“Jurassic Park” (1993) starts with a billionaire (Richard Attenborough) who invites scientists on a journey of a lifetime, to an island where cloned dinosaurs roam. This, of course, inevitably leads to complications and a multitude of regrets. At first glance the film is indeed an adventure with dinosaurs but reading between the lines reveals the true meaning of the movie – family values and developing characters.
Roger Ebert is very critical about the film: “Spielberg enlivens the action with lots of nice little touches; I especially liked a sequence where a smaller creature leaps suicidally on a larger one, and they battle to the death. On the monster movie level, the movie works and is entertaining. But with its profligate resources, it could have been so much more.” (Ebert, 1993) The movie however is a true spectacle for special effects and brings a very effective switch from CG dinosaurs to puppets, which even now look realistic. (fig. 2 – movie still)
The film touches upon the dangers of lacking any rules in modern scientific achievements and poses a number of questions towards modern science as well. Are we, as people, playing God? Do we follow the laws of nature, or bend and twist them for our entertainment? Janet Maslin talks about that: “Mr Crichton, who wrote the film with David Koepp, delights in such details and presents his story as a fascinating, obsessively detailed treatise on both the possibilities and the evils of modern science. “Jurassic Park" is that rare high-tech best seller punctuated by occasional computer grids to advance its story.” (Maslin, 2015)
The film also shows the transformation of Sam Neill who is married to his archaeological career at first, but by facing the adventures with the young children, his paternal instincts are fully awakened. (fig. 3) The film is also a masterful play on suspense, which Samuel Walters talks about: “Then there is the suspense and excitement of the film. Spielberg does a wonderful job of building up the tension within the film itself. Nothing embodies this more than the T-Rex – the film’s ultimate monster. The reveal isn’t, perhaps, quite as effective as it was in Jaws, but nevertheless, the T-Rex provides a visceral experience that helps the film a great deal.” (Walters, 2015)
In conclusion, “Jurassic Park” is wonderfully exciting and an inspiration for CG artists even today. A true classic that gets better with time and a film that is clearly separated from the typical blockbusters, not just showing us a mindless plot for our enjoyment, but conveying a deep and interesting story.
Fig 1 - Dauntlessmedia.net, (2015). [online] Available at: http://dauntlessmedia.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/jurassic_park_poster_large.jpg [Accessed 6 Mar. 2015].
Fig. 2 – 1.bp.blogspot.com, (2015). [online] Available at: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-wM8oKcu_oyA/VD5Cq_bXG-I/AAAAAAAACzw/Yrl0Nyk2yTI/s1600/jurassic-park-3d-turn-off-the-flashlight.jpg [Accessed 6 Mar. 2015].
Fig. 3 - Oracleoffilm.files.wordpress.com, (2015). [online] Available at: https://oracleoffilm.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/jurassic-2.jpg [Accessed 6 Mar. 2015].
Ebert, R. (1993). Jurassic Park Movie Review & Film Summary (1993) | Roger Ebert. [online] Rogerebert.com. Available at: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/jurassic-park-1993 [Accessed 6 Mar. 2015].
Maslin, J. (2015). Movie Review - Jurassic Park - Review/Film;Screen Stars With Teeth To Spare - NYTimes.com. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9F0CE1D71E3DF932A25755C0A965958260 [Accessed 6 Mar. 2015].
Walters, S. (2015). Jurassic Park – Film Review » DauntlessMedia.net. [online] Dauntlessmedia.net. Available at: http://dauntlessmedia.net/film/jurassic-park-film-review.html [Accessed 6 Mar. 2015].