Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: Michael Crichton and David Koepp
Starring: Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1993 blockbuster (And my second favourite movie of all time) we’ll be taking a look back at one Steven Spielberg’s best in our second ever Retrospective Review.
It’s hard to imagine how one director produced both Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List in the same year, but Spielberg managed it, staking his claim as one of the best directors of all time in the process.
Earning five-star reviews right out of the gate Jurassic Park wasn’t one of those sleeper hits which took time for people to appreciate, with the likes of Empire referring to the film as “quite simply one of the greatest blockbusters of all time”. Its revolutionary use of CGI and practical effects, as well as its appeal to audiences of all ages made this an instant classic and in doing so effectively changed the landscape of the film industry forever.
You would be hard pressed to find someone who has seen the film but doesn’t remember the first time they saw a dinosaur on screen. The now iconic “brachiosaur scene” has become synonymous with classic Hollywood moments, and it’s safe to say that when Spielberg said that he wanted the audience to truly believe they were watching a real dinosaur on screen, that he achieved his goal.
To this day there are certain scenes in the film which could go toe-to-toe with the latest and greatest uses of CGI. The scene which my mind instantly wanders back to is when the T-Rex escapes its paddock and attack the vehicles on the road. For my money that scene still looks better than most CGI monsters today, even those seen in the Jurassic franchise itself.
But the film’s legacy lies far beyond its mastery of CGI. The characters are to this day loved and adored, with Jeff Goldblum’s character Ian Malcolm making a return to the same franchise 25 years after his original appearance. The characters of Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Satler (Laura Dern) will to this day still pop up at comic-cons as popular cosplay options, whilst the T-Rex has transitioned into pop-culture main stream and will this year be making a cameo in Spielberg’s next venture Ready Player One.
I lost count of how many times I’ve seen this film a number of years ago whilst the figure was somewhere in the sixties, and yet I can continually go back to it with the same joy and excitement that I had the first couple of times. Nothing about this film has aged badly, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. Spielberg pulled off something that is very rare in the film industry, a timeless classic, and the fact that we’re actively celebrating its 25th anniversary is a testament to that.
“When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth” may have been one of the ending images the film portrays, but it is perhaps ironic that since the release of this film it is in fact Dinosaurs that have ruled the Earth as one of the best and most beloved films of all time.
Final Score: 10/10 Porgs