine which helped the realism stay somewhat present despite the implausible premise. “Jurassic Park” was inventive for its time and ambitious in the creation of the settings and look of the dinosaurs.
For being 1993, the effects were cutting-edge and are still passable in today’s world. Spielberg created a realistic look and tone to the film by not over-relying on simple digital effects and supplementing some with traditional robotics and props for much of the close-up shots that regardless of digital advancements, still looked incredibly real.
“Jurassic park” is a definitive blockbuster film for the summer with massive scale adventure and a creative story that felt different from other films of the season. Old or young you can enjoy this one and with the effort and detail Spielberg and the rest of the cast and crew put into this one, the quality is still strong enough to make it worth watching again.