Jurassic Park 3D Review
Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi classic is made even better with a fantastic conversion in Jurassic Park 3D.
Jurassic Park, like Star Wars and Jaws before it, was one of those projects that changed blockbuster filmmaking forever. With its pioneering usage of computer-generated creatures and ingenious storytelling, Steven Spielberg’s dinosaur film was massively successful in terms of breaking new ground. Not only that, it came close to earning $1 billion at the international box office and was a great hit with both audiences and critics. 20 years have passed, and it is now regarded as a classic. Now, Universal Pictures has seized an opportunity to release Jurassic Park 3D to celebrate its 20th Anniversary. In the end, is it worth extra money to see Jurassic Park in the 3D format?
If you are not familiar with the story of Jurassic Park, it explains that billionaire and CEO of International Genetic Technologies John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) has been overseeing development of an amusement park for several years. This park has perhaps the single most incredible niche one could ask for – dinosaurs, which were genetically recreated through DNA extracted from fossilized mosquitoes that drank dinosaur blood millions of years ago. In an effort to convince investors and lawyers that JurassicPark will be a safe and profitable project, Hammond invites paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) to come to the park and see its majesty for themselves.
Before seeing Jurassic Park 3D last Friday, it had been a few years since I had last watched it. After the fact, I wondered to myself why I don’t watch Jurassic Park more often, because it is a fantastic adventure. Writers Michael Crichton (who also wrote the book) and David Koepp easily could have written a straight-up B movie. But their script takes a brilliant idea and executes it wonderfully- with fun dialogue, memorable characters and ideas to dwell upon. Sure, this film may take some liberties with the source material, but even so the message of tampering with nature is still intact, and proves to be very effective. Plus, Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm is still one of the best side characters ever put to film. On top of a solid story, Jurassic Park has held up even after two decades because of the untouchable work done by the visual effects crew, John Williams and of course director Steven Spielberg. In its day, the visual effects were at a level that nobody had ever seen; amazingly, the special effects in Jurassic Park are still incredible. I would even argue that there is better CGI work in Jurassic Park than in plenty of films released today. This is of course a credit to Steven Spielberg and his team, for it’s apparent that they all were dedicated to this project and took extreme care in making Jurassic Park as convincing as possible.
Spielberg also once again showed that he is one of the best directors working in Hollywood, for his skills that he acquired in directing Jaws carried over here since there is tension, sheer terror and intensity when needed. Even though I have always had a boyish love for dinosaurs, the infamous kitchen scene involving the velociraptors was enough to give me nightmares as a kid. The second half of Jurassic Park is full of priceless intense scenes like that, and tension is sustained throughout the film. Lastly, John William’s musical score helps to make Jurassic Park an immensely memorable experience. Although the first encounter with the brachiosaurus was already striking simply because of the visuals, Williams’ theme adds that extra magic to make that encounter one of the most memorable scenes in history. His music has always been great, but the soundtrack for here is unarguably one of his best efforts. In short, even though Jurassic Park may not be the most perfect movie out there, it is still an ideal example of how to handle a film of this kind, along with setting the standard for how modern visual effects should be utilized.
As for the 3D, I am happy to report that this is perhaps the best post-conversion job I have ever seen. The effect is not harmful to the eyes, and it is amazing how well it adds to Jurassic Park 3D despite the fact that Jurassic Park was filmed 20 years ago – produced long before 3D’s revival. All of the film’s most intense moments are heightened because of the effect, and it’s also surprising how many “things-are-popping-out-at-you” moments there are in the film – but they don’t feel forced, thankfully. What’s most impressive about the 3D is that it has more of an immersive impact, much akin to the groundbreaking experience in Avatar. This film is even more cinematic and visceral with the 3D factored into the equation. Along with a crisp restoration of the original film, the end result is a fantastic example of when 3D can actually enhance an experience.
That said, it would be perfectly fine to see Jurassic Park 3D whenever 2D showings are available in case you want to save a few bucks. This science fiction classic still holds up visually even after twenty years of technological advancements, so it will look gorgeous no matter what format in which you choose to see it. Nonetheless, I highly recommend the 3D because the treatment that the transfer was given is unparalleled. Jurassic Park 3D is a more cinematic experience than ever before. If you have never seen this classic, I implore you to check it out while you can because I guarantee you will be riveted from beginning to end- and it might just change your mind about 3D.