Should I Watch..? 'Jurassic Park'

Updated on February 14, 2019
Benjamin Cox profile image

Benjamin is a former volunteer DJ at his local hospital radio station. He has been reviewing films online for over fifteen years.

Promotional poster for the 3D re-release of "Jurassic Park"
Promotional poster for the 3D re-release of "Jurassic Park" | Source

What's the big deal?

Jurassic Park is a sci-fi adventure film released in 1993 and is based on the novel of the same name by Michael Crichton. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the movie utilises a combination of then-cutting edge CG and animatronics to create the most realistic dinosaurs ever seen in cinema at the time. The film became a runaway success, grossing over $900 million on its initial release and more than $1 billion after a 3D rerelease in 2013. It also spawned the Jurassic Park franchise, the fourth film Jurassic World being released in 2015. Jurassic Park went on to win twenty film awards including three Oscars and is regarded as a landmark picture in terms of CG and animatronic effects as well as being one of the highest grossing movies in history.


4 stars for Jurassic Park

What's it about?

John Hammond, the CEO and founder of biotechnology firm InGen, has created a theme park populated with clones of dinosaurs following the discovery of fossilised DNA. He has built Jurassic Park on the tropical island of Isla Nublar but his investors are concerned when a park worker is killed on site. Hammond finds that a group of inspectors are sent to the island to ensure everything is running smoothly, a group which include palaeontologist Alan Grant, paleobotanist Ellie Sattler and mathematician Ian Malcolm. Hammond also invites his two grandchildren Timothy and Lexie in order to impress them.

As a tropical storm approaches the island, most of the employees return to the mainland while Hammond supervises his visitors from the control room. As night falls, Dennis Nedry initiates his plan to steal dinosaur embryos for a corporate rival by shutting down the power - which enables the dinosaurs to escape from their pens, trapping the group out in the jungle. As hoards of Velociraptor roam free and the enormous Tyrannosaurus Rex chases everyone, it falls to Grant to get the kids to safety and Sattler and Malcolm to get the power back on.

Trailer for 3D re-release

Main Cast

Sam Neill
Dr Alan Grant
Laura Dern
Dr Ellie Sattler
Jeff Goldblum
Dr Ian Malcolm
Richard Attenborough
John Hammond
Ariana Richards
Alexis Murphy
Joseph Mazzello
Timothy Murphy
Wayne Knight
Dennis Nedry
Samuel L Jackson
Ray Arnold
Bob Peck
Robert Muldoon

Technical Info

Steven Spielberg
Michael Crichton & David Koepp *
Running Time
127 minutes
Release Date (UK)
16th July, 1993
Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Academy Awards
Best Sound, Best Sound Effects, Best Visual Effects
* based on the novel by Michael Crichton
The Tyrannosaurus Rex is still a terrifying sight to behold...
The Tyrannosaurus Rex is still a terrifying sight to behold... | Source

What's to like?

There is little doubt that in terms of special effects, this movie is as big a landmark in cinema as Star Wars was back in 1977. To see the movie is to believe the movie - Spielberg knows that less is more so we don't see that much of the beasts but when we do, they are completely and worryingly real. The level of detail is exquisite like breath fogging up glass or eyes reacting to torchlight, pupils dilating as you would expect. Whereas Spielberg's buddy George Lucas would rather drown us in CG, Spielberg gives enough of a drip-feed to still make the movie feel and look like reality with tried-and-tested methods being pushed to their limit.

The other Spielberg trademark - specifically, all-American kids looking for a father figure - is also present but thankfully, it doesn't take over. Both Richards and Mazzello are great as the terrified twosome and get most of the scary scenes between the two of them. The stand-off between them and the two Velociraptors in the kitchen area is genuinely tense and has been endlessly parodied ever since (most recently in a breakfast cereal advert on TV). Attenborough is also very good as the misguided Hammond, coming across like a biotechnology-version of Father Christmas. The script really stops to let you catch your breath and while it may take some time to get going, the film really delivers the shock and wonder you hope it might.

Fun Facts

  • Hurricane Iniki hit the set during filming, causing all cast and crew to be evacuated to their hotel's ballroom with the exception of Richard Attenborough who slept through it in his hotel room. When asked about it, he replied "My dear boy, I survived the Blitz!"
  • The film initially took over $900 million when first released but the 3D re-release took the final gross over $1 billion, making Jurassic Park only the seventeenth film to pass this milestone.
  • The process behind the dinosaurs coming back was due to a mosquito preserved in amber which Richard Attenborough's character has on the end of a cane. Attenborough's brother, legendary naturalist David Attenborough, has a collection of animals in amber.

What's not to like?

Unfortunately, the rest of the human cast cannot compete with the dinosaurs which are far more interesting and animated. Dern and Neill - who I tend to associate with more indie-films than blockbusters - look uncomfortable and out-of-place while Goldblum gives the impression that he's somewhat high on something with dialogue delivered rapidly and mannerisms being slightly off-kilter. But the biggest problem is the script which misses out a lot of the detail and science the novel contained. It's also been considerably lightened by the director - body count has been dramatically reduced and even the T-Rex gets its moment in the spotlight.

While on the subject of the ending, I almost got angry because another of Spielberg's annoying habits - the happy ending - reared its ugly head. If you've read the book then you'll know that not everyone makes it off the island safely but then, that makes it harder for them to have a sequel. You get the feeling that they were so confident that the film was going to be a winner that they took their eye off the ball and allowed the film to wallow in its own success.

The dinosaurs are much more convincing than the human cast members...
The dinosaurs are much more convincing than the human cast members... | Source

Should I watch it?

For sheer excitement and entertainment, they isn't much to touch the original Jurassic Park. The human cast might not be that great and the script isn't a patch on the novel but the beauty of the effects overcomes any resentment you may have towards it. It has been weakened by lesser sequels but for anyone looking to scare their kids for a couple of hours, this will do the trick.

Great For: families, dinosaur enthusiasts, thrill-seekers

Not So Great For: very young kids, plot-hole spotters

What else should I watch?

Between this and Jurassic World, there are two other films to look at - The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park 3. Neither are much to write home about, to be honest - once you've gotten used to the sight of dinosaurs running about the place, they all seem to treat very familiar paths to each other.

Anyone looking for dinosaurs in the past will have to go back to the Ray Harryhausen-days of stop-motion animation in such films as One Million Years BC and creature-features like The Beast From 20'000 Fathoms. Of course, the Japanese are far more familiar with giant prehistoric monsters than we are - Godzilla has been roaming the oceans and stomping over cities for decades...

© 2015 Benjamin Cox

Soap Box

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)