Last week, I experienced the original Jurassic Park novel for the first time. All in all, while I did have a few complaints (shocking, I know), I thought it was pretty good! A book well worth reading!
Unfortunately, it left me with an unstoppable desire to rewatch the movie. So I did just that.
The first Jurassic Park movie was and still is the only one that doesn’t suck major ass. Simply put, it’s lightning in a bottle. All the pieces were in the right place at the right time. The right director, the right screenwriter, and all the right actors came together at the perfect time to create one of the most memorable, rewatchable, timeless movies of all time.
And much like many movies of this era, that magic could never be captured again. Though that hasn’t stopped them from trying. Over. And over. And over again. Seriously, Hollywood, just stop. No one wants another god damn Jurassic Park movie.
*Quick note: I’m going to be judging this movie entirely by its own merit, not as an adaptation of the book. I won’t draw any comparisons between the two, for the sake of fairness. Alright, thanks, let’s get started.*
Story: Doesn’t Sound So Ridiculous Now, Does It?
After all the events of 2020, this movie doesn’t seem so absurd now, does it?
We all know the story. John Hammond creates a theme park and fills it with real dinosaurs. When he invites a series of guests, including Dr. Alan Grant, Ellie Saddler, Ian Malcolm, and a few others, disaster strikes and the dinosaurs get loose. Now, they must find a way to escape the island and survive against predators that have been extinct for sixty-five million years.
This is the part I have the least to say about. It’s fantastic and we all know it is. The story is perfectly paced, the characters all well-written and likable, and the pacing is just *chef’s kiss* perfect. It’s a fantastic dinosaur survival movie. The only fantastic dinosaur survival movie.
Unless there’s some obscure gem I’ve never heard of before. But considering that all movies like this are just Jurassic Park ripoffs, my hopes aren’t high. But if there’s any sign that this movie is amazing, it’s that people tried ripping it off for years.
Just look at Godzilla ’98. Bastards just turned Godzilla into a T-Rex.
Presentation: CGI That… Still Holds Up?
Hold on, that doesn’t sound right. Let me try again. “The CGI dinosaurs in Jurassic Park still look half decent, even all these years later.” Hold on, fuck, that can’t be right! Something must be wrong with me!
Now, to be clear: not all of the dinosaurs are CGI. The triceratops, for example, is an animatronic robot. However, the movie strikes a perfect balance between robot dinosaurs and computer-animated dinos. In the movie’s quicker moments, it can be pretty difficult to tell!
And then there are the more obvious shots. Where it is all very clearly CGI. Because, unfortunately, it is still a movie from the 90s. Even if it does hold up better than basically every other movie of the time, it’s still aged.
What hasn’t aged are all the sets! God dammit, I yearn for the days when movies were actually shot on real sets and locations! It makes it so easy to get sucked into the movie’s world when everything you’re seeing is clearly real!
It certainly helps that the cinematography is great! The shots are all dynamic, interesting, and engaging! Sweeping cameras, dynamic angles and close-ups, this movie has it all! It’s a visual masterpiece! You could watch it without any audio and be just as engaged by what’s happening!
And the music! Holy shit, this OST is so good! The main theme alone has become one of the most iconic tracks in cinematic history! And that’s only one track! The rest of the OST is so damn good! It’s a sweeping orchestra at its finest!
It’s almost like John motherfucking Williams composed it or something. Nah, that probably has nothing to do with it.
Performances: You Forgot Samuel L. Jackson Was in This Movie
Be honest. You did. I’m not trying to throw shade, mind you, I love Sam Jackson. But no one remembers his role in this movie.
You know who they do remember? Jeff Goldblum. I hesitate to say that his performance is the best, but it’s among my favorites. He’s just snarky enough to capture the character’s annoying personality while being just realistically terrified enough to come across as realistic. I love ‘im.
Sam Neill is pretty good, too. He captures the duality of his character perfectly. The childlike innocence and wonder when he’s interacting with the dinosaurs is completely contrasted with his grumpy old-man persona. He can switch between the two effortlessly, truly making it seem that he is the character.
Honestly, there really isn’t a bad actor in the movie. Sure, you could point at the two child actors, but they aren’t all that bad. Everyone in this movie is doing their best and it shows. I have nothing more to say in this regard.
Shocker! I like this movie! I know, I’m so bold in saying that.
Dude, do I really have to make a recommendation? We all know that this is a must-watch movie. If you haven’t seen it already, there is something seriously wrong with your head. It’s one of the best movies ever made and it will maintain that status for as long as humanity exists.
The other movies, on the other hand… I can’t quite say the same. But that only makes this movie seem all the more incredible.
Again: lightning in a bottle.