Sam Neill as Dr. Alan Grant
Laura Dern as Dr. Ellie Sattler
Richard Attenborough as John Hammond
Ariana Richards as Alexis “Lex” Murphy
Joseph Mazzello as Tim Murphy
Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm
Wayne Knight as Dennis Nedry
Samuel L. Jackson as Ray Arnold
Bob Peck as Robert Muldoon
Martin Ferrero as Donald Gennaro
Jurassic Park is viewed by many as a true classic. Is it? I think the scariness is too low for that, but otherwise, pretty much.
As this was probably one of the top ten most popular movies of the ’90s and spawned sequels (that weren’t good at all, but that’s not the point), the odds are that you already know the plot, but what the Hell? John Hammond, a tycoon in the entertainment industry, has come up with a way to use dinosaur DNA to hatch preserved eggs and thus restart this group of giant animals. These dinosaurs will be the attractions of Hammond’s new amusement park, Jurassic Park. He brings in experts in various fields to test out Jurassic Park’s functionality and quality. Functionality turns out to be the problem. Of the dino pins, to be specific.
Performances are pretty good, particularly Richard Attenborough as a creator of entertainment who really wants to give people a good show, but whose best-laid plans to wow us lead to disaster. There are other solid portrayals of characters including a guy who dislikes children, a co-scientist who likes kids and thinks her colleague just needs to get to know them (and is proven right), and a very eccentric yet somehow insightful philosopher. I must say that convincing performances and interesting characters are underrated qualities of this film.
Of course, what people most remember about Jurassic Park are the dinosaurs. And let me tell you we had never seen dinosaurs, possibly monsters of any kind, that were as well done on film as in this movie. In particular, the tyrannosaurus looks and moves just like she should (all these dinosaurs are female).
The one issue is that this movie isn’t all that scary. It has its moments here and there but mostly the attempts at scaring the viewer could be better. At least the scariest part (the one with the velociraptors) is at the end.
This movie would spawn three sequels. The first two had members of the same cast and were less than impressive. In fact, you should avoid them. The fourth, a recent semi-reboot because of the new cast and modern day feel, got good reviews. That’s all I can really say as I haven’t seen it.
But the original? Great. Not the perfect film some see it as but definitely one to remember.
Overall: 8 out of 10