Monday, 18 May 2015

Jurassic Park (Universal Pictures, 1993)

Try as hard as I might not to be, the new Jurassic World trailers have still managed to get me all excited again. Whenever I think about the original Jurassic Park...even now all these years later, I can still remember the massive amount of hype surrounding it's release. Much was talked about how groundbreaking the CGI effects were going to be, and most of the teaser trailers would start at the bit where the T-Rex escapes from it's enclosure...not actually showing off any of the CGI (oh no...the best bit was saved for the cinema) but instead focusing the puddle of water in the giant footprint, and then the glass of water rippling, ominous music playing as the T-Rex stomped closer and closer, and then right at the end of the trailer....a giant, angry looking T-Rex face would lower down and stare in through the vehicle window at a terrified Lex. I can honestly say this: I was chomping at the bit to see this movie when it was released. I'd already seen these newfangled CGI effects put to impressive use on the big screen when I went to see Terminator 2 a couple of years before (Useless Information Time: T2 was the first '15' rated movie I ever went to see at the cinema although I was only actually 14 when it came out) but now we were talking dinosaurs! Real life fucking dinos that wanted to eat people! Or at least by far the most realistic ones anybody had ever seen at that point.

As it was, my anticipation had reached such fever pitch that I actually rushed out and bought a copy of Michael Crichton's book to read before the movie was released. And I loved it. The main problem was,  I think, that I enjoyed the book so much that in my 16 year old mind, there was no way that the movie could live up to it. The book was actually quite dark and violent in certain places, but the movie was rated PG and directed by Steven Spielberg. My most enduring memories of when I eventually did go to see it back in 1993 are of being disappointed that the ending was less action packed than the book, and badly needing a piss after drinking a large Coca Cola earlier on, but then not wanting to leave my seat and miss any of the special effects. I didn't get to see it again for a while after that (back in those days you usually had to wait several months for movies to be released on VHS) so for a long time I felt pretty deflated. I knew however that I'd completely over-hyped things in my head, so when the time came for me to sit and watch Jurassic Park again, I did it with an open mind and found myself really falling in love with it. And watching it again, now, I honestly think it's a movie that's aged extremely well too.

I ain't 'fraid of no 'raptor!
Jurassic Park starts off on Isla Nublar, the soon-to-be-site of the aforementioned dinosaur themed attraction. The Park's game warden, a Crocodile Dundee-alike called Muldoon (played by Bob Peck), and a group of workers armed with guns and electric cattle prods are watching an incoming shipping container be delivered with worried looks on their faces...we soon learn that it contains a velociraptor, although we don't get a good look at it yet. As they are releasing it into it's enclosure, one of the workers standing on top of the container loses his balance and falls with his legs in between the the container and enclosure. The raptor (that's still hidden from view) immediately grabs the poor bastard and tries to drag him off to his death. Muldoon grabs a hold of the guy's arm and tries to save him whilst some other workers try to stun the dinosaur. It isn't letting go. Muldoon catches a glimpse of it's eye as it stares though the bars of it's container at him. Muldoon stares back. Muldoon starts calling for the other workers to just shoot the raptor. Gunshots are heard but the trapped worker unfortunately dies. It's an effective and tense opening sequence that really shows you how dangerous these things are without revealing too much of them yet and is a lot like the opening of Jaws (also directed by Spielberg), where the fear is created more by what you can't see than what's on the screen in front of you.

Velociraptors turned into birds. No, really.
Next, we're introduced to Donald Gennaro (played by Martin Ferrero a.k.a Izzy Moreno from Miami Vice) a suit-wearing lawyer type who's been sent in by the investors to report on what's going on at Jurassic Park following the worker's death. He mentions that the insurance guys will back off if they can find a couple of experts to declare the island safe. Then we're taken off to a dig site where Dr. Alan Grant, a world renowned palaeontologist and his partner and girlfriend Ellie Sattler (played by Sam Neill and Laura Dern) have just discovered a fossilised velociraptor skeleton. and are talking about their findings to a group of people. Alan thinks that raptors maybe evolved into birds, much to the amusement of the crowd, but Grant insists and says that the word 'raptor' even means 'bird of prey'. A young boy in the group scoffs at this and says that the raptor skeleton looks more like a turkey than a bird of prey.  Alan then describes in great detail to the boy how raptors hunt and kill their prey, using a fossilised claw to demonstrate on the boy how they would tear him to ribbons and telling him that they would start eating him while he was still alive. He then has a discussion with Ellie about how much he dislikes kids and doesn't want any. At this point in the movie, he actually comes across as a bit of an asshole, truth be told and it would've be quite funny if a T-Rex had come charging over and finished him off, but luckily, he gets to redeem himself later on. Alan and Ellie head back to their trailer to find the owner of Jurassic Park, John Hammond (played by Richard Attenborough) waiting for them. John tells Alan and Ellie that he owns an island, and that he's spent the last 5 years setting up some kind of spectacular 'biological preserve'. He wants to open it to the public next year, but the investors are putting pressure on him to bring in a couple of experts to check out the island first, and that's where Alan and Ellie come in. He shies away from telling them what the park actually is, but he invites them to come over and check it out and offers to fund Alan's dig site for a further 3 years if he accepts. Alan and Ellie take the bribe.

Meanwhile over in Costa Rica, Dennis Nedry (played by Wayne Knight, a.k.a.the police detective who got a nice close up view of when Sharon Stone uncrossed her legs in Basic Instinct) is waiting at a scruffy outdoor cafe area for a guy called Dodgson to arrive. Dodgson is doing his best to be incognito. Something clearly suspicious is going on. Dodgson hands Nedry a holdall bag containing $750,000 and offers to top it up to a cool $1.5 million if Nedry delivers him samples of all the species on the island. Dodgson works for a genetics company called Biosyn and is looking to steal dinosaur embryos from Ingen, John Hammond's company. He gives Nedry a can of shaving foam with a false bottom to smuggle them out in, and Nedry laughs like an evil pantomime villain, as if it's the most heinous plot ever devised in the history of mankind. Knight's overacting is actually amusing. You just know that Nedry is going to suffer a nasty death later on, and will probably deserve it.

A smile you'd just love to put a boot through
Alan and Ellie are now on their way to Isla Nublar by helicopter with Hammond and Gennaro, and it's now that we also meet Ian Malcolm (played by Jeff Goldblum) for the first time. He's a mathematician who specialises in Chaos Theory, and Gennaro's bought him along as another expert to endorse the island. Ian Malcolm immediately comes across as an even bigger asshole than Alan Grant...he dresses like a wannabe rock star (Hammond even refers to him as such), has a big shit-eating grin on his face, keeps chewing gum and has a ridiculous sounding laugh...he even attempts a lame chat up line on Ellie that goes down like a lead balloon. Again, you start wondering how enjoyable it might be if a dino killed this character off. So far, Jurassic Park hasn't done a great job of presenting its audience with characters it can really get behind and root for, but of course it's only quite early on. The helicopter lands, and the group make their way through the first electric fence and continue on their way towards the Visitor's Centre.


It's now that we get the first big money shot of the movie, where the group get to see what Jurassic Park is all about for the first time. It's a wonderful scene, that first keeps the camera on the faces of the characters (with the actors doing a great job of conveying their character's sheer disbelief at what they're seeing) and then slowly panning upwards and away from them to show the audience a huge brachiosaurus go walking by. Even now, the CGI effects used to create this thing look pretty impressive, Hammond says the line 'Welcome to Jurassic Park!' and it's a great introduction and gets you hyped up for what's yet to come. It's also here where Gennaro's true colours come out, and whilst everybody is looking on in amazement, he starts talking about how they're going to make a fortune with the Park. Boo, hiss. Typical slimy lawyer. You're meant to be making sure the Park is safe for the public first, Gennaro. You're gonna get yourself killed off, talking like that. At the Visitor's Centre, Hammond takes the others on a tour and shows them how the dinos are created. Dinosaur blood is extracted from mosquitos trapped in amber and the missing parts of the DNA sequences are replaced with frog DNA (remember this, it's important later on). We also get to see a baby velociraptor hatching out of an egg (Awwwww!) and learn that the dinos can't breed in the wild because they've all been engineered to be female. So that's comforting then, although not to Ian Malcolm who keeps his sceptic hat on.

Back outside at the velociraptor enclosure, we see Muldoon again, and he explains just how dangerous the raptors are to Grant...he talks about how fast they are and how they've been displaying basic problem solving skills...apparently, they originally bred 8 but then they introduced 'the big one' into the pack and she killed all but 2 of the others. Yikes. Muldoon thinks that they should all be destroyed, but where would the fun in that be?

Whoa! Dinosaurs! Awesome!
Gennaro now seems to have gone into full 'dollar dollar' mode, all he'll talk about is how much money the park will make and no longer seems bothered that there's dangerous killer dinos there (boo, hiss) whilst a change has come over Ian Malcolm and he's completely humbled by what he's seen and thinks they should be respecting nature more. He starts reading Hammond the riot act about playing God, and Ellie and Alan agree with him. Hammond starts getting pissed because only the greedy lawyer is backing him up. Then we find out that Hammond's 2 young grandchildren Tim and his sister Lex have just arrived on the island for a visit and everybody's about to go on a tour of the island, using some electric rail powered cars outside. Alan's face immediately drops...not because he's worried at this point about their safety, but because he's still a child hating douchebag. Tim admittedly is a bit of an annoying little shit...he rabbits on and on and on about dinosaur books he's read, but it's not really much of an excuse for the way Alan just takes him to the lead vehicle and slams the door on him. Miserable old bastard.

Royale with cheese!
Hammond then heads off into the control room and tells the chief engineer John Arnold (played by Samuel L motherfuckin' Jackson!) to start the ride, and the cars head off into the main part of Jurassic Park. First stop, the dilophosaurus enclosure. The vehicles are fitted with an audio guide that tells everybody that dilophosaurus spits poisonous venom at it's prey. Sounds interesting. But dilophosaurus is being awkward and can't be arsed showing itself to the visitors and so the tour moves on, with Alan disappointed. Pretty similar to the kind of experience many people have at a real safari park then. Back in the control room, Dennis Nedry is having a rant about his pay and arguing with Hammond about it. It's clear that he's a whiny little bitch  and gets on everybody's nerves...kind of makes you wonder why Hammond bothers employing him. Out on the tour, the cars have come to a stop outside the Tyrannosaur paddock, but the T-Rex is being as shy as the dilophosaurus was. John Arnold decides to try and tempt the T-Rex out by raising a cage containing a goat into the paddock, but the T-Rex is still having none of it. So far, this tour absolutely sucks.

Poor triceratops :(
En-route to the next area though, Alan spots a sick triceratops and jumps out of the vehicle for a closer look. While it's disappointing that we don't get to see this thing up on it's feet and running and charging around, it does give us a proper chance to see Stan Winston's creature effects up close and they're extremely impressive....even now, that thing looks like it could be a real live dinosaur. Ellie tries to diagnose it's illness by shoving her arms into a massive pile of it's dung (as you do!) but draws a blank. In the control room, Muldoon tells Hammond and Arnold that they'll have to cut the tour short as there's a massive storm on the way. Hammond is's all been a disaster so far. While the others are preoccupied, Nedry start to put his evil plan into action....

You got a problem, motherfucker?
Ellie stays behind with a park ranger to carry on tending to the sick triceratops whilst the others make their way back to the cars. Arnold tells Hammond that it's not been such a bad tour, things could have been worse. Arnold is smoking again. Seems like every time we see this guy, he's got a cigarette in his mouth. But it's Samuel L motherfuckin' Jackson, so we can let it slide. Nedry makes some excuse about wanting to go and get a snack, clicks on something on his computer and leaves...the evil little bastard has closed down the park security systems so he can go and steal the dinosaur embryos for Biosyn. He heads straight to the labs and starts loading up his shaving foam can with samples from tubes with such labels as 'Tyranosaurus Rex' and 'Stegasaurus'....those Ingen employees might be world leaders in the field of science, but they fail at spelling....and then heads out into the worsening storm and heads towards the docks where a Biosyn pickup boat is waiting for him. He can't see where he's going in the rain though, and after accidentally knocking down a sign he becomes disorientated and lost in the dark.

'Ah ha ha! You didn't say the magic word!'
After noticing that most of the electric fences in the park have powered down, Arnold frantically tries to get them back online again...unfortunately, Nedry has password locked his computer and an animated image of his face keeps appearing and laughing  'Please! Goddam it! I hate this hacker crap!' screams Arnold, never-ending cigarette still firmly in mouth. John Arnold is the man. Easily my favourite character in the movie at this point. Hammond remembers that the tour cars were on their way back to the Visitor's Centre and wonders where they've gotten to....with the power down, they've stopped right outside the T-Rex paddock. And the goat is still there, so there's no T-Rex about and everything's fine...isn't it?!? And that's when Tim starts feeling vibrations and notices ripples on the cups of water in the car where he, Lex and Gennaro are. Gennaro notices it too and is visibly concerned, but tries to dismiss it as maybe the power coming back on. Tim looks over towards where the goat was again, but the goat is gone. Lex asks where it is, and as if to answer, one of it's chewed off legs falls down and hits the roof of the car. They look up and see this....
Mmmm. Tastes like chicken!
At this point, Gennaro completely loses his shit and jumps out the car and makes a run for it, leaving the kids to fend for themselves. With the car door wide open. Horrible little prick. He finds a nearby toilet cubicle and hides inside. Outside, the T-Rex casually breaks through the now switched off electric fence and starts sniffing around the tour cars. Alan tells Ian to stay absolutely still as the T-Rex's vision is apparently based on movement. This hasn't been mentioned in the movie so far, and Dr Grant has never encountered a real live T-Rex before but nobody questions it, so we just take it as gospel.

Lemme in!
For some absolutely inane reason that's never explained, Lex finds a lamp in the car where she and Tim are, switches it on and shines it straight at the T-Rex's face whilst waving it around. Of course, the T-Rex sees this and stomps straight over to them. Tim screams at her to turn it off. Of course, Lex being Lex, she doesn't turn the light off. Tim tries to turn it off for her, but she starts struggling with him and waving the light around again, causing the T-Rex to start attacking them through the sunroof. As a tense, dramatic scene it works's just that the events leading up to it are all a bit silly. The T-Rex eventually gets frustrated and decides to overturn the car onto it's roof and start attacking the underneath, like a predator attacking the soft underbelly of it's prey. It puts it weight on the car and the 2 kids still trapped inside are in serious danger of being crushed.

Just what the hell is he doing?!?
It's only now, after having sat and watched all of this going on for a few minutes that the 2 adult assholes in the car behind decide to actually do anything to try to save the kids. Alan jumps out waving a flare around to distract the T-Rex and throws it into the T-Rex paddock. As the T-Rex is going after it, Ian steps out of the car waving another flare and distracts the T-Rex again, and tells Alan to get to the kids whilst running off in the opposite direction with the T-Rex chasing close behind. Not really the best idea he's ever had, seeing as a human can't really outrun a T-Rex but, hey...full marks for effort. Amusingly, the T-Rex chases Ian straight towards the toilet cubicle where the cowardly lawyer is hiding, and the T-Rex ploughs right through it. It's not clear what happens to Ian Malcolm...he appears to get bashed to one side and knocked out in all of the confusion...but it's pretty clear what happens to Gennaro....
Om nom nom!

Not a good time to be hanging around...
Alan is at the crushed tour car trying to retrieve the 2 kids from underneath it. He gets Lex out, only for the T-Rex to suddenly return after it's meal. Lex, who seems to have become a massive liability starts screaming like a banshee, and Alan has to grab hold of her and cup his hand over her mouth to shut her up and save her from becoming T-Rex chow....I'd have been tempted to snap her neck as well, but Alan keeps his cool. The T-Rex loses interest and goes back to attacking the car again - with Tim still trapped in it. Alan decides to abandon Tim and try and save Lex by hanging over the side of the precipice they're on...but it's all good, because the T-Rex decides to push the car (and Tim) over the edge after them as well! Good old T-Rex. The car narrowly misses Alan and Lex, and lands in a tree below  Back at the Control Centre and with problems still going on getting the security systems back online, Hammond decides it's about time to send Muldoon out to retrieve his grandchildren. Took him long enough. Arnold resigns himself to the fact that he can't get the systems operating again without Nedry.

But Nedry is out trying to find the East Docks and meet his Biosyn contact. Still lost and disorientated in the dark and heavy rain, he goes offroad and gets his jeep stuck at the top of a small waterfall, and whilst trying to free his vehicle he has an encounter with a dilophosaurus. This does not end well for Dennis, who finally gets what's coming to him. He even manages to lose the shaving foam can in the struggle, which ends up buried in mud, never to be found....
Mmmmm...rump steak!

Come back with my lunch!
Alan rescues Tim from his predicament, whilst at the T-Rex paddock Ellie and Muldoon come looking for everybody. They find the toilet cubicle (and Gennaro) in pieces, and Ian Malcolm lying injured nearby, with a makeshift torniquet holding his leg together, and help him into the jeep. They also find the other car which has now fallen out of the tree, but footprints leading away from it indicate Alan and the kids may be alive. They then have to get the hell out of there as the T-Rex decides to make a sudden, unwelcome reappearance. This chase sequence works really and does a good job of showing off the impressive special effects as the T-Rex charges after the jeep and smashes through a whole tree in the process as if it wasn't even there. A fucking tree! It also slams the side of the jeep, massively denting it but eventually it gives up. Alan and the kids, now wandering about the park on foot find another large tree to climb up and camp in for the rest of the night. Tim decides that now would be the best time to start cracking bad dinosaur jokes. Alan briefly considers murdering the annoying little brat with the fossilised raptor claw he's been carrying around in his back pocket since the start of the movie, but thinks better of it and throws it away.

I ate their ice cream with a nice chianti
Over in the Visitor's Centre, Hammond shows his deep concern for his grandchildren by stuffing his face with large tubs of ice cream and talking about getting Jurassic Park back up and running again and regaining control of things. He comes across as a complete sociopath. Ellie tells him he never had control, and that only the people they care about matter. But then she starts eating the Jurassic Park ice cream too. That stuff must be pretty good. It's even more addictive than Ben & Jerry's by the seems of it.

The following morning, Alan and the kids awaken to find a brachiosaurus munching on the leaves out of their tree. After a bit of an initial panic, Alan tells the kids to think of it as 'kind of a big cow'. Yeah, right. A big cow that could swallow you whole or accidentally squish you without even realising you were there, that is. Lex tries to make friends with it, and it reacts by sneezing all over her and covering her in dino snot. Seems like the brachiosaurus saw the earlier part of the movie where Lex almost got herself and Tim killed with the lamp in the tour car. With absolutely no concern for his sister now covered in all kinds of unknown dino germs and gunk, Tim shouts out a cheery 'God bless you!' to the brachiosaurus. He understands. The three of them start making the trek back to the Visitor's Centre, and along the way, Alan notices some hatched dino eggs. The dinos are breeding. Remember earlier on when Ingen said they used frog DNA to complete the dinosaur DNA sequences? Well it's now come back to bite them on the ass big time, as some frogs have been known to spontaneously change sex in a single-sex environment. And not a single one of these 'experts' saw it coming. D'oh!

Hello, ladies! Dr. Malcolm
Ian Malcolm, not content with being a mere rock god earlier on, has now decided to be a sex god for the rest of the film. Phew. Universal Studios should've just upped the age classification to an '18' rating and had done with it. Lying with his shirt completely unbuttoned, he listens to the discussion with interest. Still locked out of the security systems by Nedry's password, Hammond wants to shut the power down completely to reset everything. Arnold isn't quite so sure. Arnold is still puffing on his cigarettes and worrying about things. But Arnold is Samuel L motherfuckin' Jackson so we take notice of him. Muldoon mentions something called 'The Lysine Contingency'...basically, the dinos have been genetically modified so that they can't produce an essential amino acid themselves and will die without it being administered to them after awhile...but the sociopathic Hammond is having none of it. He will have control back, dammit. And these dinos must be bloody expensive to create. So Arnold reluctantly flicks off the main power switch and out go the lights...he switches it back on and nothing happens. A computer screen flickers back into life though so something's worked. Arnold thinks that the shutdown tripped the circuit breakers at the other end of the compound in a maintenance shed, so he heads off in that direction. He says he'll be back in a few minutes minutes and everybody else relocates to an emergency bunker nearby.

Outside, Alan and the kids are still on their way back. They encounter a herd of fleeing gallimimus, and as they duck out of harms way behind a fallen tree, the T-Rex comes charging into view and chomps down on one of the herd. This thing is fucking relentless and keeps appearing pretty much everywhere. After stopping for a brief moment to watch how it kills and eats it's prey, Alan grabs Tim and Lex and continues on to the Visitor's Centre.

I've got a big gun, and I aint afraid to use it
The lights still aren't back on, and Ellie is worried that something's gone wrong. She want to go and check the maintenance shed. Muldoon says he'll go with her and kits himself out with a combat shotgun. He doesn't offer one to Ellie despite having a whole locker full of them, but then she complains that Hammond is sexist when he offers to go instead of her. Ian Malcolm just stays where he is, lying on the table and trying to ooze sex appeal (see above). Outside, Muldoon glances over at the velociraptor enclosure to see that the fence has been broken and they've escaped. This is not fact, Muldoon seems more bothered by the raptors getting out than the T-Rex. At this point, I was wondering why Muldoon hadn't offered Arnold one of his shotguns either. Or why John Arnold thought it would be a good idea to go outside unarmed. But then I remembered that he's Samuel L motherfuckin' Jackson and put it out of my mind. Nearby the maintenance shed, Muldoon realises that he and Ellie are being hunted by the raptors, and tells her to make a run for it. She gets to the maintenance shed and slams the door behind her. There's no sign of John Arnold.

Alan, Lex and Tim reach a deactivated electric fence they need to climb over. Because Alan still hasn't quite learned how to be nice around kids yet, he grabs hold of the fence, pretends to be electrocuted and scares the absolute shit out of them for a few seconds...considering all the other stuff Lex and Tim have been through so far, this is just plain mean. But whilst he's having his cheap laugh, they hear the T-Rex roar...and it doesn't sound very far away so they start hurrying to climb.  Meanwhile, in a maintenance shed not a million miles away, Ellie is busy restoring all of the park's power, resulting in Tim actually legit getting zapped before he has a chance to jump off the other side, and he goes flying backwards from the fence, comedy style. Luckily Alan manages to catch him.

Hey! I'm over here, dumbass!
Ellie meanwhile has her hands full. There's a raptor in the maintenance shed and it attacks just as she hits the last switch. Luckily, Samuel L motherfuckin' Jackson is here to lend a hand! A whole arm even, as that's pretty much all that's left of him at this point. Ellie escapes by the skin of her teeth. Nearby, Muldoon, still the only person with a weapon, is looking to bag himself a raptor. He hates these things. He understands them really well. He knows his shit. He's way too experienced to end up as raptor chow. But he also makes the schoolboy error of not looking left or right when he's crossing the jungle and doesn't see the raptor stalking him until the very last second. With his famous last words 'Clever girl!', Muldoon becomes the latest casualty.

Come on out! We won't bite!
Alan manages to revive Tim from the brink of death with CPR and finally they make it back to the Visitor's Centre...but there's nobody waiting for them. Alan leaves the kids in the dining area where he thinks it will be safe and goes off to find the others...outside he finds a traumatized Ellie. The raptors have now invaded the Visitor's Centre and go straight after the kids. Tim and Lex move to hide out in the kitchens (making sure to pass by a stylist en-route, check out their hair as they come running through the door), and the raptors who have now suddenly learned how to open doors follow them in. After a really tense few moments of ducking and dodging, they manage to trap one of the raptors in the freezer before Alan and Ellie come to the rescue with one of Muldoon's shotguns. Ellie still hasn't armed herself at this point for some reason. It's almost like she has a death wish.

Ooh, yeah...right there! That hits the spot!
They dash off to the Control Room where Alan and Ellie frantically try to hold the door shut against the other raptor, whilst Tim seemingly starts having a mental breakdown. Lex, who up until now has been the most useless character in the movie suddenly regains her composure and uses her Unix hacking skills to get the park security systems back online. The 3D graphics on the display screen chug along with all the speed and finesse of a snail sliding though quicksand. They sure don't make 'em back like they used to in 1993. After a last quick look at Dennis Nedry's softcore porn desktop wallpaper, Lex gets everything up and running again. Alan calls Hammond on the internal phone network to let him know the good news. As the phone rings out and we cut to the bunker, we see Hammond and Malcolm sharing a tender moment. Obviously it was getting pretty lonely down there, and Hammond was finding Dr Malcolm's raw animal magnetism way too hard to resist.

After firing a couple of shotgun blasts off at the raptor (and completely missing it) Alan, Ellie and the kids climb into the ventilation system to escape, and end up back in the main foyer of the Visitor's Centre, where the remaining 2 raptors attack again from both sides. Just as things are starting to look really bad, here comes the fucking T-Rex again as well! Seriously. This thing has a whole island to explore, but it never seems to be any more than a minute away from the people at any given time. Luckily, the T-Rex doesn't seem to like the raptors much and swiftly attacks and kills them, inadvertently rescuing Alan, Ellie and the kids in the process who escape in the confusion. The last shot we see of the T-Rex is of it standing tall in the Visitor's Centre, with a banner saying 'When dinosaurs ruled the earth' draped around it. It's a really fitting way to leave things, as the T-Rex now pretty much rules what's left of Jurassic Park. After one last sad look back at the island, and finally realising the error of his ways, Hammond gets onto the escape helicopter with the others and Grant stares out of the window at birds peacefully flying by, presumably wondering if his evolution theories have been correct after all. The main Jurassic Park theme plays us out as the credits start to roll.
It's all mine now!

The Summary: So what can be said about Jurassic Park? Sure, if you take the plot purely at face value, it does have it's inconsistencies and some of the stuff it presents as scientific fact is pretty much ludicrous. There's a whole group of people who seem to have been completely forgotten about later in the movie....all the Ingen scientists who were first seen in the lab at the start of Hammond's tour and the park ranger Ellie spoke to nearby the triceratops....what happened to them? Did they just knock off from work early and go back to the mainland? Did the T-Rex or velociraptors massacre them? How did Lex know how to navigate a system that she'd never seen before and pull out the correct files, even if her hacking skills are that damn good? Why the hell would you kill off Samuel L motherfuckin' Jackson anyway? But it builds up towards the action at just the right pace, and when the main action sequences do kick in, they're a blast. Even over 20 years later, the effects still look great and the performances from all of the main stars are pretty convincing...there's a few interesting personal journeys going on, with the likes of Alan Grant going from child hating douche to reasonably likeable hero, Ian Malcolm changing from cocky know-it-all mathematician to the voice of reason, and Donald Gennaro just becoming an even bigger twat than he started off as. Special mention too has to go to the John Williams soundtrack and the main's fantastic, fits every scene perfectly and really captures the mood and sense of wonder that Spielberg was trying to convey.

I still don't know quite why it didn't really capture my imagination so much when it was on the big screen (I still mostly blame the book) but it's definitely become one of my favourite movies over the last couple of decades, and I seem to enjoy it that bit more every time I revisit it, and it's a testament to it's legacy that it's already spawned 2 sequels with a fourth movie on the way. Hopefully it won't be too much of a letdown, but even if it is, then we'll always at least still have this to go back to.

TromaDogg's Final Verdict: 9/10

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