Universal (Amblin Entertainment Production)
Spielberg’s sci-fi adventure of 1993, his most commercially successful picture to date, is defined by state-of-the-art special effects, supervised by the ace team of Stan Winston, Phil Tippett, and Michael Lantieri, conducted at his friend and collaborator George Lucas’s Industrial Light & Magic.
The thriller’s story is second-rate and the characters are secondary in importance to the technological magic, the kind of which has never before seen in Hollywood movies.
The tale centers on two dinosaur experts, Dr. Alan Grant (the appealing Aussie actor Sam Neill) and Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), who are invited by the eccentric millionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough, better known as director, of “Gandhi,” “”Ä Chorus Line” and others) to preview his new amusement park on an island off Costa Rica.
By cloning DNA harvested from pre-historical insects, Hammond claims that he’s able to create living dinosaurs for his new Jurassic Park, an immense animal preserve, housing real brachiosaurs, dilophosaurs, triceratops, velociraptors, and Tyrannosaur Rex.
The team is accompanied by a cynical named scientist Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), who is obsessed with chaos theory, a character that adds much color to the proceedings.
Like most of Spielberg’s movies (Ë.T.,” “Poltergeist,” “Ëmpire of the Sun”), “Jurassic Park” unfolds as a multi-generational family fare. The movie includes several youngsters in major roles, Hammond’s two grandchildren (Ariana Richards and Joseph Mazzello), who are sent on a tour through Hammond’s new resort in computer-controlled cars.
Things change, when a tropical storm hits the island, knocking out the power supply, and a greedy and corrupt employee (Wayne Knight) sabotages the system so that he can smuggle dinosaur embryos out of the park. As a result, the dinosaurs start to rage out of control.
Grant’s mission is to bring Hammond’s grandchildren back to safety, as the group is pursued by the gigantic beasts, an action that takes all of the film’s last reel.
“Jurassic Park” is considered to be the first Hollywood picture to benefit from a brilliantly planned global marketing and publicity campaigns.
Amblin’s marketing consultant Marvin Levy, along with marketing v.p. Brad Globe said about the campaign and release pattern: “From day one, it was envisioned on a global basis for obvious reasons. The film has a built-in hook since dinosaurs are already an international phenomenon. Said Levy: “You’re not dealing with a myth indigenous to just America, but with a worldwide cultural mythology.”
“Jurassic Park”” grossed over $900 million worldwide, surpassing the previous champion, Spielberg own film, “E.T.” (1982), to become the highest-grossing film up to that time. In 1997, it was surpassed by James Cameron’s Oscar-winning “Titanic.” It currently ranks as the 25th highest-grossing film.
“Jurassic Park” won the three Academy Awards: for Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Visual Effects.
MPAA Rating: PG-13.
Running time: 126 Minutes.
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Written by David Koepp, Michael Crichton
Released: June 11, 1993
DVD: October 10, 2000