I Watched Jurassic Park
Internet friends, I have a terrible confession to make. Up until last week, I had never actually seen the classic '90s movie ' Jurassic Park ' all the way through. And while I firmly believe that no one can make you 'give up' your nerd cred because you haven't seen a thing everyone else has, this particular gap in my pop culture knowledge was always a deep-seeded source of shame.
But don't worry, fellow dorks -- I couldn't go and watch the sequel ' Jurassic World ,' which is opening in theaters this Friday, without finally sitting down to the original film. So I did! And now I have a bunch of questions about it:
- Are paleontologists required to wear plaid button downs? Universal Pictures
Yes, right? It seems like yes.
(Extra shout out to that guy on the left with the furiously curly mullet, while we're remarking on '90s fashions.)
- Who is that kid at the beginning? Universal Pictures
I've actually watched this scene before, where Dr. Alan Grant teaches some annoying kid about just how scary dinosaurs are, and it's great. But I sort of assumed that he'd show up again in the movie with the rest of the kids after that and he doesn't. Who is he? Why is he even on this dig in the first place? And how could he have have seen enough of the skeleton to be glib about it when he's standing in the back of a giant crowd of scientists? Wouldn't their plaid camoflauge distract him?
- Why didn't Hammond just pay Nedry more? Universal Pictures
Dr. Hammond says over and over again (we'll get to that) that he's spared no expense in creating Jurassic Park -- and yet when Dennis Nedry wants a bigger salary, Hammond balks.
But Dennis Nedry isn't just some hapless theme park worker -- he is integral to making sure the park runs smoothly, so much so that his disappearance directly causes the events of the movie. Plus, despite how the movie paints him as corrupt and unlikeable, it's implied that he only commits corporate dino-espionage to help cover his financial problems -- another thing Hammond finds disdainful. Why? Did Nedry spend too much on gambling and jet skis or something, or does Hammond just have a problem with bailing his employees out in general? Either way, it's pretty stupid of him not to at least negotiate with Nedry, rather than dismiss him outright.
- Why IS it okay to protect endangered species but not dinosaurs? Universal Pictures
When Dr. Hammond suggests that cloning new dinosaurs would be no different than cloning a flock of endangered condors to protect them, Ian Malcolm counters with, 'this is no species that was obliterated by deforestation or the building of a dam. Dinosaurs had their shot. Nature selected them for extinction.' But he's supposed to be into chaos theory, so why would he be talking about Nature like it's a thing that can make decisions? Face it, Malcolm, Hammond's got a point.
- Is there a prey petting zoo somewhere in the park? Universal Pictures
I mean, they've got to be housing all these goats somewhere. It's only fitting that they get cuddles before they're eaten.
- Why is Alan letting Jeff Goldblum near his girl? Universal Pictures
This could also be titled 'Why is Laura Dern letting Jeff Goldblum shamelessly flirt with her when her boyfriend's right there,' but the point is basically the same -- Malcolm is coming on STRONG, and yet he doesn't figure out for another 20 minutes worth of movie that the two other scientists he's been hanging out with are together. Was this just to give audience members a reason to swoon over him? (I mean, like we needed one, though)
- Why is it even possible to open the doors of the Jeep on their guided tour at all? Universal Pictures
'How many times did I tell you we needed locking mechanisms on the vehicle doors!' Muldoon yells after Dr. Grant exits a moving vehicle. Wait, WHAT? This is a theme park, how is making sure that the fancy ride locks so kids don't go tumbling out into dinosaur territory a point of contention?
- Why would you let a toxic plant near where animals graze even if you didn't think they were going to try to eat it? Universal Pictures
When the crew encounters a sick Triceratops in the park, Ellie Satler believes that the creature may have eaten West Indian lilac -- the berries of this plant are toxic and can be found all over the island. A park employee tells her that it's okay: 'We know they're toxic, but the animals don't eat them.' But why risk even having the plant around? (Especially in a theme park where people are also going to be regularly jumping out of jeeps, I might add)
- How has this attorney never heard of animatronics? Universal Pictures
He calls them 'autoerotics' at first. Dude, come on, you have a law degree -- that means you have to have a very basic working knowledge of Latin. You KNOW that's not the right word.
- What glasses-wearing person would ever leave their glasses behind in a jungle full of dinosaurs? Universal Pictures
Wayne Knight falls over and loses his glasses, but decides to leave them and keep forging ahead... and then immediately dies. As someone who can't see father than my hand without contacts in my eyeballs, I call shenanigans on this. Well, not the dying part -- if you can't see the dinosaurs, you can't run from them, right?
- Why does Timmy never get checked for a concussion? Universal Pictures
When Timmy comes out of the jeep after being flipped over SEVERAL times, he complains of throwing up. I think we're supposed to read that as 'Oh how funny, he got dizzy from all the flipping,' but vomiting is also a classic symptom of head injuries. Shouldn't they at least stop to make sure he's okay?
- Why is Jeff Goldblum's shirt open? Universal Pictures
I don't want to look a gift Goldblum in the mouth or anything, but it looks like it's Malcolm's leg that's been wounded, not his torso. Why open his shirt? To check for a pulse? He clearly has one. Why not close it again? Why POSE like that? Who are you performing for, Ian Malcolm? Is it me? (Please say it's me.)
- Why the heck do they say their catchphrases so often?
Before watching this movie, I'd mistakenly assumed that phrases like 'spared no expense' and 'hold on to your butts' were lines spoken only once and immortalized later by fans -- sort of like 'Where we're going, we don't need roads!' from 'Back To The Future.'
But damn it if Dr. Hammond doesn't drop that 'spared no expense' line FOUR times, and Samuel L. Jackson says 'Hold on to your butts' twice. TWICE! Guys, come up with some new material!
- Why's all this dessert just sitting around at the end? Universal Pictures
I can only imagine that Alejandro the head chef made it, but is this typical of the sort of food that would have ended up being served at the park? Or is it just a special surprise for Hammond's grandkids? Either way, shouldn't Alejandro have waited to set it out when the kids were closer to being done with their tour, rather then putting it all out super early and then getting the heck off of the island?
And speaking of which...
- Where was BD Wong the entire time? Universal Pictures
I knew that the reason he's in 'Jurassic World' is that he also appeared in the original movie, but I expected him to show up more than once. Did he and the rest of the park's workers leave Isla Nubar because of the storm? And if if was bad enough to call the science team away, why did they even let Grant's tour go out in the first place?
- Does Unix really look like that? Universal Pictures
I know nothing about Unix except that it's sometimes used in the same sentence as 'Linux,' which is not very accessible for first time users. So good for Lex that she knows her way around it, but if it's anything like the 3-D map that appears in the movie, it doesn't seem THAT hard?
- Okay but seriously, WHAT is the point of Jeff Goldblum in this movie? Universal Pictures
Having seen 'Jurassic World 2' (I know, BEFORE the first movie, I'm a monster) and, you know, the ENTIRE Internet, I always figured that Goldblum's character would be a super big deal in this movie... but he really kind of isn't. Sure, he gets all the coolest lines about life and chaos and stuff, but other than that? He's almost totally expendable as a character. At least Han Solo gets a character arc in addition to being a smart-ass, you know?
'Jurassic World' hits theaters June 12.