“It truly is an experience that stood the test of time.”
Jurassic Park might be one of the most popular movies in the history of movies. I’m pretty sure that everyone is familiar with the concept of Jurassic Park, and have seen at least the first film. It appeals to children and adults alike, which is really part of the Steven Spielberg charm. But the question I was asking myself last night while watching Jurassic Park was “how?”. How does Jurassic Park manage to be so appealing, while creating what is essentially Alien with dinosaurs. Jurassic Park is a great movie, but it is also pretty scary. It does a great job of relaying to the audience the gravity of the situation the characters are facing. Sure for us the threat of dinosaurs may not be very real, but for the characters it certainly is; and Jurassic Park finds a way of translating that threat into audience fear and tension. Jurassic Park is legitimately scary at times, so why is it so kid friendly?
Jurassic Park is a movie with a heavy science backdrop. It is a movie about bringing dinosaurs back to life, and in order to make it as realistic as possible there is a lot of scientific operations that have to be explained. This is why during the opening of the film, when all of the characters are taking their initial tour of the park, a point is made to explain everything in simple terms. This can be explained away by Hammond saying that the park is made so that everyone, even children, can enjoy it, but it also works as an information surrogate for the audience. Jurassic Park does a great job with the ‘explain it to me like I’m five’ moments, and they really help sell the film’s immersion. And this continues when Doctor Grant has to travel through the park with two children. This not only gives Grant an outlet to vent his commentary, but it also forces him to relay this information in simpler terms so the audience isn’t left in the dust.
But apart from the information in the film being accessible, Jurassic Park is just a good movie. First of all the story is great. It’s creative, it’s fun, and it’s surprisingly realistic. On top of that the performances tick a lot of the same boxes. The characters in Jurassic Park all have these quirks, little personalized character traits that allow each one to feel all the more real. Honestly the characters in Jurassic Park are so well written and different, each one could realistically be someones favourite. And do I even have to mention the score? It’s nothing short of iconic. The theme is something that even people who haven’t seen the movies are familiar with becasue it is that engrained in pop culture. It’s amazing. One thing I will briefly discuss are the effects. While the practical effects (like the T-Rex) still look stunning, some of the digital effects are a little rough. They aren’t bad, they’re just noticeable. This doesn’t take away from the movie at all, but it was something I noticed so I had to mention it.
Overall Jurassic Park truly strikes the perfect balance of creating a movie that is complex, but also accessible. It takes involved science ideas and presents them in a way that allows the audience to feel informed. It truly is an experience that stood the test of time.
I give Jurassic Park an A