A Jurassic Review, Vol. 1: Jurassic Park

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A tyrannosaurus rex terrorizes people trapped in a car in a scene from the 1993 American film Jurassic Park directed by Steven Spielberg. The sci-fi adventure stars Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum. The film is an adaptation of Michael Crichton's novel of the same name. (Photo by Murray Close/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images)

A testament to its nature, the Jurassic Park franchise has been an adventure 65 million years in the making. It is a piece of pop culture that is so ingrained within us all, dinosaurs have captured the imagination of the entire world. From the ferocious Velociraptors to the philosophical viewpoints on cloning and genetics, Jurassic Park is one of the most significant pieces of American cinema in the last 30 years. This series will illustrate the illustrious legacy that dinosaurs have had on society. Firstly, this volume will showcase our first adventure on an island off the coast of Costa Rica: Isla Nublar.

Welcome… to Jurassic Review

The Good: Dinosaurs, Cameos and Memes Galore

A spoonful of amber, a dash of chaos, and a heaping teaspoon of dinosaur DNA. Inside the mixing bowl and out of the oven? You get Jurassic Park. Directed by the masterful director Steven SpielbergJurassic Park was the crowning achievement of sci-fi thrillers during the 1990s. It revolutionized CGI animation, the way we think about cloning and genetic engineering, and how we look at dinosaurs. With the thematic fantasy of dinosaurs defying extinction and being used in an amusement park, what could possibly go wrong? Well, when you add in a money-grubbing employee and a pack full of five-foot-tall predators with an intelligence quotient of at least 200, then you have a recipe for disaster. Delving into the biology of dinosaurs captured audiences around the world.

But back then in the early ’90s, grunge music was all the rage, and Bill Clinton became a household name. No one knew what a Velociraptor was before Jurassic Park.

A perfect blend of accomplished actors and famous dinosaur species earned a huge payday from that movie. Sam Neil and Laura Dern with their scientific intellect, Jeff Goldblum with his snappy and witty banter, Samuel L. Jackson and Wayne Knight as InGen employees; that’s all-star casting in its own right. All the while, these actors are encountering the greatest predator that has ever lived: the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Once the power turned off, it was a fight for survival for the humans. For the T. Rex, it was a five-star buffet. For the raptors, it was their twisted playground.

This movie also resulted in the birth of the Jeff Goldblum meme in recent years. Need we say more?

The Bad: Little DNA Material, and a Bad Employee

While the thrill of watching raptors hunt for tasty human morsels in a kitchen may make your hair stand on end, it would have been interesting to see other species get caught in the limelight as well. While the franchise certainly made both the Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor into full-blown movie stars, other dinosaurs in the movie got overshadowed easily. The sick Triceratops, the herds of Brachiosaurus and Parasaurolophus got small screen time, even though being solidified as members of the Jurassic Park franchise.

However, on a much more humorous, and even darker note, the Dilophosaurus killed the fat dude from Seinfield. That was pretty kickass.

The chosen species was not the problem; it was more of a quantitative issue, unfortunately. More screen time perhaps? More species such as Stegosaurus or Pteranodon that were shown in later films? Six species total seems a bit…weak. Hell, even an extended tour with more of the duck-billed titans of the Cretaceous would have been awesome to see. The honking calls of the Parasaurolophus combined with the thunderous steps of the Brachiosaurus would have been great to expand upon during the beginning of the film. Aside from sounding too poetic, stronger scene presence could have been easily abused.

And of course, the scientific inaccuracies of the movie is a whole new can of worms that hardcore fans will argue over till the end of time.

Last Word: Six-Foot Turkeys Are All The Rage, Jurassic Park Is Here To Stay

In short, calling Jurassic Park a “blockbuster” would certainly be an understatement. The movie’s impact on cinema and pop culture is just as colossal as the steps of the Tyrannosaurus. And to put it bluntly, the raptors are straight up dope. It truly is the perfect culmination of action, sci-fi thriller and fantasy combined. Extinct animals coming back to life and wreaking havoc on an island. It goes to show how much of an impact six-foot turkeys that can open doors have audiences around the world.

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