Starring Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Sir Richard Attenborough

Make no mistake. Jurassic Park is a scary movie and should not be confused for a heavyweight E.T. It is also funny, thrilling, awe-inspiring and thoroughly believable. The special effects are simply mind-boggling. The life which Spielberg’s special effects team has breathed into the dusty skeletons found in museums is so realistic that the dinosaurs become as vividly a part of one’s imagination as the rhinoceros or the elephant—perhaps even more so, as these creatures seem awfully familiar. The premise of bringing the dinosaurs to life presented in the movie is quite plausible and it is in this vein that the movie’s success lies. We can believe, due to meticulous attention to visual detail, that such a place as Jurassic Park exists, and that it is actually inhabited by dinosaurs. And then the ride begins.

Paleontologist Neill, his paleo-botanist wife Dern, and Goldblum, a chaos theorist, are invited guests of the park’s mastermind, Attenborough. Along with the park’s weasely lawyer and Attenborough’s delightfully genuine grandchildren, they comprise the panel of “experts” who will take the test run through the fully-automated park. Between sabotage and a tropical storm, things go awry and all safe-guards become useless. Then begins the heart-stopping race to escape the rampaging “meat-o-sauruses” and the breathtaking encounters with the aimiable “veggie-sauruses.”

Jurassic Park explores many themes which would be of particular interest to Interim readers. Although leaving far too many loose ends to be a flawless film (hopefully these will be resolved in a sequel, or two!), Jurassic Park nevertheless raises issues about genetic engineering, the importance of the family, and respect for life and creation. When Goldblum muses, wary of the lack of reverence and caution taken in dealing with dinosaurs, “God makes dinosaur, God kills dinosaur, God makes man, man kills God, man makes dinosaur…” he leaves the weighty consequences unspoken.

Jurassic Park is a must-see on the big screen. To leave this for video would lessen the effect of the strongest feature of the film—the wonderfully animated dinosaurs. It is strongly recommended, however, that parents enjoy this film before allowing their children to see it. Varied opinions have been offered as to appropriate age guide-lines, and considering that this is shaping up to be the biggest movie ever, parents are best to determine the suitability of the film for their children.