A wealthy entrepreneur secretly creates a theme park featuring living dinosaurs drawn from prehistoric DNA. He invites a team of experts to experience the park and help calm anxious investors. However, the park is anything but amusing as the security systems go off-line and the dinosaurs escape.
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"Jurassic Park" is the rare summer blockbuster that gets to have its cake and eat it too: as a child, the film is a thrill-a-minute rollercoaster ride, equal parts terror and wonder. As an adult, the screenplay reveals its deeper layers and subtext. The movie is at once a capitalist critique - while at the same time tacitly admitting to the audience's face, "We're going to make a fortune off this place."
"Life finds a way." It's all about making babies—a stark deviation from the original text that speaks to Spielberg's preoccupation with fatherhood. Here, creation isn't an act of sheer will but rather something that's not ultimately up to us. Just as the dinosaurs evolve to breed, Dr. Grant evolves into a paternal figure. The silent resolution to his character in the final shots is pure, Old Hollywood cinema.
Spielberg is an exception to the auteur mold. He handles his spectacle films in a way that often makes him equally an artist and an entertainer, yet often only seems at home in B-concepts with an A-grade approach, as his more dramatic work often wallows in over-sentimentality when melodrama rears its head where it shouldn't be allowed. Thus, Jurassic Park marries its complex themes/metaphors with sensationalism.
I won't forget this film. I can't forget it. I remember seeing this at a friend's house on a VHS and having my jaw drop. It wasn't even the special effects, since this is the first blockbuster I ever saw. I lacked the context of it's impact. I was just in love with it's excitement, its sense of awe, the wonderful build up, etc. And hey, it's genuinely frightening. T-rex and Dilophosauros are walking nightmares.
He watered down the novel to make a kid's movie, thereby alienating me, but there remain inspired scenes that still touch the kid in me. Despite the script and casting issues, there is magic there. Showed it to my four-year-old yesterday. She loved it. Happy.
Rewatched "Jurassic Park" in 3D, projected on a huge screen in a 1000 seat large cinema here in Oslo; and it all holds up. Such a fantastic spectacle, and with that elemental, bazinian "truth" to its extraordinary images... 65 million years in the making. Complete masterpiece in its genre; and just as entertaining and vivid 20 years later. Classic.
Spielberg treats Dinosaurus like Michael Myers or Ghostface, blending harsh reality of humanity and violence with multiple jokes, good job until his own naive vision ruin it. If Verhoeven directed this, he would make it as great as Robocop. But as we learned from Schindler's List, why bother showing violence and truth about the world when it is only illusion for kids? (The last shot is the best of all, though).