Okay, okay so I know this is some old news, like 22 years old, but this film/story is a classic and after having recently watched it I was marveling at just how good it was so, naturally, I thought of doing a review. But this time I thought I would do a review comparison of the book and film! I know branching into slightly different territory here and I’m not sure if I can handle it!
This is a strange situation for me because this is one of the few times that I have seen the film first and then read the book but I think that´s a little understandable as the film was released in 1993 and I was born in 1991. I don´t think little toddler Lauren would have been able to grasp the main ideas behind the book, or understand most of the words. As I said, the film was released in 1993 and was the dawn of a new era in the world of special effects. It was the first film to use CGI and animatronics together this was to make it look as real as possible, but also the animatronics helped to get the feel for how their CGI counterparts should move. I think this blend is what helped to make the film into the classic that it is today. Even in 2015 the film looks good. It doesn´t seemed to have aged in the world of special effects and it doesn´t look cheesy and have that green screen feel to it. Which unfortunately, is how many films made in the last few years have ended up feeling to me.
I first saw the film when I was around the age of 5, it was one of the boxing day films and I remember my mum recording the film on a video tape. Because of this I was able to rewatch it, but I used to be wary of the film. I loved the way that it was written and I found it fascinating to think about what would happen if someone implemented this in real life. But I was always a little scared of the consequences. The first time that you watch this film you find yourself becoming enthralled by it and captivated by the twists and turns of the plots. Like what happened to the shaving can full of embryos?!
The mix of characters and personalities in the film also gave way to a good dynamic and helped to create the tension that is felt. With Ian Malcolm constantly being gloomy and pessimistic how could you not expect something terrible to go wrong? His use of chaos theory, though sidelined a little in the film, is a crucial aspect of the telling of the book. Throughout the book we are presented with a page showing a more and more advanced picture of chaos theory. To be honest, I didn´t really understand it (and I still don’t) but it is interesting to see how it spreads out. This is used in conjunction with the story-line to show how the situation on the island is progressing and how it is slowly going from bad to worse.
Both have similar story-lines (as to be expected) but there is some major changes in the film! For starters, the lawyer is actually a decent person! I know right, who would have thought that the lawyer would be good?! And John Hammond is actually a greedy old man who doesn’t care about anyone but himself. But I suppose a nice, old, loving granddad makes for a more sympathetic character. Also, in the book they manage to get all the power back on in the park and begin to fix all the problems but as with the film they can’t seem to get the phone lines back on.
In fact, the story-lines differ so much then when I read the book I said “Wow, this should be made into a film!” A strange situation but it shows just how much the two vary in terms of what happens throughout the problems. They briefly mention in the film that the dinosaurs have been breading because of the frog DNA which made some of the females change into males, but in the book they have a list which breaks down which species have been affected and how many more of each of them are. And surprise, surprise it’s the Velociraptors which have the biggest change. I mean, there had to be a reason why they were so important in the film.
!!!!SPOILER ALERT!!!! In the book, the velociraptors have been making it off of the island and are spotted on a boat by Tim whilst he’s using the night vision goggles (which are a lot more important in the book than the film!) This is why Alan Grant is so desperate to get the phones back online, so that they can warn the boat before it makes it back to the main land. Also, Tim keeps the night vision goggles and uses them to trap the velociraptor in the freezer, he was so much smarter in the book. !!!!SPOILER ALERT!!!!
I think in some respects I prefer the book, but that is for it’s steady and detailed progression through the problems that happen over the weekend. You aren’t really left with any unanswered questions as to what happened or how things could have been done differently as most things are explored. I think that this is one of my main problems with the film. How did the velociraptors end up in the welcoming centre at the end? I know they can open doors but one of them turned up from some random area of the building, and how did the Tyrannosaur get into the building unobserved and unnoticed? Small questions that will always bug me when I watch the film.
Despite the obvious differences I think that both film and book are equally enjoyable and I can see the good points in both, a rare occurrence for me as normally I dislike the way the film has portrayed the book. I think it really helped that I liked the film before I knew there was a book so I didn’t have to feel on edge watching it or feel like there was something going to have been changed. I just wish that I could do this with many more modern book to film adaptations. Also, I know that it can be difficult to get everything from a book into a film, due to time and money, and I am not negating from the quality of the filming. It’s definitely more of a pet peeve of mine than anything else.
If you have seen the film I really do recommend the book and its sequel The Lost World by the author Michael Crichton.