What if Jurassic Park Never Had Another Movie?

John Hammond Jurassic Park

Believe it or not some people actually thought that this was what might happen, not the picture above, but that Jurassic Park might be a one and done kind of movie, no matter how great it was. The technology that was introduced at the time was impressive and the story line, despite having a few holes here and there and not being in complete agreement with the book, was pretty good. Mike Singer of ScreenCrush makes a very good point as to why none of the sequels and certainly not the follow up, Jurassic World, are that good. In a big way they’re just designed to put butts in the seats and take advantage of the dinosaur craze that hit over two decades ago and cash in on the fact that people will buy just about anything. When you think about it, marketing execs were probably laughing all the way to the bank despite the fact that the two Jurassic Park sequels didn’t do nearly as good as their predecessor since people were STILL buying merchandise, movie tickets, and anything they could get their hands on. The craze that came from Jurassic Park was something that can’t be denied since it interested people in the pseudo-science that was taking place and got them wondering if such a thing could ever be real.

Well, no, not really. If you were paying attention at all in the movie then you noticed that, impressive as it was to find ‘dino DNA’ the movie admittedly had gaps in the sequence that had to be replaced. That’s almost like saying that the bunch of human cells that will become a baby have a few things missing in their genetic code that need to be implanted by a mad scientist hiding behind a charming face (sorry B.D. Wong). The dinosaurs created for Jurassic Park have been making researchers and scientists laugh hysterically for years now, but despite what they’ve said and the records they’ve tried to set straight it’s pretty obvious that people have preferred the imaginary, reconstructed dinosaurs over the real thing. Now to be honest a lot of what goes on when it comes to reconstructing what a dinosaur looked like does come from some artistic license taken on the part of the paleontologists as Brian Soash of Science Friday has said. But the idea of splicing in genes from different animals and finding a way to keep them from being rejected by the obviously limited and very specialized strands of DNA seems more like science than fiction. But the point of it all is that people bought it. They wanted to believe that a T-Rex looked like a lumbering death lizard the size of a building that could smash through anything without much effort, even at a dead run. They wanted to believe that velociraptors looked like sleek, scaled death machines with claws that could probably gut a rhino, and they had no trouble believing that these creatures would be content to be caged and held as exhibits for people to see.

Yeah, nature doesn’t quite work that way. If there was any truth to how aggressive some of these dinosaurs were back in their day the chance that they would do anything but try to attack or consume just about anything or anyone they came across for reasons of their own would be extremely great. Even the most docile of the dinosaurs has been written to have had an attack mode and more than one defense against predators, as evidenced by pictures and findings of many a scientist and paleontologist. Unfortunately the more sensationalist aspects of Jurassic Park were all that made it into the movie since the director knew that this is really all that people have the patience for when watching a movie. That’s smart from a marketing standpoint, but when dealing with the story content it would seem that things fell off the rails pretty quickly. One thing though among everything stands out as to why the sequels just didn’t measure up, and it’s because once you know an island filled with deadly creatures who are now on the loose exists, you might want to consider just staying away from it, or nuking it entirely. Of course by the second movie we came to learn that, surprise surprise, Hammond had a second island that he’d been doing research on. Seriously, the guy had enough money to buy two islands and conduct top-level biological research on both of them, you’d think there would be better ways to spend that kind of money. But once the first movie came out, the writers seemed to get lazy and went back to the same template again and again, finding new reasons why humans, insipid as we can be, might hang around a couple of islands where deadly creatures just happen to roam. And lo and behold, they thought Jurassic World, with new attractions and effects, wouldn’t be caught out for using the same basic template but with a new look.

To be honest, it kind of killed the mojo of the first one, even if it became successful. Again, it just proves that people will spend money on anything that’s new, shiny, and exciting.

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