Upon its release in the summer of 1993, Jurassic Park instantly captured the imaginations of audiences around the world. Steven Spielberg once again transported us to a time and place we never thought could be possible. Seeing humans interact with massive, lifelike dinosaurs was a technological feat to be marveled. And marvel we did.
Jump 20 years and here we are with Jurassic Park: An IMAX 3D Experience. Unfortunately, what’s supposed to be an occasion for us to fondly remember Spielberg’s classic, comes off as just another way for Universal Studios to greedily profit off a film we’ve grown to know and love.
This 20th anniversary edition of Jurassic Park has been redesigned and given a dismal 3D treatment. It’s a treatment lacking creativity, and one entirely without merit. The motive behind this remastering is so clearly monetary that witnessing Spielberg’s action-adventure opus on the big screen is a bit disheartening.
Of course, the story is still the same. John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) has figured out how to genetically engineer dinosaurs by using ancient DNA molecules. He keeps these creatures in a remote island, behind enclosures, away from virtually everything and everyone. Before the general public receives an opportunity to witness this jaw-dropping development, Hammond invites a pair of two curious dinosaurs experts (Sam Neil and Laura Dern), alongside a snide and skeptical mathematician (Jeff Goldblum).
Based on the novel of the same title by Michael Crichton, the characters are mostly designed without depth. Once the trifecta of dinosaur enthusiasts land on the island, that doesn’t change. The interactions between the three are mostly without substance. Granted, getting to know someone may be a bit difficult when you’re fending for your life against mammoth dinosaurs — the same dinosaurs we marveled at earlier until the power at the park goes out and the beasts run rampant.
But despite a script that could (and should be) more and a format that consistently attempts to hinder the joy of watching the film, it becomes evident that Jurassic Park truly is a durable epic with longevity.
While we as a moviegoing public and culture have significantly changed since 1993 – with grand technological advances in cinema being made every day – our ability to be enraptured by a visually driven story is not gone. Some of the special effects here are a bit antiquated, and yes gaps in logic are even more apparent upon repeated viewings. However, Spielberg’s timeless tale, albeit one with an anticlimactic beginning and end, is still thrilling and audacious enough to somehow make us care for these thinly painted characters and creatures – even when they’re projected in dimensions we know they shouldn’t be.