Thursday, September 20, 2012

Jurassic Park (1993) Review

Jurassic Park poster
Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum
Genre: Action, Science fiction

Let me start by saying that this film contains some of the best, most life-like, non-CGI effects ever seen in film. But then again the effects better looking fucking good with a 63 million dollar budget. And really there isn't much else besides the dinosaurs in here that would cost an absurdly amount of money, so it seems like most of the budget did go to the effects.

Adapted from the book, which I haven't read, but I hear it doesn't do the book too much justice. Not unexpected. Though the dinosaurs look superb, there are a number of inaccuracies, mostly with their behavior. But, this is an action thriller so that doesn't even really matter from an enjoyment standpoint (which is what I primarily look for in action thrillers).

Laura Dern was great in this. Jeff Goldblum was... well for some reason I tend to kind of dislike Goldblum as an actor. For no good reason in particular, mind you, I just do. But he had some charm in here. 

One thing that really pissed me off is how the only character that dies is the character that everyone wanted to die, i.e, the lawyer. And it isn't even really too great of a death scene. You can really tell they wanted that PG-13 rating badly. 

[Following paragraph contains slight spoilers] I think Professor Malcolm should have been killed. (and no not because I dislike Goldblum). Seriously though. A few minutes after the lawyer gets killed Professor Malcolm risks his life by being a distraction so that other guy and the kids could get away from the T-Rex. If he had died it would have been a nice little statement on how cowards can die just as easily as heroes can. But no, what do they do instead? They have him get injured and end up surviving just so he can sit on a table with a broken leg for the entire rest of the film barely even contributing any lines. WTF! I repeat: instead of having him die, not only causing emotions in the viewer, but also making somewhat of a statement, they have him lay on a table with a broken leg, contributing nothing to the rest of the plot and hardly saying anything for the rest of the film. Wow. I just remembered that the guy with the shotgun died too. But he was such an unforgettable background character that it hardly even counts. "Clever girl."

Jurassic Park review

Also, some more dinosaur variety would have been nice. There were only a few types, though I'm sure this was a budget thing so whatever. I'm sure the sequels add new dinosaurs, I can't remember. 

But overall it's a standard action film with a few good moments. I liked the scene where you see the velociraptor's shadow on the wall, that was just good directing. The scene with the banner falling that read "Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth" in front of the T-Rex was cool, even though it looked kind of fake. 

The film does a good job of putting the characters in seemingly inescapable situations. You'll always be wondering how they'll get away. Unfortunately the escapes are sometimes a tad unbelievable and ridiculous.

Jurassic Park review

Another thing I've always liked were the enemies. Sure they're just stereotypical dinosaurs but you understand them. You know what the characters have to do when confronted with a T-Rex, stand still. You know they should avoid shining lights at dinosaurs. It lets you know the velociraptors' attack pattern and that if confronted with one you're probably screwed. So that was cool. Which is why more dino variety would have benefited the film greatly. 

Even though the film is just over two hours long, it felt short as hell. Seriously, it goes quick as hell and leaves you wanting more. And I do think that this could have been a much better film if there was more to it. I mean nothing really happens. And the whole ending is stupid as all hell too. It just reeks "family movie". I'd probably even give it a bit lower if I didn't immediately think of Jurassic Park every time I see ripples in a glass of water.   

So yeah, this is worth the watch. It's a fun ride while it lasts but you won't be thinking about it much afterwards. It's a good film for kids too, if you have. 

2.5 stars
+Good effects
+Fast paced
+Thought out enemies
-Ending leaves you disappointed and wanting more
-Little dinosaur variety

Purchase Jurassic Park on Amazon: Blu-Ray - DVD - Stream

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