Back in the day, event-movie junkies would actually camp out in line to score tickets for the first showing of a tentpole film like Speed or Terminator 2: Judgment Day. It was as much a part of the experience as buying an industrial-size trough of popcorn and talking back to the trailers. You couldn't purchase tickets by simply clicking your mouse. Ensuring your spot on opening day required passion, commitment, and sometimes even a sleeping bag. In 1993, Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park was one of those events for me. I remember staking my claim on the sidewalk in front of New York's Ziegfeld Theatre as the line snaked around Sixth Avenue. Six or seven hours later, once I was in my seat, the lights dimmed, and the first dino wrangler got torn to ribbons on Isla Nublar, there was no doubt that the wait had been worth it.
Now, to mark the film's 20th anniversary, Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum have been dusted off for Jurassic Park 3D. I couldn’t be happier that a new generation gets the chance to experience Spielberg's Jaws-with-claws creature feature on the big screen. The good news is that Jurassic Park is still one of the giddiest joy rides that Hollywood has ever engineered. 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. And yet, it's still Jurassic freakin' Park. You'll walk out stunned and exhausted...even if you didn't wait in line all day for tickets. A–