“Jurassic Park” stands the test of time even after 3D makeover

After twenty years and a three-dimensional makeover Jurassic Park remains one of the best movies ever made.



Mack Hayden , Writer

I think an essential part of the human condition entails waking up at least one morning of your life and wondering what it must feel like to be Steven Spielberg. If you’re like me at all, the man’s movies served as a sort of cinematic grid through which you would eventually view all others. I was raised on “Jaws,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “E.T.” and, for a long time, it was hard to convince me any other movies would ever be more worthwhile. Spielberg is a master of creating a childlike sense of wonder and it’s funny revisiting the movies of one’s youth to see if they stand up to the test of growing older and more cynical. All that to say, when I heard “Jurassic Park” was getting a re-release in 3D, I felt like a little kid.


Before we started liking M83 and having existential crises, I’m willing to wager we went through some more carefree phases in our youths. Being little has its fair share of perks, paramount among them being continually surprised about the things you find in the world. College is the same way, except most of us have already been through our “dinosaur” phase. But what a phase that was, realizing the world we run was once ran over by reptilian beasts beyond our wildest imaginings. We found them in the ground and they sent us to the sky in giddy wonder.

After all these years, “Jurassic Park” is still one of Spielberg’s most impressive movies for that very reason. He understood that these behemoths, both the harmless and terrifying ones, were inherently awe-inspiring. If you’ve seen the skeleton of a T-Rex at a Natural History Museum or seen a Discovery Channel documentary about the life of brachiosaurus, it’s hard to not become excited.


As for the film itself, most of the reasons I’ve always loved it remained the same, but some things have changed. Funnily enough, I was way more scared by it this time than I was watching it as a kid. Three dimensions notwithstanding, a better awareness of your own mortality tends to come with age and the idea of meeting my end at the hand of velociraptors seemed a little more distasteful this time around. It’s hard to imagine a more iconic scene from the film than when the electric fences get turned off and the T-Rex escapes from its compound with the rain pouring down.

Additionally, my affection for Jeff Goldblum’s eccentric Dr. Ian Malcolm has only grown as the years have gone by. Getting to see his famously bizarre chuckle on the helicopter into the island on the big screen was one of the best experiences of my young adult life. The film’s writing is way more cheesy when you’re 20 than it was when you were 10, but Malcolm’s stuttering remarks about chaos theory, doomsday warnings about the dangers of playing God and flirtations with Laura Dern’s Dr. Sattler are even funnier now than they were then. It’s his performance that’s always made the movie. Well, other than the dinosaurs.


Speaking of which, the T-Rex still looks real. The 3D makeover is pretty impressive given how nauseating watching a movie that way can be. It’s not too in your face and the film’s quality isn’t butchered by it. Still, it’s hard to think of 3D as more than a gimmick that’ll never go away. Not to mention the movie still remains a crash course in set design. Kudos to Spielberg for creating a literal other world here. Not for a second does it feel like Jurassic Park doesn’t actually exist.

Twenty years later, “Jurassic Park” remains one of the best movies of all time. Not for its stellar writing, or even acting. Both of those are actually pretty subpar upon a more critical viewing. But for its ability to enter the viewers’ imaginations even now with a sense of both terror and awe. And for Jeff Goldblum.

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