Sunday, April 5, 2009

Jurassic Park. C+

'Jurassic Park' is divided into two parts. The first part introduces the characters. Sam Niell and Laura Dern play Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler, a couple invited by the park's creator John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) to pay a visit before the park is opened to the public. Hammond also invites his two grandchildren and Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) along as well. One of my favorite parts of the movie is when Hammond gives a tour as to how they were able to get the dinosaurs. The story involves getting the dinosaurs' DNA from mosquitoes who have been preserved in sap. After that, the group divides up in two automatically driven SUVs, as they slowly drive through the park. We know something is bound to go wrong when the parks computer architect, Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) is hired by a foreign agent to steal dinosaur embryos. In order to do so, he must shut down the park's security system, which then enables the dinosaurs to escape. There is a lot to admire in this Sc-Fi thriller from director Steven Spielberg, but unfortunately, I found it no better than 'War of the Worlds,' which had plenty of brawn, but little brains. I found this to be the same. The visual effects are very impressive (especially considering that this came out in 1993) but the film gives the audience little to think about, which is unfortunate, because Spielberg is the one who gave us 'ET' and 'Close Encounters,' two of the greatest Science Fiction movies of all time. There are several moments of genuine terror though, and I certainly found myself on the edge of my seat. There are also some pretty clever actions scenes, such as when two of the characters must climb down a tree before their car, (thrown up in the tree by one of the dinosaurs) comes crashing down on them. Also, I disliked the presence Hammond's grandchildren. I know they balanced the characters out, but would Spielberg please how decent actors for the parts? That's one plus 'War of the Worlds,' which cast Dakota Fanning as the little girl, has over this. Still, the unique ideas of cloning dinosaurs, the outstanding CGI, and the terror of the creatures makes this a memorable film even if it doesn't have a whole lot of heart.

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