Film Review: Jurassic Park

Eighteen years after its original release, Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park gets a cinematic re-release. The film still brings the same magic and spectacle that it did all those years ago.

Dinosaur experts Dr Alan Grant and Dr Ellie Sattler are asked by the benefactor of their latest dig to visit a theme park he has created on an island. Unaware of the leaps made by John Hammond’s scientists, when Grant and Sattler arrive at Jurassic Park they are astounded to find living dinosaurs. Along with other guests, the pair are invited to tour the site, but find themselves in peril when the systems fail…

Even after multiple viewings, Jurassic Park still brings the fun and adventure. Perhaps what pulls the audience along is that the fantastic element (namely the dinosaurs) is explained in a rational manner. Viewers are invited to share the spectacle along with the protagonists; the awe at seeing the dinosaurs for the first time is still present.

Despite familiarity with the film, the tension is still remarkably effective. The infamous kitchen sequence holds up well even for those who are aware of the outcome. Jurassic Park fulfils the role of a good family film in that it should satisfy all age groups. It is understandable enough to hold the attention of young children, yet at the same time is immensely enjoyable for adults.

The only thing that really dates the film is the use of technology. Given the advances made since 1993, this is not wholly surprising. Nevertheless, the computer systems and other devices used in the film look incredibly dated. Perhaps the re-release is a timely reminded of life before the internet.

The effects employed by Jurassic Park have held up very well; far better than more recent CGI-laden films in fact. The dinosaurs have an authentic quality to them, which perhaps would have been missing if the film had been made in the last five or ten years.

With its soaring John Williams’ score, good performances and great effects, Jurassic Park is one of Spielberg’s finest films. The spectacle that it offers can only really be appreciated on a big screen.

Jurassic Park is re-released in cinemas on 23rd September 2011. The film is released on Blu-Ray Trilogy for the first time on 24th October 2011.