Jurassic Park is frightening in the dark, All the dinosaurs are running wild Someone shut the fence off in the rain I admit it's kinda eerie, But this proves my chaos theory, And I don't think I'll be coming back again Oh nooooooooo!
Jurassic Park is the first film in the Jurassic Park franchise.Scientists discover the ability to bring extinct animals back to life via a complex cloning process. To make a profit off this technology, the InGen company decides to build a theme park featuring living dinosaurs.This in itself would not be such a bad idea, except the organizers rush to get it open, build it on a remote island, and have almost no security personnel, deciding to automate the whole thing with unreliable computers - even refusing to tell the software designer what the system is for.Naturally, everything that can go wrong does go wrong.The film is labeled as having one of the most revolutionary breakthroughs in visual effects that changed movie-making. Despite going to great lengths to create extremely convincing animatronic dinosaurs, this was balanced with groundbreakingly realistic CGI ones. The CGI involved essentially killed the use of muppets and stop motion in modern film. Besides the requisite Hollywood mistakes, many paleontologists and dinosaur fanatics also loved it. The moment in the film where the characters first come across a dinosaur in full view and are just blown away, "...it's a dinosaur!" could be the new generation's equivalent to the Star Destroyer overhead from Star Wars: A New Hope.It celebrated its 20th Anniversary in 2013 with a theatrical re-release in 3D.
The film also ends on a very quiet note, where the characters silently reflect in their helicopter while it flies away.
Action Girl: Ellie Sattler in the movie. She is the only member of the cast to survive a physical fight with velociraptors, being able to hit them with slamming doors, to outrun them, and to kick them in the groin.
Adaptational Villainy: Gennaro, a reasonably fit, brave, and definitely-not-Tyrannosaurus-chow protagonist, is more-or-less turned into Ed Regis from the novel, a spineless lawyer/PR rep who abandons two helpless children and gets eaten soon after.
Adaptational Wimp: Gennaro. In the novel, he goes along with Muldoon to catch the Tyrannosaurus, manages to fend off a Velociraptor attack, intimidates a ship captain with Techno Babble, and survives to the end. In the film, he becomes a Dirty Coward who dies a particularly embarrassing death.
Adaptation Distillation: Many side plots from the book are written out in the movie and several characters are combined and their fates change.
Most notably, in the film, Hammond's character was a kindly old man who just wanted to share the magic of dinosaurs with people. He's not even all that interested in the monetary benefits of creating a dinosaur park. In the novel, he's a manipulative Jerkass who, while still visionary, really just wants people's money, and won't listen to anyone's advice about how dangerous the situation is. Apparently this was because Spielberg saw a lot of himself in Hammond.
Adaptation Explanation Extrication: The film is still a very good adaptation, but compressing the book meant removing most of the exposition of the book, which contained some explanations that filled multiple small logic gaps present in the movie, such as why the Triceratops was sick.
Adult Fear: There's the scene where the two kids, Lex and Tim, are trapped under the windshield of the park jeep with the T-Rex trying to break it to get to them and kill them. For a little while, there's nothing the adults can do, and the kids are screaming at the top of their lungs the whole time.
Air-Vent Passageway: A variant, they climb in between the foam ceiling panels and its supports and the actual ceiling.
All Animals Are Dogs: Nedry assumes this about the dilophosaurus, and tries to distract it by throwing a stick. It doesn't work, so he figures it's just stupid. Then it eats him. Even dogs will prefer a meaty steak to a bone.
Artistic License - Geography: The scene where Nedry makes the deal to sell the embryos is set in San Jose, Costa Rica at a restaurant next to a beach. In reality, San Jose is completely landlocked, surrounded by mountains and isn't near any large bodies of water.
Badass: Subverted: Muldoon and Grant try to kill Velociraptors...with a shotgun! It doesn't work either time, with fatal results for Muldoon.
Bad Vibrations: The famous "shaking glass" scene when the T. rex realizes the fence is no longer active.
Bowdlerize: The book is a lot gorier than the film, and includes a scene in which Procomsognathuses eat a baby in its crib. Nedry's death is described in horrifying detail, to the point where you actually feel sorry for him. Some of the more disturbing scenes from the novel were reinstated (toned down) in the sequel.
Big Damn Heroes: When the T-Rex rescues the surviving humans from the raptors at the end.
Bilingual Bonus: At the beginning, when Gennaro is being pulled on the raft-thing, the miner says, in Spanish, "Betcha a million bucks he falls!" Then he does fall.
Black Dude Dies First: Played straight right off the bat with the black InGen worker, Jophery, who gets eaten in the first scene. Later averted when Arnold is among the last to die after everything goes to hell.
Calling the Old Man Out: Ellie outright tells a power-tripping John Hammond that he doesn't have the power he thought he had over Jurassic Park in order to bring his attention back to what's really important, namely making sure that they and their loved ones get off the island in one piece.
Ian: Does anyone feel that? That's an impact tremor, is what it is. I'm fairly alarmed here.
Chekhov's Lecture: The raptors' "Bait with one, flank with another" plan that Grant describes, and that Muldoon falls victim to. Grant probably should've told him about that...
Child Hater: "Babies smell." Grant does get better during the course of the movie, enough to not mind the kids sleeping on him. In the book, the Child Hater is Regis. Worse, in the book, Grant loves kids. He finds their fascination with dinosaurs to be heartwarming. In most of Spielberg's films, all fathers or father-figures are either absent or aloof, probably as a result of his parents' divorce when he was a child.
Chewing the Scenery: How Robert Muldoon is introduced. "SSSSHOOOOOOOOOOOOT HHHHHHEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!"
DeusRexMachina: It appears the protagonists are about to be killed by the raptors when the T-Rex appears and attacks the raptors, allowing them to escape. This in itself isn't that far fetched but what is is the fact that the T-Rex appears rather suddenly and is already in the visitor center, despite there being no way it could have appeared by surprise the way it did.
It's easy to miss when watching the film, but the wall of the Visitor's Center is actually unfinished, with a conveniently T-rex-sized hole in it covered only with some plastic sheeting. Right after the T-rex appears, the sheet can be seen now ripped to shreds. Doesn't explain how none of them heard it coming, though.
The Dreaded: Velociraptors are treated as such by Grant and Muldoon. They are also presented that way in the opening scene to drive home to the audience that modern predators have absolutely nothing on ancient predatory dinosaurs.
Everyone Owns A Mac: Dennis Nedry's terminal into the Jurassic Park supercomputer network is a Mac.
Evil Lawyer Joke: During the discussion over dinner, Grant, Ellie, and Malcolm argue against Hammond's plans for the park. He laments that the only one to side with him is the "bloodsucking lawyer" (Genarro), who's only concerned in the potential profits.
Extreme Graphical Representation: The 3D, video game-like computer interface Lex uses to interact with the Jurassic Park systems was a real, though unfinished, file manager called fsn.
Foreshadowing: The first half of the movie is loaded with moments that hint at serious design flaws in the park, as well as scenes of nature just plainly not cooperating with human control. From the top:
Grant's seatbelt in the chopper is made of two female buckles ( Grant's resolution of this might be intended as very subtle foreshadowing of the female dinosaurs "finding a way"). Ellie seems to have no problem tying hers on, which means he didn't just grab Ellie's by mistake.
Grant, Ellie and Malcolm can easily break out of the restraints during the presentation.
Ellie notes that the prehistoric plants, placed in the visitors center simply because they were pretty, are poisonous.
The Dilophosaurus and T-Rex no-shows.
The car doors aren't locked during the tour. This is lampshaded by Muldoon.
The Triceratops is sick and nobody can figure out why.
A tropical storm is heading straight for the island. Normally they should have had days of warning and would have therefore rescheduled the tour. It's as if Hammond kind of just expected the storm to kindly swerve out of the island's path just for his sake. Which is quite fitting for his character, actually.
For the Funnyz: When Grant touches the (inactive) T-Rex paddock fence in the first film and acts as if he's being electrocuted. Alexis is not amused, but Tim thought it was funny as hell.
Freudian Trio: With Hammond as the Id, Malcolm as the Superego, and Grant as the Ego.
Godzilla Threshold: Arnold and the others realize that the only way to get wipe out what Nedry did and get the park back online is a total system shutdown, which will wipe out what little electrical power they have left, resulting in the Velociraptors being finally let loose. It was either that or wait seven days for the dinosaurs to die from lysine deficiency, that the dinosaurs had managed to overcome unbeknownst to anyone.
Hacked by a Pirate: Probable inversion, as the hacker screen came up only after Samuel Jackson's attempt at hacking Nedry's computer to restore security.
Have You Tried Rebooting?: When the operators are locked out of the computer system, they restart it entirely and manage to gain access again. This unwittingly screws things up more.
Ironic Echo: Hammond repeatedly tells everybody very proudly that "We've spared no expense." After the park goes completely to hell and his grandchildren and Dr. Grant go missing, he talks with Dr. Sattler. She compliments him on the ice-cream and he once again says, rather sadly, "We spared no expense..."
Irony: Despite Hammond's constant declarations of "We've spared no expense.", the park is undone entirely due to the expenses he did skimp on; notably, leaving the security for masses of incredibly dangerous animals entirely in the hands of a single IT guy he may or may not have felt the need to pay all that well.
It Can Think: Muldoon demands that the velociraptors be killed as they're far too intelligent; testing the electric fence for weaknesses (but never the same spot twice; "They remember," he warns) before they were moved to their high-walled prison. They seem to realize when the power is cut and claw their way through the electrified wire at the top (it's mentioned they test the fences for weaknesses). Even Muldoon underestimates their intelligence - as he's stalking one velociraptor, another ambushes him from the side. His Famous Last Words are a genuinely admiring, "Clever girl!" And of course there's that Tempting Fate scene: "We'll be all right as long as they can't open doors."
"Squeeeeeeeee-hoo-hoo?" Come on, it's only a stupid spitting dilophosaur— ARGH I'M BLIND!
This could also be said of the virus Nedry implanted into the computer that killed all the systems, called: whte_rbt.obj
Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair: Hammond at the end of the film is particularly sad, for every reason you can think of. Appropriate, as there was an alternate ending: Trespasser where Hammond reads this poem in voiceover.
The Mole: Dennis Nedry, designer and administrator of the park's IT systems, is hired by a competing biogen firm to steal embryos which the rival will then reverse-engineer.
Musical Spoiler: Averted. The impressive fanfare kicks in at the exact momentthe T-Rex enters and kills the Velociraptors who were about to kill our heroes; there is no musical build-up whatsoever to the climactic fight.
Mythology Gag: Muldoon says they originally had eight raptors. This is how many they had in the book...well, until the breeding started.
In fact, creatures being invisible offscreen is pretty common; Jurassic Park's big reveal of the Brachiosaurus has a massive dinosaur hiding just off-screen until Grant and the others notice it, whereupon it starts making loud calls and huge, thumping footsteps they couldn't possibly have missed; even if they could, there turns out to be an entire herd of dinosaurs just off to one side they would have to have seen on the drive in.
See the image for this trope on the Film subpage. It should look quite familiar.
"You've bred raptors?"
The look on Grant's face when the jeep starts to slide out of that tree. Not to mention the looks on everyone's faces when they realize what happened to the goat...
The two kids have gotten back to the main buildings, and are tucking into food...when the girl looks up, and has a classic Oh Crap moment when she realizes she's looking at the shadows of raptors in the next room, moving around.
Tim realizing that the herd of Gallimimus was suddenly "flocking" into their direction in the first film. "They're, uh... they're flocking this way", indeed.
One-Dimensional Thinking: When Alan is rescuing Joseph from the park jeep caught up a tree, and the jeep starts to break through the branches above them and fall, how do they escape? By rapidly climbing down the tree. Not, say, around to the opposite side of the tree trunk where the vehicle is not falling from.
Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Sam Neill's American accent holds up pretty well, except for one line during the scene where he throws the stick at the fence.
Dr. Sattler: It's still the flea circus. It's all an illusion. Hammond: When we have control again- Sattler: We never had control, that's the illusion! I was overwhelmed by the power of this place! But I made a mistake too, I didn't have enough respect for that power and it's out now!
Roadsign Reversal: Nedry suffers an unintentional version of this while trying to reach the dock.
Sacrificial Lion: Robert Muldoon, the park's game warden, who is outsmarted and killed by the Velociraptors.
Soundtrack Dissonance: The main theme song is a grandiose and adventurous piece fitting for Hammond's vision for the theme park as a whole. Completely ignoring the real horrors that happen such as feeding live animals to the dinosaurs and of course what happens when the power gets switched off.
Spared by the Adaptation: Hammond and Wu, die in the first book but survive in the first movie. Also Ian Malcolm, until the second book retconned his death. Wu wasn't a major character in the film, and Hammond wasn't a Jerkass like his literary counterpart.
Super Spit: The Dilophosaurus that kills Dennis Nedry could spit thick, viscous venom to blind its prey.
Surprisingly Sudden Death: The velociraptors first kill Muldoon by springing a decoy trap, eating him alive with the obligatory screaming, to show they have managed to escape their pen.
Take That: Dr. Robert T. Bakker is dissed when Tim is pestering Dr. Grant about books that he read written by Bakker and Grant himself. Tim is shut up when he first mentions Bakker by Grant promptly slammming the car door of the jeep Tim is inside of closed.
Some of the sting was probably taken out of all this by the fact that book!Grant is an Expy of Bakker himself.
Of course Bakker loved the scene, he even called Horner up and used it as evidence for his position that T-Rex was a predator.
Tech Marches On: Nicely averted by the movie. The original novels described the Jurassic Park computer network as consisting of multiple Cray X-MP machines. By the time of the movie, those machines weren't the computing behemoths they were considered to be back in the day, and they decided to replace them with Connection Machine CM-5 supercomputers instead. This makes sense in-universe as that's the kind of machine a business that needed ridiculous amounts of computing power at the time would have plumped for, and it made sense visually because the CM-5 computers were utterly festooned with Blinkenlights, making them the ideal movie prop.
Tempting Fate: The raptors are contained, right? "Unless they figure out how to open doors." Guess what happens. Taken to ridiculous extremes in the Rifftrax.
Theme Music Power-Up: The Jurassic Park theme kicks in for T. rex herself, who proceeds to kick raptor ass and save the day.
The commissary scene, where the main characters are debating the ethics of dinosaur cloning. Did any of them even touch the food that was in front of them? Though Ellie seems to have utterly lost her appetite after seeing the raptors 'feed'.
After the kids are dropped off at the restaurant to eat something, and they load their plates with goodies from the buffet, a raptor suddenly shows up, sniffing for them from behind a decorative screen. Whatever hunger pangs they had went completely ignored from then and to the end of the movie.
Toilet Humour: "Dino...droppings?" — "That is one big pile of shit." Said by Ian as another scientist goes arm-deep in a gigantic pile of Triceratops feces, looking for traces of poisonous berries
Ian Malcolm: I hope you remember to wash your hands before you eat anything.
Too Clever by Half: Ian Malcolm accuses Hammond and his team of genetic scientists of this.
Ian Malcolm: I'll tell you the problem with the scientific power you're using here: it didn't require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done, and you took the next step. You didn't earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don't take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could, and before you even knew what you had, you, you've patented it, and packaged it, you've slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now you're selling it! You want to sell it!
John Hammond: I don't think you're giving us our due credit. Our scientists have done things which nobody's ever done before...
Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could that they didn't stop to think if they should!
Too Dumb to Live: As lampshaded by Muldoon - what the hell is the park doing even sending vehicles into the park that aren't locked electronically by the park staff? In a park filled with dangerous creatures including one that can actually spit stuff that blinds you?
Understatement: "Mr. Hammond, after careful consideration, I've decided not to endorse your park." Hammond agrees.
Un Paused: When Tim is stuck on the fence, he gets ready to jump on "three." He gets blown off on two. When he comes to, he finishes the countdown.
Lex is able to lock down the visitor center's doors by a highly-visual UNIX program+ which is a real file system, but in reality one made for display, not use.. The book's version is more practical, but still unfriendly to uninitiated users. Of course, anyone who would be using it was presumably expected to have some sort of training.
Averted with Arnold's terminal and his attempted bypass of Nedry's sabotage. That was all command-line.
Viewers Are Morons: Back when the first movie came out, DNA wasn't a household term, so the lengthy explanation was necessary at the time. Modern audiences, however, probably feel like the movie is insulting their intelligence. This is also justified in-universe as well. It's supposed to be for the kids, as Hammond explicitly points out. Very simplistic, lots of dramatic music and cool animals.
Villainous Rescue: Grant, Sattler and the kids are cornered by the velociraptors, who are just about to attack when the T.rex comes out of nowhere and slaughters them.
Villainous Valour: The last raptor attacks the T.rex despite the Tyrannosaurus killing her remaining partner with a single bite and outweighing the raptor by several tons.