Andrea’s film review – Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 Review by Andrea Carnevali

It seems like such a good idea to clone dinosaurs from prehistoric dna and such a winner to open a theme park with live dinosaurs on an island in Central America, but things go catastrophically wrong when there is a power cut and the dinosaurs are free to run loose.

It’s time to get ready for the new Jurassic World movie coming out in a few days.

It’s been advertised as “the final chapter” (though as we know, nothing is really “final” when Hollywood deals with billions of dollars at the box office), so it seems the perfect time to revisit the one that started it all…  and let’s face it, the best one.

If one had to rate this movie in terms of its cultural relevance, place in film history and ground-breaking (and game-changing) special effects, it would certainly get top marks on all counts.

It is one of those rare special-effects-heavy films that still holds up surprisingly well even 29 years later. A lot of that has to do with Spielberg himself: the man was at the top of his game and certainly knew (and still does) how to handle and choreograph action sequences mixed with technology.

The T-Rex attack at night is still one of most tense, masterfully crafted scenes I have ever seen in movies: the combination of CGI and animatronics is seamless, the sound design is terrifying, the camera is always in the right place at the right time. and the editing is impeccably sharp and precise to the frame, with not a missed beat.

And that’s of course not the only scene worth remembering: that climbing across a fence sequence while the electric power is being turned on belongs to books of perfect pacing and film editing. And how about the scene when the velociraptors walk into the kitchen? It’s edge-of-your-seat stuff, as few things are, and so beautifully orchestrated.

And talking about orchestration, something must be said, once again, about John Williams’s iconic score, which manages to evoke both the spectacle and sheer enthusiasm of seeing dinosaurs for the first time, as well as epic nature of the landscape and the size of the dinos like no other composer.

What really works in this film, more than in any of the other substandard sequels is how it manages to convey both the love for dinosaurs (that first appearance by the brontosaur is breathtaking) and the fear of them (that T-Rex at night again!).

Hard to believe that the same people were who all working on this were also making Schindler’s List at the same time (Spielberg also won his first Oscar as director with Schindler’s List in the same year!).

1993, what a year that was!

I still remember the Dino-mania in that summer. You could not escape it. It was everywhere: T- Shits, toys, puppets, books, food and so on and so on. And isn’t it fun (and very “meta”… even before the term was coined) to see that same idea of merchandising reflected in the film itself as we pan across the Jurassic Park shop, towards the end?

We must not underestimate the impact this film had on all of us watching dinosaurs roaming the earth for the first time. It was astonishing!! In fact it still is in some ways. This film seems hardly to have aged.

As for the film itself, after a slightly slow beginning where there is an attempt to make a point or two about playing God with nature and the fact that you could doesn’t mean that you should, the film basically says “oh screw all that, you know what? Let’s just have fun now”.

Eventually it’s all about dinosaurs running wild and chasing people and so it all turns into rollercoaster ride and basically pure pop-corn mindless entertainment.

So it might be a slight waste of a good idea, but then again when the ride itself is so much fun and well executed, who cares? And yes, even if the ending with the big T-rex saving the day is a bit dumb (I mean, first you hear it coming from miles away, as puddles and cups of water tremble with his arrival and then all of a sudden he apparels out of nowhere!??!), I am willing to forgive it all because I have a hell of time every time I watch it.

Not quite the masterpiece that’s ET, Raiders or Jaws, but pretty close… and a lot of fun!

Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick

See all Andrea’s film reviews here: Film reviews by Andrea Carnevali

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