Sunday, January 4, 2015

"Dinosaurs don't fit existing categories"

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
Chaos and all that
I just finished rereading Michael Crichton's 1990 science faction classic Jurassic Park. It had been a while since I last read it, but I absolutely wanted to go through the book again for two reasons:

My Disney Channel-bound brother Marlon was my secret santa, and he 100% nailed his gift for me, giving me the Jurassic Park DVD box set. I ran through it in three nights, awestruck by Spielberg's dinosaurs and how they remaine unequalled by any other director even after all these years. Just imagine: Jurassic Park will be 22 years old in June and it's still by a landslide the best dino movie out there. That's insane.

Jurassic Park - raptors in kitchenThe Lost World - t-rex scene

The second reason? Oh, I don't know. How about this little trailer for Jurassic World, which will hit theaters on June 12 after more than a decade of development hell?

Is it wrong to have goosebumps when the piano kicks in at 01:49?

If it is, I don't even want to be right.

To the park!

The skinny

When his investors start becoming skeptical of his undertakings on a remote island off the coast of Costa Rica, eccentric InGen founder John Hammond summons paleontologist Alan Grant and paleobotanist graduate student Ellie Sattler to visit and greenlight the "biological preserve" he has built. Upon arrival, Alan and Ellie find out that the preserve is actually a cloned dinosaur theme park. Joined by chaos theorist Ian Malcolm, lawyer Donnald Gennaro, PR manager Ed Regis, and Hammon's grandchildren Tim and Alexis, they tour the park, quickly discovering that the park's population control method is flawed, and that too many assumptions had been made altogether. When Jurassic Park's chief programmer Dennis Nedry sabotages the controlling software, all hell breaks loose on the island.

The review

Jurassic Park will have you on the edge of your seat. Crichton perfectly combines science, suspense and thrill, masterfully bringing dinosaurs to life even without special effects, delivering an action-packed story that is as much about dinos as it is about corporate greed. The book moves fast, offers some great thoughts on capitalism (mainly through rock star mathematician Ian Malcom) and, even though Crichton's characters are pretty flat, you will quickly find yourself rooting for Dr. Grant & Co.

By the way, don't think for a second that you shouldn't read Jurassic Park just because you saw the movie. Sure, the general plot is the same, but the book features a bunch of additional scenes (The aviary! The junior Rex! The river!) that make the story even richer. 

Bonus: In case you're a Dinosaur Man like Alan Grant and myself, you might enjoy Jack Horner's TED talk about building dinosaurs. Great stuff!

No comments:

Post a Comment