Published on October 3rd, 2011 | by Kitty Catastrophe0
Do Over: Jurassic Park
Ah, Jurassic Park. A staple of countless childhoods and the cause of many subsequent dinosaur fixations. I’m almost certain that the collectible weekly magazine DINOSAURS! came out around the same time in what would quite obviously have been a hurried effort to cash in. It was the one where you collected sections of a glow in the dark Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton and the first issue cunningly lured you in with the skull. Those crafty publishing types. But back to the film. And what a film. I’m delighted to say that Jurassic Park is just as brilliant now as it was when I saw it in 1993. Once the preamble (the Montana desert dig that introduces Doctors Grant and Stattler) is taken care of and the team are approaching the island in the helicopter, there’s a genuine sense of excitement and wonder, especially when the tremendous John Williams score swells into the familiar theme tune.
For the uninitiated, the general gist is that eccentric billionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) develops a theme park on an island off Costa Rica where the exhibits are cloned dinosaurs, thanks to a team of genetic scientists. Before opening, Hammond invites a group of experts and his two grandchildren to visit the park for a preview tour. However, things take a turn for the worse when the dinosaurs escape from their enclosures, throwing the visitors headlong into a fight for survival. What follows is an exhilarating thrill ride as the human characters find themselves doing battle with the brute force of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, the semmingly innocuous Dilophosaurus and the fiendishly clever Velociraptors. My most enduring memory of the film, aside from the T-Rex attack and the bit with the lawyer on the toilet, was the scene that pits Hammond’s grandchildren against two raptors in a restaurant kitchen. As a child it frightened the bejaysus out of me and even now it still made me squirm.
While the grandchildren characters are quite annoying, Richard Attenborough’s twinkly Santa-faced Hammond and Jeff Goldblum‘s rockstar mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm more than make up for that. Indeed, Goldblum’s character is hugely fun, with all the ridiculous charm and swagger of Isaiah Mustafa in the Old Spice ad. There’s even a gloriously gratuitious shot of him reclining with his chest exposed for absolutely no reason.
Although the technonlogy is hilarious at this stage, (“It’s an interactive CD-Rom!) the dinosaurs still look cool, the scary bits still make you jump and the entire adventure is still a huge amount of fun. There’s a reason that the number of students studying paleontology skyrocketed after this film came out.
Jurassic Park has been re-released and is currently showing in cinemas. For God’s sake, go!