Jurassic Journeys: Jurassic Park
With Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom a little under a month away, the two of us have a little bit of dinosaur fever. This has led us to revisit all of the films in this franchise so far with the intention of capping off the month with our review and thoughts on the newest installment. With that thought process, the only place to start is with the original. Jurassic Park was directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Michael Crichton and David Koepp. It is, of course, based on the novel of the same name and follows billionaire philanthropist John Hammond as he tries to get his park full of cloned dinosaurs approved by lawyers and experts in the field. The film starred Sam Neill as Dr. Alan Grant and Laura Dern as Dr. Ellie Sattler. The film's cast also included Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Bob Peck, Martin Ferrero, B.D. Wong, and others. The film went on to gross over $900 million worldwide in its original theatrical run, and it was the highest grossing film of 1993. It also went on to win several Academy Awards for its technical achievements and spurred an entire franchise that will see its fifth installment released in the coming weeks.
So, what moments about this movie do we truly love?
1) The Turkey Encounter
Obviously some of the most memorable moments of the movie actually feature dinosaurs, but this is one of those moments that has always made me laugh. On their archaeological dig, Dr. Grant and Dr. Sattler find remains, which prompts a discussion about the velociraptor and dinosaur origins. When this kid mentions how it looks like a turkey, Dr. Grant's explanation of the deadly nature of this "turkey" is pretty unforgettable. I mean, how many people demonstrate how a raptor would kill you and eat you while you were still alive?
Dr. Grant, that's who.
2) The T-Rex Intro/Chase
This whole sequence is memorable, especially since they show us the piece of goat landing on the car before we see the Tyrannosaurus Rex on screen. The kids give a great performance, and they truly sell the terror that should accompany this scene. Dr. Grant temporarily saves the day, the T-Rex looks incredible, and we also get smart remarks from Dr. Malcolm like how much he hates being right all the time.
I'm also tacking on this point the moment soon after when Ellie and Muldoon go to find survivors near the T-Rex exhibit. Why? Because a T-Rex chasing your jeep with Dr. Malcolm telling you to go faster is an iconic moment.
3) Ellie's Raptor Encounter/Escape
Dr. Sattler is one incredible character, and this scene is no exception. Even when John Hammond infers that a woman should not be going out in the park to restart the breakers, Dr. Sattler does not back down. It becomes one of the most intense sequences of the movie, and Laura Dern sells every emotion in these moments. It was also brilliant to cut in the perimeter fence situation with Dr. Grant and the kids to add extra stakes to this scene. From finding Arnold's arm (RIP Samuel L. Jackson) to running in desperation to escape the raptor, this sequence is terrifying.
Also, I'll give an honorable mention here to the kids also having to escape the raptors.
4) T-Rex's Big Finale
After eating Gennaro, one would not exactly expect for the Tyrannosaurus Rex to save the day, yet this is the way the movie takes the narrative. It is truly a feat to make something more terrifying than the T-Rex, but they certainly accomplish that with the raptors. They almost win the day until the T-Rex enters the visitor's center at the last minute, and it provides for a triumphant moment and excellent visual. With the banner falling while the T-Rex roars, this is another favorite moment from a favorite film.
So, we’ve made our opinions know, but what moments stand out from Jurassic Park for you?
Be sure to share them in the comments below, and be on the lookout next Friday as we continue our Jurassic Journeys with a look at The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.