One of Steven Spielberg’s most iconic and beloved films of all-time, ‘Jurassic Park’, based-on the science fiction novel of the same name by Michael Crichton, is a classic from many people’s childhoods including my own. From it’s incredible practical and CG effects which still hold-up today, through to its memorable characters and beautiful original score by John Williams. The film has made a gigantic impact on cinematic pop-culutre and is a true joy to experience for all ages.
Plot Summary: On the tropical island of: ‘Isla Nublar’, three-hundred and sixty-five miles off the coast of Costa Rica. Billionaire ‘John Hammond’ has become the first man in history to bring back an extinct species with genetically engineered dinosaurs. But when a tropical storm wipes out the island’s main security systems, his newly invited guests are thrown into peril amongst the prehistoric creatures.
Not only does ‘Jurassic Park’ have an extremely fun and original narrative when compared to many films before it, but the film is also very important when it comes to CG effects, as Spielberg and his team we some of the earliest filmmakers to explore the idea of computer-generated imagery and implement it into film. As Spielberg initially wasn’t impressed with many of the stop-motion effects which had been shown to him up to that point, and surprisingly, many of the visual effects throughout the film are still quite impressive, even by today’s standards for CG effects.
The entire cast of: ‘Jurassic Park’ are truly brilliant, as Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Richard Attenborough, Bob Peck and of course, the outstanding Jeff Goldblum who portrays: ‘Dr. Ian Malcom’ (possibly his most popular character) are all excellent in their respective roles, and despite each character not getting an enormous amount of development throughout the story, all the characters still manage to feel very varied and memorable. However, my only real issue with the film does relate to the characters, as there has always been a few scenes throughout the film where characters seem to make ridiculous decisions for no apparent reason, and while this isn’t a major problem, it can be a little irritating on rewatches.
The cinematography by Dean Cundey is unfortunately, one of the weaker aspects of the film, as although the film isn’t lacking in attractive or iconic shots. The cinematography is mostly very average for the majority of the film’s runtime, with many of the film’s most memorable shots being mostly due to the film’s practical dinosaur effects. However, the film also makes excellent use of its sets, as every location from the iconic: ‘Visitor Centre’ through to the ‘T-Rex Paddock’ is always very eccentric and memorable.
Probably one of the most recognisable soundtracks in history for film fans, the original score by John Williams is simply incredible throughout the entire film. Having a great blend of beautiful calming tracks in addition to many tracks that help build tension, the soundtrack is truly something to be admired, with the tracks: ‘Welcome to Jurassic Park’, ‘Journey to the Island’ and ‘Hatching Baby Raptor’ being my personal favourites.
In addition to the CG visual effects, Stan Winston, most known for his work on iconic films such as: ‘Predator’, ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ and ‘Aliens’. Created a variety of practical effects for the film, as Spielberg wanted every close-up with the prehistoric creatures to be a practical animatronic, all of which of course are completely life-size and look outstanding, this is even more impressive when considering some of the issues the filmmakers ran into when it came to the rain during the scene: ‘The T-Rex Paddock’ (my personal favourite scene of the film). As the Tyrannosaurus Rex animatronic would constantly break down due to the enormous amount of water it’s rubber skin absorbed, usually having to be wiped-down between takes.
Personally, I don’t have many issues when it comes to the original: ‘Jurassic Park’, as the film is nearly perfect in many ways for me. As a few unbelievable character choices and some small plot holes don’t take away from what is still an exciting adventure filled with great performances, some fantastic practical and visual effects as well as so much more. ‘Jurassic Park’ is a film for the ages, and I definitely believe it deserves its place among the most iconic films of all-time. Overall, a solid 9/10.