Jurassic Park (1993)


Two paleontologists and a mathematician are given a preview of a unique new theme park, to see whether it’s viable. Things go wrong when the exhibits – cloned dinosaurs – start to escape…

Seen before? Yes, three or four times now. I first saw it at the cinema when it came out, having accepted and completed my mum’s challenge to read the novel in the week before we went to the flicks.

Best performance: Jeff Goldblum plays chaotician Ian Malcolm: it’s very possibly the most Jeff Goldblum-appropriate bit of casting imaginable.

Best scene/moment/sequence: The T-Rex attack, which comes about halfway through the film, is a stunning action sequence. It begins with the now famous rumbles of sound and shaking glasses of water. It’s tense and scary. And it features one of the best ever combinations of CGI and real photography (seriously: even after 21 years it’s seamless). Superb stuff.

Review: I fear familiarity may have dulled a) what a killer idea for an adventure film this is – what a great twist on the disaster-movie format – and b) just how mind-bogglingly impressive the special effects are (both CGI and practical). When Jurassic Park came out, it felt revolutionary. It still does. In 2014, when there are countless CGI-heavy films available, few (if any) are as crafted, integrated and classy as this. In Spielberg’s hands, photo-real dinosaurs are simultaneously a tool for telling story *and* a spectacle within themselves – as characters look up in awe at a Brachiosaurus, so do we; as they flee for their lives from Velociraptors, our heartbeat goes mental. His sense of endless wonder is very evident throughout. The story is simple, but we’re in the company of a likeable cast – even the two brats aren’t too bad. And there are good, know-what-they’re-doing actors in supporting roles (Wayne Knight, Samuel L Jackson, Bob Peck). This is a blockbuster of a B-movie. Sensationally entertaining.

10 mosquitoes incased in amber out of 10.

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