Jurassic Park is one of the most beloved films of all time. Steven Spielberg helped bring an impossible premise to life, convincing moviegoers that dinosaurs once again walked the earth. The movie was based on Michael Crichton's best-selling novel about an ambitious theme park that brought real-life dinosaurs back to life and the inevitable chaos that ensued.
The movie was groundbreaking in its filmmaking and a massive hit at the box office, at one point becoming the highest-grossing movie of all time. But as beloved as Jurassic Park is, can it stand the test of time all these years later? Here are some reasons Jurassic Park has aged poorly and some reasons it is timeless.
10 Aged: Dinosaurs' Look
Dinosaurs have always captured the imagination of the public. It's incredible to think there were once these amazing creatures that ruled the planet long before humans even existed. We all had ideas of what these dinosaurs looked like and Jurassic Park brought those visions to life wonderfully.
The problem is that our imaginations were wrong. In the movie, Alan Grant (Sam Neill) talks about how much dinosaurs have in common with birds. Well, modern scientists have confirmed that idea and then some by theorizing that these dinosaurs, like the T-Rex, were probably covered in feathers.
9 Timeless: Practical Effects
Spielberg famously had a tough time with the mechanical shark in Jaws. Luckily for him, technology improved by the time Jurassic Park came along and the animatronic monsters in his new movie were much more reliable.
Designed by the effects genius Stan Winston, the dinosaurs were partially represented by practical creations, which meant the actors could interact with onscreen creatures. While practical effects are not always necessary, the reliance of CGI in Jurassic World shows how effective the animatronics were in the original.
8 Aged Poorly: Hacking
Hacking has always been a bit dubious when represented in film. There are so many movies that feature characters hacking into security systems but the films seem to have no idea what hacking actually is. This usually amounts to characters typing nonsense into a computer really quickly.
Jurassic Park features an infamous scene in which young Lex is the only one familiar with the software used for the park security system and is able to bring it all back online. While the scene is meant to play out like an intense moment, the program we see is now hilariously simplistic by today's standards.
7 Timeless: CGI
While the practical effects in the movie are incredible, the movie needed CGI to fully bring the dinosaurs to life on the big screen. This required some ground-breaking effects at the time, and amazingly, after all these years, the effects hold up remarkably well.
Though you can tell the difference between CGI and practical creations, the movie combines them in a surprisingly seamless way. The dinosaurs look incredibly convincing and the effects never distract from the movie.
6 Aged Poorly: Chaos Theory
One of the most memorable non-dino scenes in the movie is Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) teaching Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) about chaos theory. Malcolm uses drops of water on Ellie's hand to explain the complex theory while also flirting with her. For many youngsters, this was their introduction to chaos theory.
His explanation boils down to unpredictability in complex systems and is meant to relate to the overall story of the film. But experts agree that this is a very simplistic and misleading explanation of chaos theory and the events of the movie do not fit the actual theory at all.
5 Timeless: Score
There's no doubt that Jurassic Park is an incredibly epic movie with so many big, jaw-dropping moments. But as amazing as the visuals are, the movie probably wouldn't have had the same impact if it wasn't for the amazing score by John Williams.
Williams and Spielberg have been great collaborators for years, and Williams' work on this film remains one of his best. The rousing score is instantly recognizable when you hear it now, but within the movie it does so much to sell the spectacle of the film.
4 Aged Poorly: Scientific Inaccuracies
If you're bothered by dubious science in movies, Jurassic Park is probably a movie you're going to want to stay away from. The movie is about cloning dinosaurs and bringing them into the 20th century, so logic is going to be stretched. But even if you except that in the first place, it gets harder as we get further away from the movie.
At the time of the film's release, people didn't have information at their fingertips as they do now. But now it's harder to ignore the fact that T-Rex's vision isn't based on movement and DNA has an expiration date.
3 Timeless: Spielberg Effect
The concept of dinosaurs being brought back to life to then run amok on an isolated island sounds like a whole lot of fun. But it is also a movie that could easily have become just another creature feature. A huge factor in making Jurassic Park so successful comes down to Steven Spielberg.
At this time, Spielberg was already a legend and it wasn't surprising that he turned the project into something special. But it cannot be overlooked how Spielberg's commitment to greatness elevated the material, and you can feel his magic touch all over this movie.
2 Aged Poorly: The Lesson
While we all came to see dinosaurs terrorizing people, there are some interesting ideas at work in the movie, most of them presented by Ian Malcolm. While Malcolm admits to the achievement of the park, he questions if it should exist.
There is a debate within the film about the ethics of science and how far we should go with manipulating nature just because we can. Of course, with Jurassic World, the lesson of the original movie is ignored, ironically so the franchises can make more money.
1 Timeless: T-Rex
There may be a number of scientific inaccuracies with the T-Rex, but there's no denying how cool it is in the movie. Spielberg and company created an unforgettable movie monster that is both awe-inspiring and terrifying.
From the look of the creature to its roar, it comes on the screen and leaves the audience speechless. And that introduction scene for the T-Rex as he attacks the tour cars is the highlight of the movie and brilliantly tense action scene.