Review: Jurassic Park (1993)

By Sean Gardner

When I was a kid we had a copy of Jurassic Park on VHS recorded from TV. Back then, I just loved this film because of the dinosaurs. I don’t know what it is about dinosaurs, but it is hard to find a little kid that does not like them. However, as I have grown older, and because of the abundance of lackluster sequels/reboots this movie has spawned, I have come to appreciate the true brilliance contained in the original Steven Spielberg classic.

Based on a novel by Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park toy’s with the idea of cloning dinosaurs. What would happen if an ultra rich man bought an island and tried to open an amusement park full of dinosaurs? Well, to the rich man, you would think that all he could see are dollar signs. But, John Hammond (Richard Attenborough), wants to amaze the guests. He wants to show them something that is truly beyond belief. To put it as Lord Caldlow did in The Prestige, he did it for the look on their faces. The paleontologists, brought in by Hammond to give their approval of the park, see things much differently.

At first, there is only one scientist, Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), is the only one that thinks the park is a bad idea, that the animals cannot be controlled. Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neil) and Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) are, at least at first, amazed by the dinosaurs. They both have dedicated their lives to digging up bones and making guesses about how these animals once lived. Imagine the sense of wonder and incredulity they must have felt when they first saw the real, live dinosaurs in the park. They want to know more. However, after they stop to think about it for a second, they realize that there is no way that this can work. Mankind and dinosaurs are separated by eons, and now they are thrown into the world together. They think that there are just too many variables that cannot be controlled.

What sets the original apart from the sequels and the most recent reboot is the underlying discussion on how impossible it is to try to control nature. It is a social discussion that will make this film relevant in any time period. All of the other Jurassic Park movies are just pure action with no social commentary. 

If you have not yet seen Jurassic Park you probably also have a pet unicorn because both are equally as unlikely.  But on the off chance you haven’t seen it, please treat yourself to this visual storytelling masterpiece. 

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