Reactions to the Jurassic Park Movies

Sometimes, you come to the party late. Sometimes, you come to the party so late that no one even remembers the party. The latter is the case for this subject, but I've decided to blog about it anyway.

It's been two decades since the film Jurassic Park came out, and twelve years since the release of Jurassic Park III. I, however, never saw any of the Jurassic Park movies until this summer, when I watched all three of them over the course of a few days.

Here are some of my thoughts and reactions:

  • Is it even possible to be more predictable? I know the answer to that question must be "yes," but Jurassic Park and its sequels are incredibly predictable. My girlfriend watched the movies with me and was making so many correct predictions that I thought she must have seen them before. She hadn't. And—perhaps if I hadn't been so busy trying to ignore her predictions—I would have been making the same ones myself. It's pretty easy to figure out from the get-go who will live and who will die: Kids always live, (even if it defies all logic), black people always die, (except the one black kid in The Lost World), and everyone else is pretty easy to sort out from there, between major and minor characters, good guys, bad guys, and so on. The only real surprise for me in the series was when the college student survived in JPIII. I guess he was too much of a "kid" to die, or perhaps they were so intent on making a happy ending they were ok with the story defying logic just a little bit more. That leads me right to my next reaction:

  • Why are these movies unrealistic in all the wrong ways? The funny thing about Jurassic Park is that its central premise ends up seeming entirely believable: Sure you could clone dinosaurs from blood left in mosquitoes trapped in amber. Totally. I'm sure everyone in an audience would easily accept that idea for the sake of a story, except maybe a few scientists. The real problem is that so much that happens after the starting premise is unrealistic: Why would the visiting scientists not spend more time questioning the science? Why would Malcolm go back when he swore he wouldn't? Why would his girlfriend go when she knew what her boyfriend had been through? How could Malcolm's daughter stow away so easily? Why did Grant so easily agree to come along? How did the little boy Erik survive time and again when so many others died? There were so many questionable actions the characters took, I have a hard time remembering them.

  • John Hammond - the villain of
    the series in my view, who
    somehow gets away with it all
  • Why does no one care about the dead people!? This aspect saddened me the most. No matter what, each Jurassic Park movie was characterized by horrifically violent deaths that the main characters never seemed too torn up about. Each movie should have ended with mass funerals, public outcry, and devastated survivors experiencing PTSD, but instead they all pretty much had "happy" endings because the "good" main characters made it out alive. To top it all off, the park's creator John Hammond doesn't seem to give a fig for any of the victims, and he gets away with everything.

As you can see, all of my reactions here are linked to the same theme: Jurassic Park just doesn't connect with what (one imagines) humans would realistically think and do in the fantastic scenarios it proposes. Instead, they just seem to follow the same clich├ęd stories meant to get people to watch them in theaters—and in that way the Jurassic Park films were certainly successful, making tons of money for the studios, and Steven Spielberg I'm sure. Apparently Jurassic Park 4 has been in development for years, but to be honest, I hope it's never finished. I, for one, am sick and tired of cinema that does nothing more than rehash old ideas for profit. Let's hope we can all find better films to enjoy in the future.