I love this film. We, as a family, always tried to make sure we watched it whenever it was on TV. Its just one of those family classics even if half the family is terrified! It’s a combination of dinosaurs and a theme park. Two things you can’t go wrong with! The fact that I wrote over a page of notes whilst watching this must be a good sign.
As you see the legendary ‘Universal’ logo go by, all you can hear are the sounds of the jungle which sets the mood straight away. Then you hear the drums and other instruments that signify something huge and exciting is going to happen. We’re then introduced straight away to the danger [and ‘enemy’] of the film with the new arrival of something very dangerous in a scary box! There is a British man in the scene and, for once, isn’t the evil one! He’s the one that knows more about the dangerous dinosaurs than anyone else. Why did he have to be British? And wear shorts that make him a little less cool? Anyway, a man is eaten and the audience is reminded that dinosaurs eat people and that if people were to cross their path, they will be eaten. Lets hope to humans get in their way.
We are shown, straight away, who is going to die first as he is the pathetic, incredibly annoying, indoor-type lawyer. Well, we don’t KNOW that he’ll be the first to die but we hope so. In the middle of the film, he has a nice, humiliating death and we all yell “hurrah!”
Alan [played by Sam Neill] is a man who is stuck in the age of dinosaurs and appears ignorant to the modern world. We also have Ellie Sattler [Laura Dern] who has fantastic legs and John Hammond [Richard Attenborough] who is Scottish and I never realized that until now! How bizarre that I hadn’t noticed before. Anyways, we see some big-ass dinosaurs that look so real which amazes me as this film was made in 1993 [I was 2!]. The character’s responses are close, if not exactly the same to the audience’s. We’re then given a little introduction by the DNA man who explains how we got the dinosaurs and its filled with loopholes but we try to ignore them. The audience may start to feel like they’re in the park as well, especially when we’re watching the ‘pre-recorded introduction’ film. If the audience feel like they’re in the park, it will make the experience of watching this movie all that more real and enjoyable!
One part I particularly love that they show both sides of the argument with and against this park. This is probably in the book so credit to the author! What some films lack is the different sides of the coin. Malcolm [played by Jeff Goldblum] expresses his side and concern about the park and Hammond’s intentions. Malcolm says that the park will fail because of the Chaos Theory; most things can’t be controlled. Hammond argues back with “condors! Condors are on the verge of extinction. If I was to create a flock of condors on this island, you wouldn’t have anything to say!” But Malcolm responds with “No hold on, this is not some species that was obliterated by deforestation, or the building of a dam. Dinosaurs had their shot, and nature selected them for extinction.” I don’t know why but that was a line that really stuck with me. He also argues about evolution and that the dinosaurs can’t breed now but “life finds a way”. He may be the cocky man in the film but you’d want his advice on stuff like this.
One of the things that Spielberg did brilliantly, is the hype of the dinosaurs. We don’t see them completely until about half way through the film. They’re represented through sound and the motion of trees. The Tyrannosaurus Rex, however, has an entrance which is now legendary; the sound of it walking and the vibrations it gives. You look at the cup of water with the little kid [who’s not that annoying which is shocking] and you see the vibrations, you know its coming. It’s a fantastic build up as the sound of it it so much worse than the thing itself [until it eats you, of course]. The T-Rex itself is pretty extraordinary. Part machinery, part CGI. There are a few films that fail miserable at this but this dinosaur looked so real, it was perfect! And why the hell did that girl think it would be a good idea to shine a bright torch in the already pissed off T-Rex’s eyes?! Another part which makes me laugh thanks to Toy Story, is when the T-Rex is chasing the car and you have the close-up of the mirror and it says something like “objects may be closer than they appear”. If you’ve seen Toy Story, you’ll know what I mean. If you haven’t, then where have you been for the past 15 years?!
Then we have Dennis [Wayne Knight] who’s the fat one who we think will be the stereotypical fat one who we all laugh at but no! He’s the bad guy! Shock horror! Stuff happens, he crashes a car into stuff because he’s not concentrating on the road! DO YOU HEAR THAT KIDS?! Concentrate on the road when you’re driving or you will crash and get eaten by a scary, little dinosaur. That dinosaur probably didn’t have to eat for months after eating Dennis… or do you think he took him home and stored him for later…
We have a lot of screaming, a lot of running, a lot of cool, life-like dinosaurs and a little kid gets electrocuted. What more do you need? Don’t know why this isn’t higher in the list. Probably because of the loopholes that we’re still trying to ignore.