Jurassic Park is a 1993 American science fiction adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, the late Richard Attenborough, the late Bob Peck, Martin Ferrero, B. D. Wong, Samuel L. Jackson, Wayne Knight, Joseph Mazzelo and Ariana Richards. It is an adaptation of the 1990 novel of the same name by Michael Crichton, who himself wrote the film's screenplay along with David Koepp. It was released on June 11, 1993, by Universal Pictures, the film received major positive reviews and was a box office success. The film was re-released in 3D on April 5, 2013, for the film's 20th anniversary, with some minor changes. The film spawned five sequels, toys, video games, comics, and merchandise.
In 2018, the Library of Congress added the film in the National Film Registry for being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
In a theme park populated by cloned dinosaurs called Jurassic Park created by industrialist John Hammond and his company InGen located in an island called Isla Nublar (an island 120 miles west of Costa Rica), the park's game warden named Robert Muldoon (Peck) along with a group of construction workers are offloading the alpha-female of a Velociraptor pack dubbed "The Big One" in a large container. When she attacks to escape, Muldoon starts to scream "Shoot her" while trying to save a worker, but the worker gets killed by the raptor. Meanwhile, at the Mano de Dios (Spanish for "Hand of God") Amber mine in the Dominican Republic, the park's inventors, presented by a lawyer named Donald Gennaro (Ferrero), demand that experts visit the park and certify it is safe. Later on in Snakewater, Montana, palaeontologists and paleobotanists find a Velociraptor skeleton. One of the palaeontologists/paleobotanists are Dr. Alan Grant (Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Dern). Grant goes to a trailer where he finds John Hammond (Attenborough) taking a bottle from a fridge. Ellie comes in, and Hammond wants to invite them to his dinosaur-populated theme park. Meanwhile, in San José, Costa Rica, head research at Biosyn (a company similar to InGen) Lewis Dodgson (Cameron Thor) meets Jurassic Park's lead programmer Dennis Nedry (Knight) at a restaurant. He gives him a canister disguised as Barbasol shaving cream and $1.5 million he is going to pay him for stealing dinosaur embryos, so Dennis agrees. Hammond, Grant, and Ellie arrive on Isla Nublar via a helicopter along with mathematician and chaos theorist Ian Malcolm (Goldblum), who calls himself a "chaotician" and Gennaro. They take two Jeep Wranglers out in the park, where they are amazed to see a live Brachiosaurus. Hammond welcomes them as they see a herd of Parasaurolophus.
Hammond and the guests go to the Visitor Center, where they watch a cartoon featuring a character named "Mr. DNA" about how InGen created the dinosaurs. The guests learn that InGen recreated dinosaurs using DNA taken from mosquitoes, who had been feasting on dinosaur blood and preserved in amber. The mosquito DNA was spliced with frog DNA to fill in the gaps of the genetic code. At the laboratory, they meet geneticist Dr. Henry Wu (Wong) and see a baby Velociraptor's birth, and Wu tells them all dinosaurs in the park are female to prevent uncontrolled breeding. Ian declares it will inevitably break down, scoffing the idea of such controlled breeding. The crew visits the Raptor Pit where employees feed a cow to a raptor and meet Muldoon, who explains there are only three raptors all together because the alpha female The Big One killed all but two of the others, a total of eight raptors. During the luncheon, the guests debate the ethics of cloning and the creation of the park. After the lunch, they meet Hammond's grandchildren, Lex and Tim Murphy (Richards and Mazzelo), for a tour of the park and are touring around in electric Ford Explorer tour vehicles. At the same time, Hammond observes the control room of the park with a chief engineer named Ray Arnold (Jackson). Grant, Ian, and Ellie take Explorer 05 while Gennaro, Tim, and Lex take Explorer 04. The group visits the Dilophosaur Paddock, but the Dilophosaurus fails to appear, the tour starts to go overwhelmingly bland. Hammond tells Dennis, who returned to the park, that he'll not get drawn with another financial debate with him. Meanwhile, the guests are approaching the Tyrannosaur Paddock, but the Tyrannosaurus fails to appear, and instead, they see a goat released out in the wild close to the fence to attract the dinosaur and eat it. With most dinosaurs failing to appear, the tour goes boring. Ian flirts with Ellie by explaining Chaos theory while on the tour and Grant, and she leaves the tour while Ian stays in the vehicle.
Meanwhile, in the Control Room, Dennis looks at his computer while talking to one of Dodgson's assistants and decides to take the Barbasol can. The group encounters a sick Triceratops that fell sick from eating West Indian Lilac (Tetrazygia bicolor) in the Triceratops Paddock and veterinarian Dr. Harding (Gerard M. Molen) and Ellie take care of the Triceratops with Harding. Meanwhile, the tour is cut short due to a tropical cyclone approaching Isla Nublar, and most employees evacuate on a boat to the mainland, except for Hammond, Muldoon, and Ray. Meanwhile, Harding and Ellie are digging through the Trike's (Triceratops) dung as the others return to their tour vehicles. After shutting down the park's security system with a computer virus-like backdoor known as "Whte rbt.obj," Dennis goes to the Cold Storage Room, where he steals the embryos and stores them inside the can before leaving to East Dock by using a Jeep Wrangler. The result causes the power to go out, the tour vehicles to stop, and Dennis escapes the Visitor Center, traveling to the East Dock. When Lex, Tim, and Gennaro see the Tyrannosaurus who eats the abandoned goat, Gennaro flees to hide in the bathroom. The Tyrannosaurus breaks out of her pen and attacks Lex and Tim by flipping the vehicle over. Luckily, Grant distracts her with a flare that he throws for her to catch. Ian then distracts her with a flare of his own. While chasing Ian, the Tyrannosaurus destroys the bathroom, injuring Ian and revealing Gennaro. After the predator eats Gennaro, Grant saves Lex from being crushed, but not Tim and the two escape as the car gets caught in a tree before the T. rex roars in a fearsome way. Hammond tells Ellie and Muldoon to find his grandchildren.
Meanwhile, Dennis crashes his jeep and ends up getting lost. He tries to winch it to East Dock but slips on the mud he was standing on, losing his glasses. While tying the rope to the closest tree, Dennis finds a juvenile Dilophosaurus and ridicules the dinosaur by saying that it wants to play fetch The Dilophosaurus spits out venom at his chest. Then his eyes after Dennis crawled away to get inside the Jeep, causing him to nearly go blind to knock his head on the roof of the vehicle and to drop his Barbasol in the process can before he gets in his jeep. Inside the jeep, a dinosaur kills Dennis, and mud drowns the canister. Grant and Lex briefly shower in a tiny waterfall, and Grant climbs the tree and finds Tim in the SUV. They climb down the tree as the jeep crashes down, but they manage to avoid getting injured. Ellen and Muldoon arrive in the Tyrannosaur Paddock and find Ian, believing him to be the only survivor of the attack. Still, before leaving, Ellen notices Grant and the Murphy kids' footprints. The Tyrannosaurus chases after the three in their jeep, but they successfully escape from her since the fearsome carnivore lost interest in them. Grant, Lex, and Tim climb a tree where they see five Brachiosaurs. Hammond and Ellie have a conversation in the Visitor Center's "Cretaceous Cafe," with Ellie saying that the only thing that matters now is the survival of the people they love. Meanwhile, after feeding a sick Brachiosaurus that sneezes at Lex, the trio find hatched Velociraptor eggs in the Velociraptor Paddock. It means that the dinosaurs have been breeding, which occurred because of their frog DNA. West African frogs, such as the common reed frog, are capable of changing sex from female to male in a single-sex environment, thus making them sequential hermaphrodites. While noticing baby raptor footprints, he says that "life found a way."
Meanwhile, in the Control Room, Ray is unable to hack Dennis Nedry's computer to reactivate the security system, so he does a system restart. Later on in the Gallimimus Enclosure, Grant and the Murphy children see a herd of Gallimimus running away from a predator before hiding behind a fallen log. The predator turns out to be the Tyrannosaurus, who eats one of them as they watch the scene. When Ray fails to return, Ellie and Muldoon go to the Raptor Pit, only to discover the raptors have escaped. Muldoon tells Ellie to go to the Maintenance Shed and turn the power back while he goes hunting the raptors. To hide from the hungry Tyrannosaur, Grant and Lex climb down the fence, but Tim doesn't want to climb down because he's scared. Ellie restores the power, causing Tim to be electrocuted and to fall. She finds a raptor who tries to attack her and discovers Ray's severed arm before escaping. While Muldoon tries to hunt the raptors, he puts his hat down to shoot. However, raptor leader The Big One finds him, whom he calls "Clever girl." She jumps out of the bushes, tackles him to the ground, and eventually kills him as another raptor watches. Meanwhile, Grant does CPR on Tim and wakes Tim up. They go back to the Visitor Center where nobody's there, and Grant leaves to find Ellie. While Tim is eating with Lex, he sees a raptor's shadow, so he and Lex go to hide in the industrial kitchen. Unfortunately, The Big One's raptor comrades open the door to pursue them. One of the raptor comrades seeks Tim into a freezer, but Tim and Lex lock the door, leaving the raptor to freeze to death.
Tim, Lex, Grant, and Ellie go to the Control Room, where Lex succeeds to restore full power while Grant and Ellie hold off the Big One trying to open the door to the room, allowing Grant to call Hammond for a helicopter rescue of the survivors. After Grant shoots The Big One through the glass, she breaks into the room through the window as Grant and the others climb up into the ceiling crawlspace and arrive at the Visitor Center's main entrance. They are surrounded by the Big One and the last raptor of her pack, before out of nowhere the Tyrannosaurus appears and kills the Big One before the last raptor jumps on her back. As Hammond and the injured Ian arrive to pick up Grant and the others, Grant tells him not to endorse his park, which Hammond responds, "So have I." The Tyrannosaurus then throws the raptor into the Visitor Center Tyrannosaur skeleton, destroying it and killing her before roaring. The group board a helicopter to leave the island, where Hammond looks at his amber cane, and the children fall asleep as a flock of pelicans fly, and the film ends.
Why It Rocks
- Groundbreaking visual and special effects for the dinosaurs, especially the animatronics that still hold up today. The special effects artists Phil Tippett, Dennis Muren, and the late legendary Stan Winston later won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects in 1994. (see below)
- In the iconic kitchen sequence, the raptors, in some shots, are portrayed by guys wearing suits, and it's well done because you cannot tell if they are CGI-rendered or played by guys in suits.
- Amazing acting, especially from Sam Neill, Richard Attenborough, and Jeff Goldblum. Wayne Knight was also good as the villain Dennis Nedry.
- Fantastic, thrilling, and sometimes beautiful score composed by none other than the legendary John Williams, especially the "Main Theme." And this was his twelfth collaboration with Spielberg, after 1991's Hook and 1989's Always.
- Great casting choices, especially Sam Neill, Richard Attenborough, and Samuel L. Jackson.
- The story, despite taking some liberties, followed the plot's key moments of the novel and was also written by Michael Crichton, the author of the original novel.
- The fight between the T. rex (nicknamed "Roberta" in Phil Tippett's storyboards for the film) and the raptors is awesome!
- Memorable characters, especially Alan Grant and Ian Malcolm.
- The T. rex terrified many people, further proving how advanced the special effects are.
- Pretty scary moments like when the T. rex first appears in the dark and the opening scene.
- Speaking of the opening scene, it is great and is like a wild cross between King Kong and Area 51, and all you see of any dinosaur from now at least; is a yellow eye.
- The film spawned a couple of pretty good video games for the Sega Genesis and arcades, among others.
- The "Mr. DNA" cartoon is nicely animated.
- It has the iconic scenes with the raptors in the kitchen and the T. rex chase, which are still iconic. The T. rex chase scene was later parodied in 1999's Toy Story 2.
- The entire theme park itself looks amazing since it was shot in a Kauai, a nice place.
- The cinematography is pretty good.
- Excellent directing by Steven Spielberg.
- Excellent pacing that is purposeful and taut, considering the film is 2 hours and 6 minutes long.
- There's a nice Easter Egg reference to Spielberg's 1975 classic Jaws where during the scene before the group encounters the sick Triceratops, you can see the scene from Jaws where Brody sees the shark on one of Nedry's computer screens. Not only that, but there are also references to 1933's King Kong and even Return of the Jedi from 1983.
- Great dialogue and like "Dr. Grant and my dear Dr. Sattler, welcome to Jurassic Park" (which is found on the infobox), "We have a T. rex."
- Great and memorable quotes, such as "Clever girl," which later became a very well known internet meme.
- The poster by the late John Alvin is well-drawn, and there are also some very well drawn alternate posters too.
- Amazing sound mixing, especially the iconic T. rex roar, which was an amalgam of crocodile, alligator, lion, baby elephant, penguin, and tiger sounds.
- There are some continuity errors like during the birth of the baby raptor, there's a robotic arm behind the egg. However, it later disappears when the raptor is born.
- While the CGI stills hold up to this day, it may be slightly dated in a few scenes.
- Though the dialogue is great, some are rather odd and not the kind of stuff you hear in real life.
- "It's a UNIX system, I know this!"
- It deviates from and leaves out lots of parts from the book, most of which would have been beneficial.
The film followed $3.1 million from midnight screenings on June 10, it earned $47 million in its first weekend, with a total of $50.1 million breaking the opening weekend record set by Batman Returns released a year before. The film grossed over $81.7 million by the end of its first week and stayed at number one for three weeks. In the United States and Canada, it eventually grossed $357 million. Box Office Mojo estimates that the movie sold over 86.2 million tickets in the US in its initial theatrical run. Jurassic Park did very well in international markets, breaking opening records in India, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom, ultimately grossing over $914 million worldwide, with Spielberg reportedly making over $250 million from the film. The film surpassed Spielberg's own E.T. the Extraterrestrial released in 1982 as the highest-grossing film of all time worldwide and became second to E.T. in North America earnings before 1997's Titanic, the first film to gross more than $1 billion surpassed the film's record in 1998.
The film's 3D re-release opened at #4 in North America, with $18.6 million from 2,771 locations. IMAX showings accounted for over $6 million, with the 32% being the highest IMAX share ever for a nationwide release. In the last week of August, the international release had its more successful weekend when it succeeded in climbing to the top of the overseas box office with a $28.8 million debut in China. As of August 2013, the reissue earned over $45 million in North America and over $44.5 million internationally, leading to a lifetime gross of over $402 in North America and over $628,723,171 overseas, totaling up to a worldwide gross of $1.029 billion, making it the 17th film to surpass the $1 billion mark. It was the first and only Universal film to surpass the $1 billion mark until 2015, when the studio got three such films, Furious 7, Minions and Jurassic World, the fourth installment in the Jurassic Park franchise. By 2017, it ranks as the highest-grossing film directed by Spielberg, the 4th highest-grossing Universal released film, and the 22nd highest-grossing film of all time.
Jurassic Park was critically acclaimed by critics. The film currently holds a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 123 reviews, with an average rating of 8.3/10 and a critic consensus that reads "Jurassic Park is a spectacle of special effects and life-like animatronics, with some of Spielberg's best sequences of sustained awe and sheer terror since Jaws. On Metacritic, the film has a score of 68/100 based on 20 critic reviews, and it got an 8.1/10 on IMDb.
Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times gave the film a 3 out of 4 stars and noted, "You want great dinosaurs, you got great dinosaurs." Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film an A-, saying "Spielberg's peerless twin gift has always been for making the fantastic seem real (Close Encounters, E.T., the Indiana Jones trilogy) and the real fantastic (Jaws)." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film a 3 out of 4 stars, saying, "You won't believe your eyes." Chris Stuckmann of Moviedex gave it an A+, calling it "A film that managed to terrify a generation of children one minute, leave them eager to hunt for fossils in their backyard the next."
Jurassic Park won three Academy Awards (Best Sound Editing for Gary Rydstrom and Richard Hymns, Best Sound Mixing for Gary Summer, Rydstrom, Shawn Murphy, and Ron Jenkins, and Best Visual Effects for Dennis Murren, Stan Winston, Phil Tippett, and Michael Lantieri). At the BAFTA Awards, it won two of them; Best Special Effects to Murren, Winston, Tippett, and Lantieri and Best Sound for Summers, Rydstrom, Murphy, and Judkins. The film won a Czech Lion Award for Best Foreign Language Film for Spielberg, and it also won a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.
In 2018, the same year AMW was released, the film was preserved in the United States Film Registry, being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
- Isla Nublar was modeled after Cocos Island.
- The original ending for the film showed a raptor getting crushed by dinosaur bones and the Big One getting shot by John Hammond.
- The T. rex animatronic created for the movie stood 20 feet (6 meters) in height, 40 feet (12 meters) in length, and weighed 9 tons. It was built from fiberglass and 3,000 pounds of clay, and it took 12 different operators to get it to replicate the right movements.
- This was Richard Attenborough’s first film role in 14 years (since The Human Factor in 1979)
- The film had a paleontologist consultant who advised not only Sam Neill and Laura Dern regarding their characters, but also Steven Spielberg and the production on the aesthetics and behaviors of dinosaurs.
- The film features only about 15 minutes of dinosaur footage, despite a running time of more than two hours.
- Most of Jurassic Park was shot on location in Hawaii. At one point, production was delayed due to a hurricane!
- Steven Spielberg was in post-production on Jurassic Park while filming Schindler’s List.
- When the film was released, it quickly surpassed the previous box office record holder: another Steven Spielberg film, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
- This film won three Academy Awards: Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Visual Effects.
- Despite being "Jurassic Park," just like the novel it was adapted from, only two dinosaurs from that period appear in this movie. They're the Brachiosaurus and Dilophosaurus, the rest including, Tyrannosaurus, Velociraptor, Triceratops, Gallimimus and Parasaurolophus are from the Cretaceous period.