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Jurassic Park Reviews

Like DIE HARD and BATMAN, JURASSIC PARK is not so much a dramatic story as a theme-park ride through spectacular special effects and action sequences. These being the post-modern 90s, this is a theme-park ride about a theme park--an exclusive, as-yet-unopened island resort where dinosaurs have been cloned from DNA deposits. Such a scientific feat would be only a little more impressive than what's been accomplished for this film, which brings prehistoric beasts convincingly back to life through a combination of sophisticated models and computer-generated animation. Director Steven Spielberg does a masterful job of putting the beasts through their paces in some scenes that will have even the most jaded observers clutching the edges of their seats. JURASSIC is not without its flaws. Michael Crichton's novel has been clumsily condensed and his nastier characters unnecessarily whitewashed. Some of the actors--Sam Neill and Laura Dern as paleontologists, Richard Attenborough as the park's creator--give performances that seem also to have been achieved by computer animation. (The biggest exception here is the ever-quirky Jeff Goldblum, playing a gonzo mathematician with a quip for every occasion: "I wonder if this will be part of the tour," he muses, as he lies wounded in the back of a speeding jeep with a T. rex in hot pursuit.) If these sound like quibbles, they are. This is an exhilarating, sometimes terrifying monster of a movie that, once it gets you in its clutches, won't put you down again until the closing credits start to roll.