Direction: Steven Spielberg
Actors: Sam Neill, Laura Dern
Re-released on the occasion of its 20th anniversary, Jurassic Park has been digitally overhauled and converted into 3D for a new generation of filmgoers. There have been significant advances in FX technology during the intervening years but Steven Spielberg’s box-office bonanza still holds the viewer in a vice-like grip until the closing credits start to roll.
Always a master storyteller, the director achieves a fine balance between high-tech pizzazz and popcorn entertainment.
An outdoor theme park is populated with dinosaurs cloned from the DNA of fossilized mosquitoes that once fed on the blood of the prehistoric predators.
The brainchild of a billionaire Scotsman (Richard Attenborough, endearing as ever), the mastermind invites a motley crew of scientists to tour the as-yet-unopened resort.
The invitees include a couple of paleontologists (Neill-Dern) and a skeptical mathematician (Jeff Goldblum). Also along for the roller-coaster ride is a cowardly lawyer who attempts to flee from the facility at the first sign of trouble. Needless to emphasise, their trip goes horribly wrong. The carnivorous colossi somehow escape from captivity. Desperately seeking supper, they chomp up the humans as hors d’oeuvre. Crammed with ceaseless chases and action set pieces, the outcome is a nerve-jangling man-versus-monsters adventure. Spielberg’s showmanship is evident in such spectacular scenes as the dinos on the rampage or the sight of a helicopter descending near a waterfall. The born-again beasts look, as well as sound, menacingly real.
Adapted from his own sci-fi bestseller, Michael Crichton’s script also conveys a precautionary message: don’t violate the laws of nature or try to control something uncontrollable. A reminder of Steven Spielberg’s cinematic imagination, Jurassic Park remains every bit as enjoyable as when it was originally released.