Jurassic Park 3D

Jurassic Park
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Director: Steven Spielberg
Cert: PG
Genre: Sci-Fi
Starring: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Bob Peck, Samuel L Jackson
Running Time: 2 hrs 7 mins

Watch this space. And kindly accept substitutes. This was supposed to be a review of Jurassic Park 3D, a grandiose IMAX presentation of Spielberg's 1993 dino-buster. Sadly, the relevant projection equipment shuddered to an ignominious halt only four minutes into the press screening. We can only hope the paying punter has more luck.

What we did glean from our ill-starred mission is this: the 3D – or the 300 seconds of it that we saw – is Hobbitty fast and neat. Taking a cue from his old mucker 'Jim' (Cameron), Spielberg has drafted in the same CG upholstery company that retrofitted Titanic. And to be fair, their efforts and improvements are far more convincing on Jurassic Park than they were with the sinking-ship film. The creaky green-screen joins have virtually disappeared and the dinosaurs no longer look digitally prehistoric.

The question remains: should we care that this giant beast has lumbered its way back into the multiplex? The same film, you may recall, was reissued to no public fanfare and minuscule box-office impact as recently as 2011.

We're not so sure. Jurassic Park may contain some of Spielberg's best shock-and-awe sequences and some of John Williams's greatest swells. It has a T-Rex. It boasts a roguish Jeff Goldblum and a twinkling Dickie Attenborough. It has a T-Rex. Sam Neill, our favourite Tyrone man this side of Flann O'Brien, is note-perfect as a reluctant hero. It has a T-Rex.


Still, the film hardly qualifies as Spielberg's finest work. The action is compressed into the wrong places: we go from theme park ride to bloody slaughter far too quickly; characters are brought on so rapidly that almost everyone forgets Samuel L Jackson and Wayne Knight feature among the cast.

The chatter about ethics, conversely, is needlessly drawn out and, now, hopelessly dated.

Rather disconcertingly, the female characters are appalling. Laura Dern's full Fay Wray screech every time she spies a dinosaur seems out of character for a scientist and out of place in what is, after all, a dinosaur park. See how that works, dear?

Tara Brady

Tara Brady

Tara Brady, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a writer and film critic