Jurassic Park Reviews
It's been 25 years since Spielberg's dino saga changed movie making with it's fabulous CGI monsters. Amazingly, they still hold up and look great. But what makes JP a 5* effort is the amazing suspense and technically great film making.
Based on a script by Michael Crichton and David Koepp from the novel by Crichton, it starts off a bit slow, but the moment Nedry the computer nerd (Wayne Knight, unforgettable) turns off the power so that he can steal some dino embryos, the film pulsates with pace, aggression and genuine terror. The archeologist protagonist, Sam Neil, goes on a journey of self discovery to become the ideal father - by saving the awful John Hammond's (Richard Attenborough) grandchildren from Hammond's dino creations. Some critics criticised Spielberg for only killing off the minor characters while providing plot armour for the leads and the children - but imagine what the movie would have been like if the dinos were allowed to feast on Laura Dern or the poor kids. It would have been totally uncommercial and a much worse story. Instead, the kids in peril make the best suspense, whether trapped in the SUV while the T-Rex attacks, or the kitchen scene with the Velociraptors. These are great scenes, and there is enough blood shed in the dino eating scenes to satisfy all but the most gruesome tastes.
Not enough credit goes to the cast - of course Neil is solid, Dern is feisty, Attenborough full of remorse, Jeff Goldblum is fantastic, his barbed scepticism and wit makes the whole thing resonate and still relevant.
And George Lucas's ILM provide the special effects, the first really fabulous CGI, to lift the dinos from lumps of plastic to really scary monsters. There is seamless integration between the real and CGI in this that makes his Star Wars prequels look so disappointingly unreal. But here, they are fantastic.
Hats off to Speilberg, the greatest film storyteller of the late 20th and early 21st Century. This really is one of his suspense masterpieces and a beacon of bravura filmmaking.