Dinosaurs are big business. And so was novelist Michael Crichton
after Jurassic Park - his Congo (1995) and Disclosure novels
got made into movies soon after. Steven Spielberg has always been
big business too. And so was Jurassic Park - becoming, according to
some business analysts, one of the biggest box office grossing movie of all times.
(This is not to mention the numerous successful spin-offs: Jurassic Park baseball
caps, Jurassic Park mugs, Jurassic Park colouring books, Jurassic Park comic books,
And is the movie worth all the hype? Partially yes, but mostly because of the
special effects. Some magicians at Industrial Light and Magic (the special effects
unit bankrolled by George Lucas and also responsible for the Star
Wars movies as well as the technical wizardry behind Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991))
made some dinosaurs live and breathe like we have never seen them do before. These
are no longer the slow, klutzy and rubbery creatures we have seen in countless
B-grade dinosaur pics. They are well-researched and realistic enough to appease
today's dinosaur obsessed hip kids.
But at its heart the movie is empty - the humans in the picture serve as little
else than dino fodder. It lacks the heart and soul Spielberg managed to inject
into E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). See it for the effects -
like everybody else did.
The ultra-violence in Crichton's novel (obviously) got toned down for mass
consumption, leading one thirteen-year-old kid to complain to me that the movie
wasn't violent enough. Sheesh, are today's kids really this jaded?
Review by James O'Ehley from The
Sci-Fi Movie Page.