Director: Steven Spielberg
Verdict: Pretty damn sweet
So the man who thinks ice creams are gay creates an attraction park where the man in charge of pretty much all services is underpaid..? Yeah really ‘spared no expense’ Richard…
So, as is pretty well known at this point, the plot of Jurassic Park is, there’s a theme park, and the theme is, there’s dinosaurs. Actual dinosaurs, the ultimate concept movie.
One of the things that makes Jurassic Park interesting is that whilst it fits definitively into the Spielburg lineage, (Saving Private Ryan, A.I. Artificial Intelligence), it was written by, and based on the book by, Michael Crichton, one of the reigning kings of wacky, brainy but thrilling science fiction with works like Westworld and The Andromeda Strain. He’s very much considered a 70s filmmaker I think but this is very much a late career high. It shows his typical scientific thoroughness and interest in things like what people do in a crisis, and theme parks eating people.
There’s a lot that’s praiseworthy about Jurassic Park; I could mention it’s legndary effects, (which incedentally holds up, if anything, better, than modern efforts like Transformers: Age of Extinction), the great sound mixing, but what I always love is the way in which it cares about it’s science. It’s method of creating dinosaurs may be completely ridiculous, but it has just enough hokey enough to almost seem beleivable, which, for a subject matter that’s so important to so many young over enthusiastic kids like the one I was, that’s pretty important.
I also love that the film has the balls to try and tell a story about a park that never opens. The whole film is about people giving the park a security check. Yet it still finds a way to not make all the characters generic, disposable military types. It’s characters are all really well defined, (Spielburg makes sure to all put them in different colours so we can tell them apart), and they’re all really likable and charismatic even if they’re not very nice people. Sam Neil, (Event Horizon, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Possession), does his best to not seem like a Kiwi, and does a pretty good job, Laura Dern, (Wild, Blue Velvet) gurns for trailers, Ariana Richards, (Tremors) gurns better, (honestly her screams in this film give me life), and Jeff Goldblum, (The Fly, Independence Day), well, he does whatever Jeff Goldblum does.
Despite being a vaguelly intelligent movie that tries, very very badly, to give an explaination of chaos theory, (you get what it means), it has some sequences that are just pure cinema. Spielburg seems to know better than anyone else how to put one shot in from of the other in a way that is absolutely perfect, delivers maximum tention, and just seems seemless. It has that iconic theme that’s badass, it has that iconic T-Rex rawr, it has that iconic logo, I mean what more can you want!
And, fucking and, he made it the same year as Schindler’s List, Schindler’s bloody List. It’s definitely not a perfect movie, but it’s pretty damn great.