Where evil twins and friends come together to lovingly snark Point Horror and other teen genre fiction
 

Recap #159: Jurassic Park (1993)

Jurassic Park 25th anniversary

Jurassic Park 25th anniversary

Title: Jurassic Park (1993)

Summary: Genetically engineered dinosaurs run amok at a tycoon’s island amusement park.

Tagline: An adventure 65 million years in the making

Initial Thoughts

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO I GOT THE GREATEST GIFT: JURASSIC PARK.

Of all the things I’ve recapped that I love, this may be the one I love most. Yes, even more than The Howling which was my very first werewolf movie and therefore will always have a fond spot in my heart. Jurassic Park has been a huge part of my life since it came out; my dad was a truck driver, and I spent summers on the road with him. The summer the movie came out, I read Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, and I used to daydream about seeing dinosaurs running alongside the big truck, crossing fields and mountains. When I was in high school, one of my favourite concert season included playing the Jurassic Park score. (A friend of mine played the oboe, and it was one of the most haunting and beautiful bits of music I’ve ever heard.) To this day, a hint of the theme song can make me verklempt.

I love the entire original trilogy completely unironically, but Jurassic Park remains my most beloved. You’ve been warned. This is maybe less of a recap and more an explosion of feelings.

Recap

(Oh my god, y’all, I’m watching my DVD special collection, and it has a Universal fanvid, basically, a clip collection of a bunch of movies; some of my favourite scenes from Pitch Black and the Mummy and Jurassic Park and Jaws are in it, along with a ton of others, and now I really want a multifandom fanvid that includes all my favourite action movies.)

(Also: ADVERTISEMENTS WHAT EVEN IS THIS. I’ve been using streaming far too long, I see.)

(Also also: Why haven’t I upgraded to Blu-Ray yet?)

Quick character rundown:

Dr Ellie Sattler: Amazeballs, badass paleobotanist.

Dr Alan Grant: Dryly snarky and terrible with kids paleontologist.

Dr Ian Malcolm: Rockstar chaotician.

Lex Murphy: Computer nerd hacker and all around delight.

Tim Murphy: Lex’s little brother, dinosaur nerd.

John Hammond: Lex and Tim’s grandfather and, oh yeah, the rich white dude to blame for all of this.

Muldoon: Great White Hunter.

Ray Arnold: Funny guy running the control center who has far too few lines.

Dr Wu: Scientist. Keep an eye on him.

Nedry: Computer tech out to steal embryos. Really kicks everything off.

Gennaro: The damn lawyer. I literally forgot his name the second after writing this.

Dodgson: Nedry’s contact. Also part of the reason this all kicks off.

And assorted others. Plus, you know, the most important characters: THE FUCKING DINOSAURS YO.

VELOCIRAPTOR OPENING! Hello black man who will not survive and a bunch of white dudes who will. MULDOON I LOVE YOU MULDOON. Despite the fact that you are the embodiment of the Great White Hunter.

They know how dangerous the raptors are at this point. How in the world do they still fail so horribly at transporting them? Why wouldn’t that heavy duty cage lock into that heavy-duty enclosure before they opened the gate?

Isla Nublar: 120 miles west of Costa Rica.

Ah, Isla Nubla, I love you so. (Ostrich likes to watch Jurassic Park because it was filmed near one of the places he lived in Hawaii.) So beautiful.

I love how this scene is shot — holy shit, Muldoon’s shorts are damn short! — anyway, I love how this is shot, lights and fog, and it’s really hard to see details, which makes everything all the creepier.

Yes, yes, shocking that the one black guy dies. This trope turns up again later in the movie, too. Goddamn, Jurassic Park, you have a billion white dudes in that group, kill one of them!

Muldoon clinging to the man and shouting at the workers to shoot her is a beautiful thing (if weird with the close-ups of his mouth).

Mano de Dios amber mine, Dominican Republic.

Oh, look, the sketchy lawyer. Between this and Hook, I really should have paid attention to the lawyers in these movies before I became one. (First semester of 1L, a bunch of friends and I watched Hook and decided it was really a giant warning flag that we had all ignored.)

So the lawyer turns up at the amber mine to meet Hammond, who has taken off to be with his daughter who is getting a divorce. (People getting divorced: maybe do not send your kids off to an island full of dinosaurs. Just a thought.) Why would Hammond be at the amber mine in the first place? At this point, he’s getting ready to bring people to Jurassic Park for the first time. He should really be meeting the lawyer there, or at least on the mainland, not faffing about at his mine interrupting people who are doing the work to make him rich.

(Hammond is super affable in the movie. The book much better captures the combo of lying showman and capitalist mercenary that it makes sense for him to be. I love him in this movie, mostly because of Lex’s love for him, but he’s way too gentle for what the role does, I think.)

I’m pretty sure I drank the Jurassic Park kool-aid long ago, because every scene they have set up as iconic (like this mosquito in amber scene paired with the dramatic statement that Grant is a digger) is another of my favourite scenes.

Badlands, near Snakewater, Montana.

VELOCIRAPTOR EXCAVATION!

Why did I become a lawyer and not a paleontologist again?

I love, love, love Dr Ellie Sattler. I love her. This means I’m also rather fond of Dr Alan Grant because of how delightful they are together. He’s so casual about touching her ass when they walk down together. And she does the same when she teases him. I love her so much.

Oh, god, the laughing over the idea of dinosaurs become birds. I am dying of delight. <3 science.

I don’t know why there’s a kid on this excavation, but Grant terrorizing him with a raptor claw puts stars and hearts in my eyes. RAPTORS.

(I am probably not going to talk much about actual science in this recap. I’d much rather dive into the world of the movie. However, the idea that a fucking giant predator like a t-rex would not be able to hunt if its prey stood still is ridiculous, Grant.)

Great foreshadowing on the raptor hunt later!

God, the desert is beautiful. Even with creepy raptor stories, but it’s so much better with creepy raptor stories. Can I come join your excavation, Sattler?

Ooof, that joke about pulling a gun on the kid to scare him doesn’t land real well anymore. (Not that I’m sure it did back then, either, but certainly not since.)

I’m with Grant on this, kids smell, babies smell, they’re weird, I don’t want them. (I do love being an aunt, though.)

Grant and Sattler’s rage over the helicopter fucking up their site is a joy, and I hate that Hammond moneys his way out of that and out of opening the champagne they were saving. (The dust off the hand is hilarious, though.)

Awww, the “spared no expense” line. That should have echoed a lot more through the rest of the movies.

(I am drinking a diet Dr Pepper as I write this, and it is Jurassic World 2 themed. I love it. Ostrich bought me so many of them.)

San Jose, Costa Rica.

Gross, Nedry the stereotypical fat guy who eats too much and wears ugly shirts and is greedy greedy greedy. And Dodson is not nearly as subtle as he thinks he is, so I love that Nedry points that out. The shaving cream transport is clever as hell!

UGH Y’ALL MY HEART IS ALREADY CLENCHING AS THE HELICOPTER FLIES ACROSS THE WATER.

Dr Ian Malcolm’s weird weird laugh delights me to no end. Baby!Wing had such a crush on Sattler, Malcolm, and Grant. I love how he’s touchy-feely with literally everyone, including Hammond, who smacks Malcolm’s hand away from his thigh.

UGH MUSIC ISLAND WATER MY HEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAART I HAVE TOO MANY FEEEEEEEEELINGS.

Grant tying his seatbelt around him makes me laugh, mostly because that means Sattler doesn’t have hers buckled because otherwise how did he end up with two of the same ends. Which means Sattler is a bigger badass than all y’all dudes freaking out over that drop.

Hammond’s glee over his island is one of the things that makes me love this version of the character.

Hammond is so annoyed with the lawyer, but he’s just doing his job, oh my god, that’s what lawyers do, we try to poke holes in things and look for the worst case scenario. That doesn’t mean we don’t love what’s going on.

OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD GRANT’S SLOW REALISATION AND SATTLER FREAKING OUT OVER THE PLANT LEAF AND GRANT SHAKING AS HE TAKES OFF HIS GLASSES AND TURNING SATTLER’S HEAD AND THAT SLOW RISE AND OH MY GOD 25 YEARS LATER I HAVE CHILLS THE SAME WAY I DID WHEN I WAS BUT A BABY!WING. I STILL GET A LITTLE TEARY WHEN THIS MUSIC HITS IN THE MOVIE OR OUT OF IT GOD MY HEART MY FEELINGS I CANNOT.

This moment is one of the few times that I believe that even after so many disasters they eventually manage to open the park because the awe over just seeing sfx dinosaurs in a movie a billion times leaves me awestruck every. single. time. Of course people would flock to a dinosaur park no matter what sorts of things happened a decade or more ago.

So, uh, is Hammond really going to be there every single time a show starts? Or is this special just for this tour? Because that seems like a waste.

I love Hammond’s amber-topped cane, and I love how Sattler, Grant, and Malcolm aren’t impressed by the high-level nature of this “ride.” Also, if three adults can get out of your safety bars, kids are going to run rampant in your park, Hammond. Maybe figure that out. (You know, before you have even bigger problems.)

“Are they autoerotica” oh my god, lawyer. OH MY GOD.

Science and scientists find a way, fuckers.

Dr Henry Wu!

… Hammond, I zero percent believe you are there for the birth of every dinosaur on that island. Maybe at first, but considering how many you have and how many you are still working on hatching, coupled with your need to be with your daughter, you are not there for every hatching. Don’t even front.

Oh my god baby!raptor is the cutest baby! I WANT ONE.

Grant doesn’t like kids, but he sure wants that baby!raptor to imprint on him. ADORBS.

Wu’s confidence as a scientist is a cocky delight and an interesting juxtaposition against Malcolm’s even flashier cocky confidence.

Life finds a way. Another one of those gorgeous iconic lines.

Grant’s face when he figures out he’s holding a raptor. I LOVE YOU GRANT I LOVE YOU. Though you shouldn’t be surprised about a powerful predator, considering Hammond recently told you about the FUCKING T-REX.

The intelligence of the raptors is my absolute favourite thing about a movie full of my favourite things.

(I’m — I’m pretty sure Sattler’s shorts are longer than Muldoon’s. Do those short shorts help you hunt, dude?)

Lethal at eight months and 50-60 miles per hour runners and smart enough to test the fence — is it any surprise that raptors are my favourites? I especially love the big one, Clever Girl, the vicious, smart one.

Who’s hungry, Hammond? Literally no one now.

Interesting that they give capitalism to the lawyer to gentle Hammond.

Oooh, another gun reference, though this one in a serious way. And I love Malcolm’s point that they’re building on top of the giants that came before them without taking the responsibility for it. And I quote this a billion times: Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.

This argument about human-driven extinction versus natural selection extinction is super fucking interesting. And though Sattler is quieter about her points, but they are even more important than Malcolm’s, because they are more immediate: there are poisonous plants in the space where kids will be welcomed. That is a terrible idea and should have been a basic consideration.

“The only one I’ve got on my side is the blood-sucking lawyer!”

HA!

YES YES YES LEX IT IS LEX TIME I LOVE YOU LEX. One of the best changes from the book to the movie is switching up the kids and making Lex the older sibling and the computer nerd.

(Grant’s face! Sattler’s smirk! I love their relationship.)

And Tim and his adorable nerdery over Grant’s book and theories. He is adorable. And look another kid who doesn’t believe they evolved into birds. Gonna scare him with raptors, too? (…the raptors do that themselves, of course.)

Tim keeps talking to Grant about another book he’s read that basically calls Grant’s theories a load of crap. A book by a guy named Bakker LOLOLOLOL.

Sattler telling Lex to ride with Grant because it would be good for him I love them all so much. SO MUCH.

Why did you build this on an island known for its storms, Hammond? You trust your security so much, why would you do this!

Aww, Mr Ray Arnold, I love you and yet I know better than to get attached.

I’m shocked that Hammond doesn’t go on the tour with his grandkids, to be honest. I know he wants to watch from the control room, but really? REALLY?

Yes, Lex, your grandfather sent you on a ride where you’re going to hit the door. Sweetheart. Sweetheart.

You know, this dilophosaurus enclosure with its warnings about the windows brings up a good point: why the fuck would you let the windows roll down in the first place? If it is for safety reasons, keep a glass breaker in the vehicles.

How the fuck do you only have ONE DUDE controlling the automation and coding and networking? HOW? HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW? (I mean, maybe he has a team somewhere else, but it clearly doesn’t sound like it based on this movie.)

Muldoon being so focused on the tour because they’re approaching the (oh my god so beautiful) t-rex paddock is a thing of joy forever.

You know, going to a zoo and not seeing one or two animals you want to see is annoying enough, even when the zoo is free. (My local zoo is both amazing and free.) Can you imagine how frustrating it would be to pay money to fly to an island to see dinosaurs and then get nothing? You can’t make the animals perform, Hammond.

ANOTHER FAVOURITE SCENE.

Malcolm: God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys god. Man creates dinosaurs.

Sattler: Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth.

And then Malcolm and Grant’s faaaaaaces. I can see why people ship those three.

Look, Lex, just because you’re a vegetarian doesn’t mean a carnivore should be a vegetarian. (I say pointedly to people who believe cats and dogs should eat vegetarian diets. Wrong.)

Awww, the chaos theory scene, water droplets and scientific flirting and everyone getting out of the moving vehicles to go climb into a dinosaur enclosure, because that’s safe, HAMMOND. Also, if someone did hop out of the car, MAYBE THE PROGRAM SHOULD AUTOMATICALLY FUCKING STOP OH MY GOD.

I zero percent believe Sattler would have listened to Grant and stayed back in case it wasn’t safe. Zero percent. Thank god she gets to be a complete scientific badass now.

UGH, Grant leaning against the triceratops’ side and listening to it breathe and Sattler tearing up as she touches her and Lex’s starry-eyed crush while she watches Grant get twitterpated over the dinosaur — god, my heart can’t handle all this sweetness.

In the book, all this work Sattler does to figure out what makes the triceratops sick is fab, because of the stones for digestion. It’s hinted at here, but not as clear, and I think it’s fucking clever as hell of her to figure it out.

Oof, that crash of thunder made Monster Dog jump. I maaaaay have the sound system set a little high right now.

I love that Sattler stays with the triceratops. I also love how fast this storm turns dangerous and vicious, and how beautiful it is.

God, Nedry, could you stammer any more? You are no poker player. Not. at. all. Your babbling is making me tense, despite the fact I’ve seen this a hundred times.

I have questions about how the Jeeps-on-tracks work better than having drivers in the cars. Cheaper, maybe, but better? Safer? Like I said, I have questions.

I also have questions about security around the embryos. Just locking doors seems like a terribly limited system. (I mean, clearly.)

I love how Nedry is at least smart enough not to take down the raptor fences. Also, shouldn’t there be at least two paths to the dock that don’t require going through the electric fences (and therefore through the dinosaur enclosures)? I assume there’s at least one, which everyone else has taken and he doesn’t want to use so he’s not seen, but c’mon, surely there can’t be only one road?

Nedry has people? Like — a team of people working with him or his management team or his school sponsor or what? Even if he does have a team of coders working for him, it seems like he’s the point person on this whole entire park, which is ridiculous. You should certainly have more than one person on site.

THE VIBRATING WATER YES BEST I LOVE YOU MOVIE I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.

I am super entertained that Tim uses the night-vision goggles to see the goat is missing, but Lex can easily see it herself.

Ooof, the paw on the fence — do you call it a paw — and the gulping of the goat. God, this scene remains intense and wonderful.

Keep still, Grant? Keep still? You know those kids aren’t going to have a single idea of how to handle this, right?

GOD, Lex with the light on the window and the t-rex’s eye right there. That is creepy as hell first time and every time. And then it come through the glass roof because of the light. The sfx here, the attention to detail in the mud and the kids’ terror, the sound effects — everything’s amazing and terrifying and wonderful. That moment of silence right before the t-rex slams down into the car is horrific and perfect and wonderful.

The sound engineers did an amazing job on the t-rex’s bellow.

I’ve just realised that Malcolm is probably trying to make up for being scared earlier and that’s why he’s doing this. He thinks it will help, he thinks it will save the kids, he thinks it will make him brave.

BYE BYE LAWYER!

Oh, god, the puff of air that blows off Grant’s hat and how he has to cover Lex’s mouth to keep her from screaming. And that gorgeous shot of the t-rex’s foot coming down in the mud in front of them. The cinematography is amazing

Lex choking Grant while they’re dangling from the rope is such a realistic response and terrible.

Sattler! I love you!

Hammond sends Muldoon to get his grandchildren, and that moment where he realises how terrible a situation they are in is heartbreaking; I love how Sattler is a badass and immediately demands to go with Muldoon.

That cut from Arnold telling Hammond that he can’t get Jurassic Park back online without Nedry to Nedry panicking in the Jeep is beautifully done. Nedry fumbling with the driving and the winch and his glasses is funny, but it is also really tense and frightening. I appreciate how they found a balance there.

And the trees in the rain are creepy as hell.

… surely it has been more than 15 minutes at his point. Surely. It feels like it’s been half an hour, at least. Or at least a ton of things have happened that makes it seem like that. I don’t mean that the movie is dragging.

Nedry putting on his hood and making himself look even more like a danger is such a smart little detail. And then the dinosaur doesn’t actually attack until he falls and his hat comes off, making him look like prey. I love it.

The long shot of the can falling down the rocks only to get buried in the mud always made me think it was sequel bait and something would come of it, but I don’t think it ever did. Why so much focus on it, movie?

This entire scene with the car and Tim stuck in the tree and Grant reassuring Lex that he’s not going to leave them like the lawyer did is so well done. Lex’s panic is real, Tim’s terror of climbing down the tree makes sense, and Grant is steady and brave even though he doesn’t really know what to do with kids.

Also, Tim’s embarrassed admission that he threw up is heartbreaking.

God, can you imagine what it would have been like for Grant to climb that tree not knowing whether Tim is alive or dead until he gets up there. How terrifying and heartbreaking would that be? SO MUCH.

They have to climb fast so the Jeep doesn’t land on them, but why are they climbing straight down under it in the first place? It didn’t seem like Grant went straight up under it, but also the tree is huge and there are lots of branches. Surely it would have been faster and easier to move to the side?

Not as dramatic, sure, and it wouldn’t have set up for Tim’s terrible joke about them being back in the car and Alan’s response that they’re out of the tree.

Sattler and Muldoon shouting in panic is fantastic, but I’m surprised Muldoon doesn’t know not to do that when there is a major predator on the loose. He’s a big game hunter, he’s smart about the raptors, but he’s going to be running around and shouting when he knows the t-rex is around?

I also have a hard time believing that Muldoon and Sattler make it down to where the other car is located and back in time for this dramatic chase scene with the t-rex, but it is beautifully done and, again, iconic in so many ways. The impact tremors in the footprint, the closer than they appear thing, Malcolm begging them to go faster — it’s perfect.

Muldoon’s quick little smirk when the t-rex stops chasing them, that moment that he knows he’s escaped the predator, that’s such a smart little bit of characterisation. Huge kudos to whoever came up with that.

The banyan tree in which Grant and the kids spend the night is beautiful, and the brachiosauruses singing to each other is lovely detail. I feel so bad for Lex in the morning, though, who is nervous around the dinosaurs (they are far more Tim’s thing than hers even before this) and then, when she tries to be brave and touch one, it sneezes all over her. Poor, sweet girl.

Great point from Grant about them being animals and not monsters and even the carnivores are just doing what they evolved to do.

The musical reprise here as the kids cuddle with Grant and Tim tells terrible jokes is sweet and gentle and touching. He’s so kind to those kids. I wish more of the character bonds had been shone in later movies.

(That detail of Grant throwing away the velociraptor claw he carries — or, rather, I assume a copy made from a mold — is a nice bit of character building, too.)

Sattler and Hammond have a scene with ice cream in the dining room that is smart and believable and then Hammond’s broken little repetition of “spared no expense” is heartbreaking. (Also, the flea circus is a callback to Hammond in the book, the huckster out to get money any way he could.) So is his desire to make something real, something people could see and touch. He’s proud and he’s smart, but he’s also obsessed.

Jurassic Park the series as a whole is really the story about people, generally white men, being obsessed over control of nature and building an illusion of reality in genetically engineered monsters. This is a huge part of why I love these movies as much as I do, and they’ve had a direct impact in my writing over my life. (And not just in the whole thing where I wrote fic for them.)

Awww, Tim trying to calm his sister by telling her it’s a veggiesaurus and not a meatosaurus is so fucking sweet. I love the sibling relationship between these two, snarky and loving and real.

The reveal of the eggs in the wild as Grant and the kids make their way through the jungle is a wonderful moment of chaos and science. Grant does a great job of explaining how the frog DNA led to this, too, because some frogs switch sexes when in a single-sex environment.

Grant, why are you smelling that egg?

And what kind of eggs are they? Do we ever learn?

Oh god, the Malcolm scene that spawned a thousand memes and also was a sexual awakening for a ton of people around just the right age. I love how Sattler and Lex are both super competent in this movie (in different ways), and Malcolm is the one who lounges around with his shirt open, wounded and in desperate need of some sexual comfort.

(Goldblum actually talked about this scene earlier this year, explaining why his shirt was open.)

I love this fight over whether they should shut down the system or not. Hammond making this decision is ridiculous, too — so is the fact that they’ve never tried to shut down the system before. THAT IS SOMETHING YOU DO BEFORE YOU STOCK THE ISLAND WITH ANIMALS WHAT THE EVERLOVING FUCK.

ALSO, HELLO, WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU SHUT DOWN THE ENTIRE SYSTEM WHEN YOU HAVE ALREADY TALKED ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT IT IS NOT TO TURN OFF THE RAPTOR FENCES?!

The blue shade and the flashlight lighting here is beautiful.

Iconic line: Hold onto your butts as Arnold tries to turn the system back on. (He’s looking fine, too, with that tie undone and that shirt starting to be unbuttoned.)

WHY ARE YOUR CIRCUIT BREAKERS ON THE OTHER END OF THE COMPOUND FROM THE FUCKING CONTROL CENTER? WHO THE FUCK DESIGNED THIS PARK?!

I love how the control center scene is super dark and terrifying and the next scene is Grant and the kids in the sun, looking safe and calm — right up until the gallimimuses start to flock. I also love how Grant is all scientific mode even as the dinosaurs race toward them. You delightful science nerd, you.

Out of curiosity, how much could a t-rex actually eat? It’s had a goat, and a person, and at least one dinosaur over about 12 hours or so, maybe a little more. I get that it is giant, but predators don’t constantly hunt. (I love how this plays out in later movies, actually, about how killing for pleasure and not food or defense is a sign of how unnatural the things are they’ve created.)

Sattler goes after Arnold like the complete badass she is; I do love that Muldoon goes with her, though. Of course he does. I’m surprised he hasn’t headed out sooner. This is exactly the sort of thing that would appeal to a big game hunter. (See Lost World.)

Hammon drops the heavy bundle of diagrams right onto Malcolm’s wounded leg because that makes a ton of sense. COME ON.

Iconic line alert!

Sattler: Look, we can discuss sexism in survival situations when I get back.

GOD SATTLER I LOVE THE SHIT OUT OF YOU.

Muldoon’s shorts appear to be getting longer. Huh.

RAPTORS ARE FREE RAPTORS ARE FREE RAPTORS ARE FREEEEEEEEEEEE.

(I would expect different prints from them, actually.)

I know I love a lot of scenes in this movie, but oh my god I love this scene so much. Sattler wants to run to the shed, Muldoon doing what he does best, i.e., hunting, and then his statement that it is alright, there’s only one of them. I’m going to give Sattler this moment because being hunted by live dinosaurs is a far cry from the field, but SATTLER. GRANT LITERALLY OPENED YOUR CHARACTERS BY TALKING ABOUT HOW RAPTORS HUNT IN PACKS AND YOU’LL BE KILLED BY THE ONES YOU DON’T EVEN SEE.

God, that foreshadowing, SO GOOD.

Sattler is a complete badass in her run to the shed, leaping branches and using her environment to help her. I love it.

That electric fends does not look sturdy enough to climb from some angles. And Grant is a complete bag of dicks for pretending to be electrocuted and terrifying the kids. And yet it made me laugh my ass off the first time I saw it.  Then he has to be an idiot about trying to squeeze through the tight wire strands. YOU ARE SMARTER THAN THAT, GRANT.

Hammond is CRAP at reading schematics and giving directions, goddamn. Thank god Malcolm is there to help even as he is drugged and wounded in and need of sexual comfort.

The fence climbing scene is so well paced and characterized for such a simple scene. I can’t get over how well the storytelling in this movie works (not to mention the special effects and the score and the acting and the cinematography and oh my god, Wing, shut up already). Lex challenging Tim to a climbing race, Tim wanting to know what he gets out of it because it doesn’t make sense to his science-loving self, Grant telling them it’s not a race because he’s trying to keep things calm (…except when he’s pretending to be electrocuted). And, of course, we know it is a race against Sattler getting the power back on.

Speaking of Sattler, she’s finally to the circuit breakers. I love the details here, that she has to pump the primer handle to get the charge, that it takes time to make this work. For as large a facility as it is, this makes total sense. (However, I still think it was terrible design to have it so far away from the actual control room. Who the fuck designed that?!)

Sattler slowly turning on each park system while we know Tim is still stuck on the fence is so tense and terrible and perfect. (I do have some questions about the order in which those are set up, though. Why is the perimeter fence lower than, say, the fucking visitor center tour?)

Oh, god, my least favourite part is coming up. Not before the raptor jump scare that is perfect, though. Arnold’s bloody arm on her shoulder is unnecessary, considering we’ve now had the two black men in the movie be torn apart by raptors.

(Aside: Emma Munger drew some amazing pin-up art of the Jurassic Park characters, and of course everyone likes to link me to them, and they are gorgeous. EXCEPT. Do you know what a really fucking shitty thing for an artist to do is? Drawing Sattler’s pinup with Arnold’s bloody arm on her shoulder what the ever loving fuck. Yes, it is an iconic image, but there are plenty of others and this scene could have been used without his arm. Look at the bigger work here. You have taken a black man’s arm, torn from his body in his death, in a movie where both black men died, and drawn it as a part of sexy art of a white woman. WHAT THE EVER LOVING FUCK.)

More great foreshadowing with the camera’s focus on the door handle once Sattler closes the door to the maintenance shed. Surely dinosaurs can’t open doors, right? Surely. THAT COULD NEVER HAPPEN I’M SURE.

Yet another iconic line and scene. Do I even need to tell you what it is?

Muldoon: Clever girl.

Ambush attack and that raptor so still as the snake slides past and god, this is why they are my favourite dinosaur. Well, this and the raptor smile later and the tapping and and and and and.

Yay, Tim is alive! I think it is smart that they skip from the fence to the visitor center because we’ve already seen quite a bit of Grant and the kids crossing different kinds of ground to get out of the park itself. Any more would slow it down. Plus the creepiness just keeps building in the visitor center, so by the time we get to this part, I’m already on edge because I know more of my favourite scenes are coming up soon.

(You know, while I like the wall scene of the raptor hunting, I’m not sure that putting it in the dining room is the best idea for a lot of your guests. Again, who the hell designed this park?!)

I love Sattler and Grant being reunited, and Sattler telling him to run and then just leaping on him.

The difference in what the kids are eating is hilarious, but just a second later everything goes south. I think the focus on Tim’s face first, and his grin fading into confusion, was the perfect angle to shoot this from because then we get the reveal of Lex’s shaking jello and that gorgeous bit about the real raptor behind the art.

That was a favourite scene and the kitchen scene is yet another. I love how Lex takes charge of getting her brother into a room where she thinks they will be safe and of hiding them in the darkness. And, of course, this is one of the best scene juxtaposition moments in the whole damn movie: Sattler telling Grant that there are only two raptors left unless they figure out how to open doors cutting immediately to a raptor doing just the fuck that oh my god. That is truly terrifying. So are the raptor vocalizations; I can see being haunted by that forever.

The raptor tapping its claw is my favourite detail in a movie full of details I love.

Lex is completely badass here, distracting the raptors because they’re about to find her brother. What a fabulous big sister. And, of course, this leads to two wonderful things. First, that slow raptor smile when it sees her, and second, the terror and hilarity of that actually being her reflection and the raptor slamming headfirst into metal.

Tim is badass here, too, coming up with the plan about the freezer, though I’m not sure I believe he could hop faster than the raptor could run to get into the freezer in the first place.

Yet another slow raptor smile. God, creepy design decisions that are wonderful.

The one moment when Sattler is ridiculous, she absolutely could get that gun fast enough for them to do something and/or she could have asked Tim to get it.

Why, why, why do writers call tech things something they’re not? That is very clearly not a Unix system. All Lex needed to say was that she knew that system and it would have been fine. A ridiculous system, but fine.

Still, Lex is competent and amazing and I love her.

As always, just when they think they’re safe, the raptors continue to hunt them, because the raptors are amazing predators, driven and fierce and I love them too. And the attention to detail! I love the coding in the shadows falling across the raptor (even though I do not for a second believe that would actually happen based on any of the lighting options in the control room). And the raptor leaping up into the ceiling because it is learning where they are is brilliantly done.

This entire scene is wonderful, all the humans having to jump onto the skeleton displays and the raptors following them, everyone crashing to the floor in pieces, and then, of course, the t-rex coming to save the day by doing just what they were made to do.

(Shallow: Sattler’s hair looks fucking amazing at this point how is that even possible?)

One of my favourite pieces of continuity in Jurassic World is how the t-rex has the scars from this fight with the raptors.

Final iconic scene: t-rex roaring while the banner falls: When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth.

You — you mean now?

Hammond’s face breaks my heart in this scene where he’s looking over his park one last time before getting into the helicopter. This Hammond is so much more sympathetic than in the book (and, you know, his ending is much different here). I have a hard time being sympathetic toward old rich white guys who think they can do anything they want, but his dream here, and the damage it’s done, and his joy dying, it really is heartbreaking. The musical reprise while he looks at that polished amber on top of his cane just drives that home.

All I want from a sequel is Sattler and Grant and Malcolm keeping a close relationship with Lex and Tim and maybe all making a family of survivors and ugh. I love the first two sequels (I did not love Jurassic World as much as I wanted), but I never did get the story I loved of a found family forged in danger lasting even after they are safe. (There are pieces of this in the next two movies, but not nearly enough.)

Final Thoughts

Oh my god my heaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaart.

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2 Comments

  1. Dade
    Posted 19 June 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    I just LOVE this film. It’s funny, I watched it just on Monday night, preparing for “Fallen Kingdom” coming out this week.

    I remember my dad bought the book when it first came out. He read it. Then my mum read it. Then I read it. We were all wowed by it. My dad even said, “I bet this gets turned into a movie by Steven Spielberg.” I was bouncing off the walls waiting for the movie. I was 13, and already considered myself a horror movie pro, and didn’t think I’d get scared by a PG movie. But it frightened the crap out of me, lol. My dad and I are total fanboys when it comes to this franchise.

    I watched “The Lost World” just now, and have to say, it is far inferior. Apart from some good T-Rex bits and the Raptor chase at the end, it was mostly worthless. Lots of extraneous characters you don’t really care about, and the T-Rex loose on the mainland finale was just dumb. The previews to “Fallen Kingdom” look a bit Lost World-ish, which is my main concern before I see it (with my dad, of course).

    • Wing
      Posted 21 June 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      Part of why I watched it again was to prepare for Fallen Kingdom, too! (I’m seeing it Thursday night and Saturday afternoon, so I really hope I like it.) I love that your parents shared the book with you; it’s very much not my parents’ style of book (neither of them like horror at all or anything too horror-adjacent), but I think they would have liked the movie but for some of the blood and guts. (Which is low! But their tolerance is low, too. How I turned out like I did being raised in that house, no one knows.)

      I do like Lost World, mostly because of Kelly and Ian and Sarah, but one of my problems with it is that it tries to do too much all at the same time: dinosaur research and dinosaur rescue and dinosaur poaching and dinosaur capture and dinosaurs hunting humans and and and and. Nothing really gets to build on its own. From the trailers, I’m hoping that Fallen Kingdom gives some of that space to grow separately. It looks like the dinosaur rescue from the island, for example, may cover just a bit of the first part of the movie and then it goes into dealing with the corporate espionage and dinosaurs as weapons aspect which leads into the dinosaurs hunting humans aspect. But we’ll see!

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