Jurassic Park is a 1993 American science fiction/adventure film which incorporates some elements of horror as well. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg and is the first installment of the Jurassic Park franchise. It is based on the 1990 novel of the same name by Michael Crichton, with a screenplay written by Crichton and David Koepp. The film centers on the fictional Isla Nublar, an islet located off Costa Rica's Pacific Coast, where a billionaire philanthropist and a small team of genetic scientists have created a wildlife park of cloned dinosaurs.
Before Crichton's book was published, four studios put in bids to acquire the film rights. Spielberg, with the backing of Universal Studios, acquired the rights for $1.5 million before publication in 1990, and Crichton was hired for an additional $500,000 to adapt the novel for the screen. David Koepp wrote the final draft, which left out much of the novel's exposition and violence and made numerous changes to the characters. Filming took place in California and Hawaii between August and November 1992, and post-production rolled until May 1993, being supervised by Spielberg in Poland as he filmed Schindler's List. The dinosaurs were created through groundbreaking computer-generated imagery by Industrial Light & Magic in conjunction with life-sized animatronic dinosaurs built by Stan Winston's team. To showcase the film's sound design, which included a mixture of various animal noises for the dinosaur roars, Spielberg invested in the creation of DTS, a company specializing in digital surround sound formats.
Following an extensive $65 million marketing campaign, which included licensing deals with 100 companies, Jurassic Park grossed over $900 million worldwide in its original theatrical run. It surpassed Spielberg's 1982 film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial to become the highest-grossing film at the time (a distinction it would yield to Titanic four years later). The film was well received by critics, who praised it for its special effects and Spielberg's direction but criticized the writing. The film won more than 20 awards (including 3 Academy Awards), mostly for its visual effects. Following a 3D re-release in 2013 to celebrate its 20th anniversary, Jurassic Parks total gross eclipsed $1 billion, making it the 17th film to do so. It currently ranks as the 14th-highest-grossing film worldwide, the 16th-highest-grossing film in North America (unadjusted for inflation), and the highest-grossing film released by Universal and directed by Spielberg. Jurassic Park is considered by many to be one of the greatest works of science fiction ever, as well as a landmark in the vector of visual effects regarding its computer-generated imagery and animatronics. The film was followed by two sequels, The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III, both of which became box office successes but received mixed critical responses. A third sequel entitled Jurassic World is slated for release in 2015.
Plot[edit | edit source]
John Hammond (Richard Attenborough), the founder and CEO of bioengineering company InGen, has created a theme park called Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar, a tropical island near Costa Rica, populated with cloned dinosaurs. After a park worker is killed by a Velociraptor, the park's investors, represented by lawyer Donald Gennaro (Martin Ferrero), demand that experts visit the park and certify it as safe. Gennaro invites the mathematician Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) while Hammond invites paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern). Upon arrival, the group is stunned to see a Brachiosaurus and a herd of Parasaurolophus in the distance.
At the visitor center, the group learns through a tour through a laboratory that the cloning was accomplished by extracting the DNA of dinosaurs from mosquitoes that had been preserved in amber. However, the strands of DNA were incomplete, so DNA from frogs was used to fill in the gaps. The dinosaurs were all cloned genetically as females in order to prevent breeding.
The group is then joined by Hammond's grandchildren, Alexis "Lex" and Timothy "Tim" Murphy (Ariana Richards and Joseph Mazzello) for a tour of the park, while Hammond oversees the trip from the park's control room. However, the tour does not go as planned, with most of the dinosaurs failing to appear and a Triceratops becoming ill. As a tropical storm approaches Isla Nublar, most of the park employees depart on a boat for the mainland and the visitors return to the electric tour vehicles, except Ellie, who stays with the park's veterinarian to study the Triceratops.
During the storm, Jurassic Park's computer programmer, Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight), who has been bribed by a corporate rival to steal dinosaur embryos, deactivates the park's security system to allow him access to the embryo storage room. Most of the park's electric fences are deactivated, leading the Tyrannosaurus rex to attack the tour group. Grant, Lex, and Tim narrowly escape while the T. rex devours Gennaro, injures Malcolm and shoves one of the vehicles over an embankment. On his way to deliver the embryos to the island's docks, Nedry becomes lost, crashes his Jeep, and is killed by a Dilophosaurus.
Sattler assists the park's game warden, Robert Muldoon (Bob Peck), in a search for survivors, but they only find Malcolm before the Tyrannosaurus returns. They escape in one of the vehicles. Unable to decipher Nedry's code to reactivate the security system, Hammond and the park's chief engineer Ray Arnold (Samuel L. Jackson) opt to reboot the entire park's system. The group shuts down the park's grid and retreats to an emergency bunker, while Arnold heads to a maintenance shed to complete the rebooting process. When he fails to return, Sattler and Muldoon head to the shed themselves. They discover the shutdown has disabled the remaining fences and released the velociraptors; Muldoon distracts the raptors while Sattler turns the power back on. She discovers Arnold's severed arm and escapes. Soon after, the raptors ambush and kill Muldoon.
Alone in the park, Grant, Tim, and Lex discover the broken shells of dinosaur eggs. Grant concludes that the dinosaurs have been breeding, which occurred because they have the genetic coding of frog DNA—West African bullfrogs can change their gender in a single-sex environment, making the dinosaurs able to do as well. On the way back to the visitor center the trio encounter a herd of Gallimimus when suddenly the Tyrannosaurus appears out of the jungle and kills one. Grant, Tim, and Lex reach the visitor center, and Grant leaves them there as he goes searching for the others. After finding the bunker, Grant and Sattler head back to the visitor center, where the children are being attacked by two velociraptors. The four head to the control room, where Lex restores full power, which allows the group to call for rescue. While trying to leave, they are cornered by the raptors but escape when the Tyrannosaurus suddenly appears and kills both raptors. Hammond arrives in a Jeep with Malcolm, and the entire group flees together. Before they board a helicopter to leave the island, Grant says he will not endorse the park, a choice with which Hammond concurs.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Sam Neill as Dr. Alan Grant, a leading paleontologist.
- Laura Dern as Dr. Ellie Sattler, a paleobotanist.
- Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm, a mathematician and chaos theorist.
- Richard Attenborough as John Hammond, InGen's billionaire CEO and the park's creator.
- Ariana Richards as Alexis "Lex" Murphy, Hammond's granddaughter.
- Joseph Mazzello as Timothy "Tim" Murphy, Hammond's grandson.
- Bob Peck as Robert Muldoon, the park's game warden.
- Martin Ferrero as Donald Gennaro, a lawyer who represents Hammond's concerned investors.
- Wayne Knight as Dennis Nedry, the disgruntled architect of the park's computer systems.
- Samuel L. Jackson as Ray Arnold, the park's chief engineer.
- Cameron Thor as Dr. Lewis Dodgson, the head of InGen's rival, BioSyn.
- Miguel Sandoval as Juanito Rostagno, the Mano de Dios amber mine's proprietor.
- Gerald R. Molen as Dr. Gerry Harding, the park's veterinarian.
- BD Wong as Dr. Henry Wu, the park's chief geneticist.
- Richard Kiley as himself, providing audio narration for the park's main tour.
- Greg Burson as Mr. D.N.A., the animated DNA strand that explains the miracle of cloning.