13th Oct2019

Jurassic Park: The Best And The Worst Movies

by James Smith


There can be no argument that Steven Spielberg is a master at providing just what audiences want. When he gets it right the box office lights up like Times Square on New Year’s Eve. He gets it wrong sometimes but only a fool would bet against a Spielberg movie raking in the cash. Many of his movies have achieved iconic status – and broken records along the way. One of the most beloved of his creations is the world of Jurassic Park. Loosely based on Michael Crichton’s book, the original film was always going to be a blockbuster.

Over the years Jurassic Park has created a huge fan base and has inspired many different types of movie merchandise such as t-shirts, posters, and video games. Jurassic Park even features in a list top ten movie slots by The Pogg. Whether you are a fan of the original movies or the recent ones, which film ultimately is the best one out of the franchise?

1. Jurassic Park (1993)

There are a myriad of reasons why the original Jurassic Park should be named as the best in the series. The groundbreaking CGI used in bringing dinosaurs to life (courtesy of Spielberg’s Industrial Light & Magic) on the Silver Screen was breathtaking. The special effects still hold up incredibly well today when viewed down the lens of almost 27 years. The casting was spot on and the performances of Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern and Richard Attenborough made the idea of dinosaurs real for many theatergoers. The musical score by composer John Williams hit all the right notes. It took home Oscars for ‘Best Sound Editing’, ‘Best Sound Mixing’, as well as ‘Best Visual Effects’. The film eventually grossed $914 million worldwide – a record it held until the release of Titanic in 1998.

2. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

By 2018 the Jurassic franchise was beginning to show its age. New competition from movies such as those set in the Marvel Universe had legions of young fans. This was an audience not starved for original entertainment powered by ultra-high definition CGI. It did not help that the Jurassic Park formula was falling into the trap of simply ‘rinse and repeat’. Many felt that Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom brought nothing new to the table. Perhaps it tried too hard – but it was the best of the sequels – and that is a sad reflection of the depths to which Jurassic park had fallen.

3. The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)

This sequel to the original should have knocked it out of the box office ballpark. On paper, it had everything that was required. Jeff Goldblum was back, Julianne Moore was brought on board and Spielberg was back at the helm. However, the script was a muddled mess. The much-loathed ending set in San Diego was a shortcut that should never have been part of what was a movie that seemed to be doing a good job of ratcheting up the tension – but it failed at the final hurdle.

4. Jurassic World (2015)

If there is a single word that can sum up this installment of the Jurassic Park franchise it might be ‘unnecessary’. Jurassic World is another film in the franchise that simply brings nothing to the party – and it relies on a formula that was at that point getting a little old. Those who took their seats in movie theaters across the globe did not need to be told (once more) that just because we can do something doesn’t mean that we should. The thin plot leads one to think that this was just a cash grab by Universal Studios, although an argument can be made that movie lovers were falling prey to a sort of nostalgia that demanded another Jurassic themed extravaganza. This is a movie powered by the idea that ‘more is better’ – more and bigger dinosaurs, more CGI.

5. Jurassic Park III (2001)

It had CGI dinosaurs – the Spinosaurus was a welcome change from the usual T-Rex heavy. Sam Neill is back and something goes wrong. There’s nothing new. It didn’t help that the ending seemed as if everyone involved just threw their hands up in the air and said ‘enough’. The CGI fight between the Spinosaurus and the T-Rex was far below the quality of what viewers had come to expect from the Jurassic Park franchise. It seemed as if Jurassic Park needed to be boarded up for good. When Sam Neill’s Alan Grant starts hallucinating about a Velociraptor calling his name it might be the final straw that broke the back (and hearts) of fans.

However, there is hope on the horizon approaching at the speed of a galloping Brontosaurus – Jurassic World III is due out in 2021. It will see the old crew of Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern and Sam Neill return and the action will take place far from the electrified fences of the park on the fictitious Isla Nublar. Time will tell if this will be an extinction-level event for the Jurassic franchise – or if dinosaurs will again have their day.

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