It’s been a long time since this first Jurassic Park graced our theaters, but it’s still the best. The CGI effects have vastly improved since 1993, but the story is what matters most — and the original still brings me happy goosebumps and even the tears I felt back then, seeing dinosaurs coming to life. I adore Dr. Grant, Dr. Sattler, Dr. Malcolm, and Gamekeeper Muldoon. Almost everything in this movie is perfect. I know all the lines, and still use them in current conversation (here are an offhand few: “Must go faster”, “Clever girl”, “Spared no expense”, “Life finds a way”, “I’m fairly alarmed here”, “Dodgson, Dodgson, we’ve got Dodgson here!”, “We’re back in the car, again”, “They’re flocking this way”, and, of course: “Welcome to Jurassic Park”).
The score from John Williams doesn’t fail to make me shiver, just a bit, every time. (BTW, how does he do it? I can name a dozen major movie themes he’s done over my lifetime that have become instantly recognizable and are completely original).
Now, in 2018, I’ve seen the newer Jurassic World three times. It’s a visual feast, with the ever-lovable Chris Pratt, amazing effects, and a nice story that harkens back to the first film (thankfully, since the immediate sequels are of varying quality). But it still lacks the (carnivorous) meat the original served up. Sometimes you can keep a story going, and even do a good job, but lack the spark of the first time. Jurassic Park delivered then, and still does now. When you see those impact tremors in the cup of water, you remember how a simple visual shorthand can become iconic.