Twenty years after bringing Michael Crichton's chilling sci-fi novel "Jurassic Park" to life on the big screen, director Steven Spielberg is returning to the amusement park gone awry for an anniversary re-release, fitted for IMAX and popping with 3-D technology.
But, like dinosaur DNA suspended in amber, does "Jurassic Park" hold up two decades later? We conducted an archaelogical dig of sorts (OK, we clicked around the Internet) to find out what the critics had to say.
The Story: A Refresher
"Based on Michael Crichton's novel about scientists who clone living dinosaurs for an island theme park, 'Jurassic Park' remains an absolute thrill from a Spielberg in top form: Funny, scary, fast-moving and full of just-right details. (The terrific script comes from David Koepp, of 'Spider-Man,' 'The Paper' and many others.)" — Rafer Guzman, Newsday.
The 3-D Is Worth The Price Of Admission...
"The crowd was rewarded with a breathtaking 3-D conversion that enhanced items both miniscule (Samuel L. Jackson's dangling cigarette ash, Wayne Knight's Barbasol can) and massive (the Tyrannosaurus rex, a crowning technical achievement in Spielberg's illustrious career). 'Jurassic Park' was impressive in 1993. Twenty years later, it's flawless." — Sean O'Connell, Washington Post
...Or Maybe It's Not
"The bad news is that the film's 3-D makeover is pretty pointless. There's no denying that certain scenes are given an extra layer of visual depth. But the high-tech facelift doesn't really add much to the scenes you most want to be dazzled by, like the white-knuckle T. rex-versus-Jeep chase or the cuticle-gnawing raptors-in-the-kitchen rampage. The decision to tart the film up in 3-D is essentially a marketing gimmick — a claxon-blaring come-on for folks who think that every spectacle has to come with a pair of tinted glasses." — Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly
But How Does It Hold Up?
"The movie itself holds up beautifully. There was a group of pre-teens at my screening who were heckling at the beginning but were absolutely enrapt by the end. 'Jurassic Park' remains an example of Steven Spielberg at the height of his powers, of his abilities as a wizard of cinema. I love this movie, and I'm always happy to get lost in it again and again." — Devin Faraci, Badass Digest
The Bottom Line
"Spielberg has gone on to weightier and more prestigious projects, but this thrill ride is one of his best and a masterpiece of the genre." — Nell Minow, Chicago Sun-Times