Jurassic Park is one of my favorite movies. I have very fond memories of seeing it as a kid with my dad, and I even had the soundtrack (on cassette tape!) So of course, I had tickets to see Jurassic Park 3D this weekend. This was a 20 year old movie, updated for 3D … would it hold up against more modern standards?
Admittedly, I am biased because I loved the original, but it surprisingly did hold up quite well. The special effects still looked quite good, and there weren’t any cringe-worthy moments where the blue screen or CGI looked dated. The 3D was definitely more of a gimmick than anything else, but I think that goes for any movie not designed to be seen in 3D. It made the scenery pop, and there were a couple of moments where the dinosaurs looked slightly more terrifying, but overall it just meant we were wearing goofy glasses while watching an awesome movie. Of course, Sarah threatened to move away from me when I tried to quote along with the movie, and when I jumped ten feet in the air when the raptor popped out of the wall at Laura Dern — even though I can tell you the exact moment it will happen.
At the same time, what struck both Sarah and me after the movie was how well the storyline has held up. Jurassic Park has fun thrills and some well-done CGI and animatronic dinosaurs, but the real villains aren’t the raptors, but the humans. All of the failures of Jurassic Park (the theme park) come about because of greed on the part of humans. Hammond wants things to be so fantastic, that he thinks he can create and control dangerous animals. Nedry’s greed is what drives him to steal from Hammond and pursue that theft on the brink of a dangerous storm, setting up the chain of events that lets loose the dangerous predatory dinosaurs … and the marketing department’s greed created that horrible “Mr. DNA” cartoon, which is truly the scariest part of the movie.
If Jurassic Park were made today, it’s easy to imagine it would be designed for 3D from the ground up; it’s also easy to imagine a movie that was designed around flashier special effects, more thrills, and less substance. However, it doesn’t suffer from the lack of deep CGI effects or gore; instead, it delivers on immediate excitement as well as deeper questions of morality and human judgement. Watching it in the movies over the weekend, it was hard to believe that it has been 20 years since it debuted. Judging from the enthusiastic response from the audience, at least half of whom were in the 12ish range, Jurassic Park has aged remarkably well! I am looking forward to the re-release in another 20 years … maybe it will be released in virtual reality by then!