Science fiction and fantasy
directed by Steven Spielberg
As if live dinosaurs weren't dangerous enough, there's more trouble in the form of an attempt at industrial theft by a disgruntled employee who is involved in creating the security systems at Jurassic Park.
The impossibility of bringing dinosaurs back to life is explained away by splicing the DNA found in insects preserved in amber with frog dna. This may not fly with scientists (partly because DNA degrades too quickly, to the extent that finding intact samples after a few thousand years is unlikely, never mind after 65 million years). Scientific realism isn't the main attraction of this movie, however.
The dinosaurs are the true crowd-pleasers, and they look great for a film made in 1993. There are plenty of them, of various species. But there's no doubt the star of the show is the T-rex. The suspense as it approaches, spreading ripples through the water with the sheer weight of its footfall, makes for a classic scene. The massive T-rex is the stuff of nightmares, a cunning beast intent on hunting down the humans on the island as soon as the first opportunity arises.
Then there are the velociraptors, pack hunters with the intelligence to open doors and the speed of a cheetah. The park itself can be a menace thanks to its over-automation and buggy control systems which can pose almost as much of a danger as the animals it's meant to contain.
When they're not running for their lives from hungry carnivores the characters are making neat quips about the astounding hubris of the park's creators. Jeff Goldblum is especially sharp-tongued as the scientist, Malcolm. Spielberg hits the right note with a dinosaur movie that mixes horror, wonder and humour, never dwelling on one aspect long enough for the movie to lose its appeal.
If you like this, try:100 Million BC by Louie Myman
A military team go back in time to rescue people trapped in the time of the dinosaurs.
Godzilla by Roland Emmerich
Nuclear testing in the Pacific gives rise to a monstrous lizard which lays waste to New York.
Dinosaur Summer by Greg Bear
In this sequel to The Lost World, a young man and his father accompany a travelling dinosaur circus.
Review © Ros Jackson
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