An adventure 65 million years in the making
Running Time: 127 minutes
US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: PG
Country: United States
For creatures that became extinct over 65 million years ago, its amazing how dinosaurs never really go out of fashion. Given their popularity, come to think of it, its more than a little surprising that it took Hollywood the bulk of those 65 million years to finally make a really good dino romp. But, credit where its due, this ones just about worth the wait.
Ol Dicky Attenborough stars as John Hammond, an eccentric dinosaur nut whos somehow managed to finance the creation of a prehistoric theme park with real, albeit genetically engineered, dinosaurs as the star attraction. Hes a bit like Walt Disney, only with a passion for prehistoric beasts instead of cartoon mice. And fewer links to Nazism.
In order to get the green light for the opening of his park, Hammond needs the endorsement of some outside expert opinions. So step forward child-hating palaeontologist Alan Grant (Sam Neill), leggy palaeo-botanist Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), and chaos-daft mathematician Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum).
Its all oohs and ahs from the gang until, inevitably, the system goes Pete Tong, the beasties get loose, and the screaming begins in earnest. Director Steven Spielberg knows a thing or three about how to up the frighteners, and parts of this movie most notably those involving either the T-Rex or the Velociraptors – surpass even Jaws in the scary stakes.
The jaw-dropping CGI effects used still look sublime even 10 years on in fact, a re-watch of this one almost seems to suggest the technology has since gone backwards. Certainly the FX used in both of JPs substandard sequels appear inferior by comparison.
The fact that the whole things outrageously far-fetched never seems to matter. Neither does the lack of characterization or the deviations from Michael Crichtons original novel (he also co-wrote the screenplay). Its the monsters that are the stars here and, lets face it, everyone loves a good monster flick. And Jurassic Park is without doubt the T-Rex of all monster flicks.
It's Got: Sharp claws and row upon row of pointy teeth.
It Needs: A sledgehammer to get John Williams infuriatingly catchy score out of your head.
DVD Extras 50-minuteMaking Of documentary, weblinks, early pre-production meetings, storyboards, location scouting, animatics, Raptors in the Kitchen feature, production photos, design sketches & concept paintings, theatrical trailers (including one for JPIII), dino encyclopaedia, production notes its all here. DVD Extras Rating: 9/10
Alternatives:Jurassic Park II: The Lost World, Jurassic Park III
The movie the dinosaurs themselves would recommend. If they didnt have tiny pea-brains and werent all dead, that is.