Sometimes I will literally wake up in the middle of the night with a sinking feeling in my stomach from a nightmare about people who don’t like ‘Jurassic Park’. If you, like everyone else, read that sentence with disbelief, let me assure you that it is not hyperbole.
‘Jurassic Park’ is one the greatest pieces of science fiction ever written, and that’s why it’s the topic for this week’s Throwback Thursday, ScienceFiction.com’s ongoing column dedicated to the great science fiction of the past.
I don’t really think anyone has every tried to do what Crichton did with ‘Jurassic Park’, especially not as early as he did it. The man has always been somewhat prescient, though I would like to point out that we haven’t run into hybrid killer gorillas. But the idea that we have a chance at creating dinosaurs, and the what-would-happen-if-it-was-a-commercial-lab-that-discovered-this-secret is so genius that no one has even dared try to touch the idea again (not counting the sequels...).
The charm of science fiction is, and has always been, taking technologies that we are close to having or may someday have and turn it a driving plot element. I think very few has ever really indulged in that concept and brought it to life quite like ‘Jurassic Park’.
Some of you may be wondering if I’m talking about the book, or the movie, and my answer is yes.
For those of you who haven’t had the chance to read the book, know that it is different enough from the movie that it really deserves its on Throwback Thursday. Usually, book snobs talk about how the book is better than the movie, and usually their right, but ‘Jurassic Park’ is one of those rare exceptions that both the movie and the book prove to be absolute masterpieces of their own medium.
I’ve never like suggesting to people that they’ve been living under a rock if they haven’t seen something, but if you haven’t seen ‘Jurassic Park’…. dude. What is up? How does a movie about a park with genetically engineered dinosaurs going crazy not sound fangasmingly interesting to you? If the plot is not enough, the film asks fantastic questions about man’s place in nature, has incredible emotional depth between characters, hilarious jokes, Wayne Knight, and special effects that look better than movies that come out these days.
Oh, and the cast is brilliant: Samuel L Jackson, Wayne Knight, Jeff Goldblum, and Sam Neill. Of course, I’m generally of the opinion that if Sam Neill is involved, the movie is probably gold.
Anyway, as I was saying before going off topic, the movie keeps you on the edge of your sit, even twenty years after its creation, and is still one of the most believably created science fiction film of all time for the reasons I listed above: faultless special effects and science fiction that can maybe actually happen (we recent found a dinosaur leg with flesh on it, for god’s sake!).
Sure, the sequel was horrible, and the third movie only sort of okay in comparison to the sequel, but don’t let that you stop you from enjoying the first and looking forward to the fourth, ‘Jurassic Park’, that is supposedly coming out soon. Though, I should mention that in the case of the sequel, the book, ‘The Lost World’, is a million times better than its film counterpart, even if it stars a character that ostensibly dies at the end of the first book and is a lampshaded with an “oh, it was just misreported on the news. He totally lived”.
Honestly, I could go on for about 3,000 more words on this movie, but I’ll just end it here, and try not to wake up in my night terrors being surrounded by people who just shrug their shoulders and say “meh” when I mention how ‘Jurassic Park’ is a pinnacle of good science fiction.