Reviewing the Jurassic Park Series

jurassic-park

Jurassic Park #1: Jurassic Park (1993)
Release Date: June 9, 1993
Director: Steven Spielberg
Studio: Universal Pictures
In keeping with similar themes of skepticism toward modern science, themes which can also be found in Alien, or The Matrix, or The Terminator –all of which question the belief in the inherent faith in unfettered scientific exploration and technological innovation– Jurassic Park beautifully captures a mixture of the optimism for the capitalist impulse to package and sell an innovative product, only to quickly devolve into sheer terror when Darwinian evolution conquers meager human machinations and “life… finds a way.”

lost world

Jurassic Park #2: The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
Release Date: May 19, 1997
Director: Steven Spielberg
Studio: Universal Pictures
After the extraordinary success of the original Jurassic Park movie in 1993, there was mounting studio and fan pressure to create a sequel, despite the fact that Spielberg found himself wholly burnt out after directing both Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List back to back, and also the fact that Michael Crichton was wary about writing a sequel. The Lost World is a considerably darker film in contrast to the warm and sunny optimism of the original, but The Lost World is an entertaining sequel that unfortunately departs considerably from the original.

jurassic-park-iii

Jurassic Park #3: Jurassic Park III (2001)
Release Date: July 16, 2001
Director: Joe Johnston
Studio: Universal Pictures
In this third installment, the paleontologist Dr. Allan Grant (reprised by Sam Neill) is brought back and swindled by a divorced wealthy couple (played by William H. Macy and Téa Leoni) into revisiting the “Site B” island. In Jurassic Park III there are a few compelling action sequences, However, I just didn’t care for the attempts to “humanize” the vicious dinosaurs as solely fixated on caring for their young, and there are a variety of other ridiculous scenes.

jurassic-world

Jurassic Park #4: Jurassic World (2015)
Release Date: May 29, 2015
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Studio: Universal Pictures
Jurassic World is a mostly brain-dead, indulgent CGI-festival of cynicism. It introduces us to a new theme park “Jurassic World” located on the original Isla Nublar island and we experience it through the eyes of two young brothers visiting for a weekend, as well as staff of the park Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. Jurassic World is rollicking adventure if you can shut your brain off for a couple hours and simply enjoy all the explosive special effects.

jurassic-world-ii

Jurassic Park #5: Jurassic World: Forbidden Kingdom (2018)
Release Date: May 21, 2018
Director: J. A. Bayona
Studio: Universal Pictures
Directed by Spanish horror film director, J. A. Bayona, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom opens with a volcanic eruption threatening the existence of the dinosaurs now freely roaming on Isla Nublar. Hoards of animal rights activists demand care and protection for the animals, but Dr. Malcolm (reprised by Jeff Goldblum) argues they should not be rescued because they have already been selected by Nature for extinction. This whole movie is a long boring slog in which all of the main characters fail in their objectives, followed by a yawning plot twist involving human cloning, and in the end the dinosaurs escape into the broader world (hence “Jurassic World”).

Jurassic Park #6: Jurassic World: Dominion (TBD: 2022)

Ranking My Favorites of the Jurassic Park Series:

#1 Jurassic Park (1993)

#2 The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)

#3 Jurassic World (2015)

#4 Jurassic Park III (2001)

#5 Jurassic World: Forbidden Kingdom (2018)

One thought on “Reviewing the Jurassic Park Series

  1. It’s always hard to imagine where the Jurassic Park franchise could successfully go after the first two films. As addictive as the cinematic needs for sequels can be, it’s at least good for audiences to revisit the original Jurassic Park in 3D as I did.

    Liked by 1 person

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