After watching the horrible Jurassic World, I decided to revisit the original. Does it hold up? Read on.
Steven Spielberg might be one of the most important directors alive. From Jaws to Poltergeist to Saving Private Ryan, he has a track record of excellence. Spielberg’s versatility as a director and skills of storytelling make even his less-than-stellar films such as Bridge of Spies Oscar worthy.
Jurassic Park was a major life event for me as a child. It was the first time I was completely mesmerized by a film. The grandeur and wonder of the film seemed impossible to me. Watching it twenty years later—the film holds up. I do not think it is solely nostalgia that drives the film’s excellence. From the first scene to the last, the adventure works.
The special effects hold up quite well. The raptors are scary, the triceratops seems real, and the park feels like a living thing in the film. The characters are excellent. Instead of simply representing a mode of thought like in the new one, we have real people here. Alan and Ellie are both brave and vulnerable. Jeff Goldblum’s odd, often rude, and yet somehow lovable portrayal of Ian makes him one of the most memorable characters in film.
However, the real show stealers (of the humans anyway) are the kids. Spielberg’s mastery of making kids real is sorely missed in Jurassic World. In this film, they are kids—real kids! This is one of the things that Stranger Things did right as well. The kids aren’t props. They are growing people who have fears, joys, goals, and personality. Tim is the over-eager child with some of the best lines. The audience gets to see Lex go from traumatized to her brother’s savior throughout the film.
One of the most interesting aspects of rewatching the film was fully realizing how legendary many of the scenes have become. Many now classic scenes that are often emulated still hold their original power. The T-Rex attacking the vehicles is still one of the most terrifying and exhilarating sequences in film history. Spielberg is credited with creating the blockbuster with Jaws, with Jurassic Park I think he perfected it.
I don’t imagine many have not seen the film. However, many of us probably haven’t watched it in a while. The film will still work on you. Great storytelling, directing, characters, and action make Jurassic Park a seminal film of American culture that must be experienced. 10/10