With Jurassic World set to open this week (review to come in the next few days) - taking us back to Steven Spielberg's beloved Jurassic Park franchise - I have decided to celebrate its release by revisiting the original trilogy; starting where it all began, with the first film. Read on for my review.
I'm sure you've at least heard of this film, if somehow not seen it. In that regard, I'm sure you all know the plot to the film. If not; billionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) has created a park on his private island of Isla Nublar. Inviting down Palaeontologists Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neil) and Dr. Ellie Settler (Laura Dern), along with scientist Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), Hammond's lawyer Donald (Martin Ferrero) and his grandchildren Tim (Joseph Mazzello) and Lex (Ariana Richards).
Upon arriving at the island, the group are in awe to see the theme-park's (titled 'Jurassic Park') big attraction: real, living dinosaurs. Created through the extraction of their DNA from a mosquito that used to suck their blood, the reptiles are held in a safari park-esque setup - surrounded by electrical fences. However, when greedy hacker Nedry (Wayne Knight) wishes to steal dinosaur embryos, to sell for a healthy sum, he shuts all the power down to the park. In the process, the fences switch off and the dinosaurs escape - leading to many complications for our group visiting the park.
Spielberg has, over his career, become one of the finest director's cinema has ever seen. The man is, single-handedly, responsible for several of this industry's best, most iconic films - from Jaws to E.T to Schindler's List and many more. The first Jurassic Park is, without a doubt, amongst these films. As far as projects that have shaped film go, this is one of them. When it initially released, back in 1993, the film was groundbreaking - with what was, at the time, the best CG to grace the big screen. Even now, 22 years later, whilst some can clearly seem outdated, the film's visual sequences are still astounding.
The film itself encapsulated the true meaning of what it was like to be a kid. Jurassic Park made every child adore dinosaurs, whilst making them utterly terrified of them at the same time. The iconic scene where we get to see the infamous T-Rex for the first time is one of the greatest scenes in any film ever, just so fantastic and cool. It was tense and scary but there was (and still is) a sense of breathtaking wonder to it too; seeing the dinosaur's big reveal, the ramming into the 'Jurassic Park' vehicle, the fear for Lex and Tim, the horrifying death of Donald. It's perfect - as is this entire film.
The characters were so terrific too and the actors bringing them to life were even more so. Now, it wasn't exactly Oscar-calibre performances but it worked for this and it was fun. Sam Neil and Laura Dern were phenomenal as Dr. Grant and Dr. Sattler. They represented the audience: so amazed by everything but a little bit scared and on-edge too. Jeff Goldblum's Dr. Ian Malcolm was hilarious and brought a lot of witty humour to the proceedings. Sir Richard Attenborough was also wonderful, as were Mazzello and Richards (Tim and Lex).
Everything about Jurassic Park is amazing. The story unfolds at its own pace and when the action begins, it's a non-stop thrill ride. What Spielberg created with the first film was something truly special and truly overwhelming. Having seen this growing up, I also got to see the 2013 3D rendition of the film - my first time with Jurassic Park in cinemas - and this isn't just a film, it's an experience. It's a time-capsule of the 90's but, even today, 2 decades later, the film is still just as great and just as poignant as ever. And don't even even get me started on John Williams' masterpiece score!
About the Author
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.