True story, I had nightmares for years after I watched Jurassic Park for the first time (probably not a good idea to show this to a 6 year old). To conquer my fear, I came back 2 years later (at a slightly better age of 8) and instantly fell in love with it. It was just so cool seeing dinosaurs come to life, and even upon repeated viewings it never loses its magic. Admittedly the sequels aren’t as good, but how would I rank all the entries in the series?
Check out this list if you want to see how my ranking system works:
Let’s crack on with the list. Be careful, objects in mirror are closer than they appear…
5 – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
The latest entry in the series strays so far from the original that is almost feels weird calling it a Jurassic Park movie.
Most of the movie is actually quite good fun – the volcano eruption provides some much needed tension, Chris Pratt continues to dominate the screen as Owen Grady, and that scene where they have to extract T-Rex blood is edge-of-your-seat stuff. That Brachiosaurus scene is a surprisingly sentimental moment as well.
What lets this movie down is the final act in the mansion. The Endo-raptor is a completely stupid gimmick, and ,although the auction scene has its moments, it’s not really finale material. By far the dumbest thing has to be the subplot with the girl who (spoilers) turns out to be a clone or something weird like that. I just remember thinking that the scene where they release all the dinosaurs was the worst movie ending ever. At least it sets up what looks to be a decent final entry in the trilogy.
4 – Jurassic Park III
This would have easily been the worst entry of the series if it wasn’t for Fallen Kingdom.
This movie has similar problems to Fallen Kingdom in that the dumbness levels kick into overdrive. You can tell this is going to be rough viewing when Alan Grant dreams of the raptor on the plane (Alan!).
The Spinosaurus is a pretty good dino antagonist, even if it kills the grand-daddy T-Rex much too quickly. That scene on the boat with the Spino in pursuit is probably the most memorable moment of the film.
The other negative of this film is the characters. Other than Dr. Grant, the cast is annoying and forgettable. This becomes a problem when you’re supposed to care about them getting eaten, but it doesn’t hit with the emotional weight that the film wants it to. Not as bad as some people say though.
3 – Jurassic World
I remember seeing this film in cinemas, the first of the franchise that I got to see on the big screen. Whilst I definitely wasn’t disappointed, there’s no denying some of the flaws.
The cast do a good job, and the Indominous Rex is a good addition to the franchise (even if it’s a bit overkill). There are some great moments, like the Indominous escape scene and the first raptor taming endeavour.
The movie takes a slightly negative turn when the raptors side with the Indominous, as it’s not nearly as scary or tense as they would want it to be. The romantic stuff between Owen and Claire is a bit pointless and sappy, but on the whole Jurassic World is a return to form for the franchise.
2 – The Lost World: Jurassic Park
For the life of me I’ll never understand the hate for this film. Yes, it’s obviously never going to be as good as the original, but it’s still a fun movie.
Jeff Goldbloom does a great job as the lead, with supporting roles like Julianne Moore and Vince Vaughn stealing the show at times. It helps that this film was directed by Spielberg, as he elevates what admittedly is a lack-lustre script.
The T-Rex rampaging in mainland America is a silly idea, but at least it leads to some fun scenes. The worst offender is probably the use of gymnastics to defeat a raptor, and I can’t really defend that part.
This movie excels, however, in the tension. That scene where the T-Rex couple push the gang off a cliff and then eat Eddie is definitely a highlight of the franchise, and the sprint through the long grass to avoid raptors is chilling and scary. Is it a good Jurassic Park movie? Just about. Is it heaps of fun? Absolutely.
1 – Jurassic Park
This film was always going to be number 1 on this list, and deservedly so.
You can just tell when you watch this film that you’re witnessing greatness. Spielberg is the master of tension, and this film showcases his skills at their scintillating best.
The T-Rex escape is one of the best scenes in cinema history, the scene in the kitchen with the raptors is one of the best scenes in cinema history, when the gang looks out on the dinosaurs for the first time and Hammond says “Welcome to Jurassic Park” is one of the best scenes in cinema history … the list goes on.
If there was ever a film that deserved the accolade “All-Time Great”, it would be Jurassic Park.
And that’s my list. Jurassic Park is probably the film I’ve rewatched the most in my life, so if you haven’t seen it (somehow) I’d highly recommend it. Check out some of my other posts below.