“Welcome to Jurassic Park!”
It’s been 20 years since Richard Attenborough uttered those immortal words before ushering his clutch of dumbstruck scientists around his amusement park of tyrannical terrors.
This anniversary edition of the adventure ’65 million years in the making’ is an attempt to re-capture the magic of Steven Spielberg’s third creature feature using the thrill of the third dimension, now that the world has softened to the wonders of its once state-of-the-art visual effects.
And what an immersive, exhaustive and occasionally terrifying cinematic experience it is. The thrill of being inside the car with the terrified kids as the T-Rex attacks! The threat of a derailed jeep hurtling toward you from a tree! The dread of being locked inside a kitchen with those deadly door handle friendly raptors! The audience involvement in these suspenseful set pieces is overwhelming, re-enforcing this roller coaster’s tremendous impact on the big screen.
However, the fact that this is a post-3D conversion makes you realise that this thrilling experience is still largely to do with the skilful direction of a master filmmaker firing on all cylinders than from the enhancement of any new technology.
Being a seamless conversion, this should be something to be applauded, given that this heart-pounding theme park ride was something even Spielberg struggled to re-capture in his own laboured sequel The Lost World.
Taken at surface value what astonishes most of all is the work of the still surprisingly life-like dino animatronics, standing the test of time far more impressively than the sweeping slew of once extraordinary, now prosaic CGI dinos. Perhaps we should just be grateful that Spielberg didn’t succumb to obsessive tinkering like George Lucas.
Whilst this is 3D that won’t reach out and nip you on the nose or jolt you back into your seats, it does a great deal immersing you into this exciting prehistoric world and that should prove persuasive reason enough to return to Jurassic Park.