More than two decades later, and we still can’t look at a cup of water the same.
Just as the rippling water in that now iconic scene signaled the T. rex’s grand entrance, so did Jurassic Park usher in a new era of cinematic innovation. Making a reality of so many childhood dreams, it marries moviemaking wizardry and emotional complexity to electrifying effect. Park also straddles a number of genres (action-adventure, family, thriller, and sci-fi, to name a few) on top of its ready-made merchandising and theme-park ride potential, ultimately offering something for everyone. But the leaps and bounds made by director Steven Spielberg and Oscar-winning special affects artist Stan Winston aren’t solely accountable for the film becoming a global phenomenon.
At its core, Spielberg told EW’s Tim Stack and Keith Staskiewicz, Park is also “a helluva yarn.” Screenwriter David Koepp improved on Michael Crichton’s 1990 novel about the foolhardy hubris of eccentric mogul John Hammond (Richard Attenborough), who built a theme park after recreating dinosaurs from DNA extracted from an amber-preserved mosquito. During the first — and last — tour of Jurassic Park, a bit of corporate espionage by a crusty computer programmer (Seinfeld‘s Wayne Knight) causes the power to go out, which allows the prehistoric predators to run amok and terrorize the park’s inaugural guests: child-averse paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and his paleobotanist girlfriend Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), snarky- yet-stylish math wonk Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), and Hammond’s grandkids Lex (Ariana Richards) and Tim (Joseph Mazzello).
Without further ado, let’s continue EW’s Summer Blockbuster Month with a start-to-finish thrill ride and an undeniable game-changer. Open the gates to the utterly dino-mite (sorry, couldn’t resist) Jurassic Park!