Original release: June 11th, 1993
Running time: 127 minutes
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: Michael Crichton, David Koepp, Malia Scotch Marmo
Composer: John Williams
Cast: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Samuel L. Jackson, Joseph Mazzello, Ariana Richards
There are few films I can watch over and over again and always feel like time hasn’t aged them one bit, and Jurassic Park is certainly one of them. The power of the story, coupled with its groundbreaking visuals allows for over 2 hours where I can forget what to expect and be as enthralled as I was the very first time I saw it at Holloway Road Odeon back in the summer of 1993.
Adapted from the novel by Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park was unlike anything we’d ever seen before. As a keen dinosaur fan when I was growing up, I remember being fascinated with films like The Lost World (1960) The Land That Time Forgot (1975) and even The Land Before Time (1988) but none of those prepared me for this.
I was so excited by the continuous run of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews that were being played on Sky TV at the time that I convinced my mom to buy me the novel, and consumed it within 2 days before seeing the film. Still, even that didn’t prepare me for the sight of such majestic creatures rendered lifelike by Industrial Light & Magic and Stan Winston Studio.
We’re all familiar with the story by now. Set on a remote island off Costa Rica’s Pacific coast where billionaire philanthropist John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) has commissioned a new theme park attraction, palaeontologist Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) arrive with chaos theorist Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) and Hammond’s two grandchildren, Tim (Joseph Mazzello) and Lex (Ariana Richards), to check things out before it’s declared safe and ready for visitors.
They have no idea that the park’s main attractions include living, breathing creatures that have been extinct for over 65 million years. Using DNA extracts retrieved from mosquitoes that were around from the time of the dinosaurs, scientists were able to clone creatures like the Dilophosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Velociraptor, Triceratops, Parasaurolophus, Gallimimus and of course, the king of them all, the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
When the island is hit by a tropical storm, this doesn’t bode well for the humans, and together with a disgruntled former employee who helps to disable the island’s security, these formerly extinct dinosaurs will now again get their chance to reign supreme.
I remember sitting in the fourth row, aged 15, with my 4 year old niece and 5 year old nephew beside me and hiding behind our popcorn as the T-Rex roared, stepped out of its holding, devoured a goat and then proceeded to terrorise Tim and Lex. It was one of the most heart-stopping and terrifying scenes I’d ever seen in a movie and for years after we’d reference it with lines from the movie such as “Turn off the light, turn off the light!!!” and “He left us, he left us!”
Jurassic Park was truly a spectacle, a real cinema event that had to be seen to be believed and I don’t think anyone who saw it back then has ever forgotten what those moments felt like when we first saw the towering Brachiosaurus or how we almost cried when Ellie tended to the sick Triceratops. 18 years later and that magic hasn’t aged one bit, I’m still the same kid who cowers when the T-Rex roars and I still enjoy it as much as now as I did back then.
The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is a composer and music producer with a philosophy degree. Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and World Cinema, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.
You can find his music on Soundcloud .