In 1993, dinosaurs ruled the world, and smashed box office records as Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster Jurassic Park stomped past E.T.
The Extra-Terrestrial to become the highest grossing film of all time. Long queues snaked around multiplexes, desperate to witness the carnage wrought by velociprators and an imposing Tyrannosaurus Rex, brought to life using animatronics and then state-of-the-art special effects.
The film deservedly collected three Academy Awards for its groundbreaking visuals and sound, and spawned two sequels of diminishing returns - a fourth instalment in the saga is currently in development, scheduled for release in summer 2015.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the original film, Spielberg and his team have lovingly converted the rip-roaring action adventure into the 3D format, heightening the thrills and spills as characters realise there are grave consequences for meddling with Mother Nature.
Eccentric billionaire John Hammond (Sir Richard Attenborough) harnesses DNA from prehistoric amber to re-animate various dinosaur species in a specially constructed reserve on Isla Nublar, located off the coast of Costa Rica.
Hammond invites paleontologist Dr Alan Grant (Sam Neill), paleobotanist Dr Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and chaos mathematician Dr Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) to tour the island in the company of his grandchildren Tim (Joseph Mazzello) and Lex (Ariana Richards).
The billionaire hopes the three experts will pen glowing testimonials and calm the jitters of the park’s investors, represented by snivelling lawyer, Donald Gennaro (Martin Ferrero).
Halfway through the tour, head computer programmer Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) cuts the power so he can escape with priceless dinosaur embryos to sell to Hammond’s rivals.
However, the temporary outage allows the gargantuan beasts to run amok. Game warden Robert Muldoon (Bob Peck) joins forces with head technician Ray Arnold (Samuel L Jackson) to restore calm while Grant, Sattler, Malcolm and the terrified children outrun the hulking predators.
Jurassic Park looks magnificent in the new format and the special effects hold up remarkably well after two decades of technological advancement.
Iconic scenes like the kitchen velociraptor hunt or the T Rex attack on the children’s jeep look terrific in 3D and even though we know exactly when jolts are coming, we still jump out of seats as beasts leaps out of the darkness, razor-sharp teeth primed to tear through human flesh.
Neill and Dern kick dinosaur butt as blood-curdling screams echo across Isla Nublar while Goldblum provides welcome comic relief, observing Gennaro fleeing into a roadside portaloo to escape the carnage and quipping, “When you gotta go, you gotta go!”
Very young children may need to hide behind Mum and Dad during more intense moments, like Nedry’s ill-fated encounter with a venom-spitting Dilophosaurus.
Mum and Dad will have to hide behind each other.
Welcome back to Jurassic Park.