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 1990 book Jurassic Park was written by Michael Crichton, while the 1993 movie Jurassic Park was directed by Steven Spielberg. Both were insanely popular then and are considered modern classics now.Two sequels were made to the original film:
Both human female characters in the first film are more capable than their counterparts in the book. In the book Ellie is mostly passive and stays out of the action; in the film she is involved just as much as the men around her and even calls out Hammond when he tries to imply he should take a dangerous mission because of her gender. Lex meanwhile was a pre-pubescent in the book and little more than The Load. The film ages her up to her teens and gives her computer skills key to getting the survivors out alive.
Adaptation Distillation: Pretty much all of the sequences from the two novels (mostly the first one) find their way into the movies in some way or another, albeit under slightly different circumstances.
Adaptation Personality Change: In the original book, Gennaro the lawyer ends up turning into The Lancer for Alan Grant, and he even punches out a Velociraptor! The film turns Gennaro into a Dirty Coward that gets eaten by a T-Rex whilst sitting on a toilet. John Hammond in the original book is The Scrooge and a tyrant who shortchanges people (giving fat programmer Dennis a reason to betray him), has a Never My Fault mentality, and then suffers Karmic Death. The film turns Hammond into a kindly old man who truly thinks that what he's doing is a good idea (which it isn't), and one result of the change is that Dennis comes off as more of a Jerkass for betraying him!
All Men Are Perverts: Each movie has at least one male character who flirts openly or outright states that their motivation behind doing certain things is to score with the ladies. In Jurassic Park, it's Ian. He gets better by The Lost World: Jurassic Park so the trope goes to Nick. Jurassic Park III has Billy.
Ian: I'm always on the lookout for a future ex-Mrs. Malcolm.
Amusement Park of Doom: Isla Nublar definitely qualifies. Isla Sorna (in the film continuity, at least) is more of a Wildlife Preserve of Doom.
Possibly tempting fate, a (traditional) amusement park was built to cash in on the mantra of the film.
Artifact Title: Only the first film takes place at Jurassic Park, on Isla Nublar. The second and third films are set on Isla Sorna — Site B, where the dinosaurs were bred by InGen. This is largely glossed over (except in the third as Grant explains that he was in the island of the park, not Sorna), even though it's a pretty important plot point in the books.
Well, in the book the Costa Rican Air Forcenote which doesn't actually exist, since Costa Rica has no military destroys Isla Nublar after the survivors escape. So it's not like you could have a sequel set on the island that included dinosaurs.
Artistic License - Biology: Dilophosaurus was actually about as tall as a man and around 20 feet long. The individual in the film was made a juvenile so it didn't take away from the raptors or the T. rex. The venom the Dilophosaurus had in the film as well as the frill are completely fictional.
In reality, Velociraptor mongoliensis was only a few feet tall. To be fair, the raptors in the film were modeled after the larger dromaeosaurid Deinonychus, which at the time was considered by paleontological consultant Gregory S. Paul to be a member of the genus Velociraptor.
Though awesomely enough, shortly after the film's release a new genus called Utahraptor was discovered, which is somewhat close to the film's Raptors (twice as big). It was originally going to be named Utahraptor spielbergi, but it ended up being called Utahraptor ostrommaysorum, after lawyers threatened the team.
The Expanded Universe, specifically the Telltale Games, implies that these inconsistencies are likely caused by Dr. Wu's "quick and cheap" use of frog DNA, although given that the comments come from a rival scientist who wanted to sequence all the samples and fill in the gaps with DNA from other the dinosaur genomes where they could, but was shot down because it would be much more time consuming and expensive, it can't be proven either way. The book itself also heavily implies this.
In the third movie this is given a partial handwave - Dr. Grant tells his class that the dinosaurs on Isla Nublar were not real dinosaurs, and that Ingen genetically modified them - while he doesn't go into details it is generally accepted that all the mutations to the dinosaurs were partly because of merging frog DNA with dinosaur DNA.
The use of frog DNA itself, to the extent it is explained in the film, is a major instance of artistic license: why use frogs when many other animals have a much greater evolutionary proximity to dinosaurs? (To facilitate the plot twist, obviously.)
Breeding the dinosaurs to be "lysine deficient" so that they'll die without being supplied supplements is little more than a Hand Wave to explain why the animals wouldn't pose a serious threat if they ever escaped. Any dietician, biologist, physiologist or hell, any Biology 101 student will tell you that many animals, humans included, cannot self manufacture lysine, same as with any of the eight essential AA's. Inserting a gene that inhibits lysine production would just be redundant. Not only that but if dying within one week without lysine supplements were the case, the human race had better start raiding GNC, the health stores and the vitamin departments in Wal-Mart reaaaaal fast!
Enforced by the animator who in own words decided to "throw physics out the window and create a T. rex that moved at sixty miles per hour even though its hollow bones would have busted if it ran that fast".
Asshole Victim: John Hammond in the first book, as well as Dennis Nedry in the first movie and book. Donald Gennaro in the first movie. Peter Ludlow and Dieter Stark in the second movie. Lewis Dodgson in the second novel.
Back from the Dead: Robert Muldoon in the Topps comic series. In the new IDW comic series, Peter Ludlow from The Lost World. Ian Malcolm in the second novel, though he was a case of Never Saw The Body.
Badass Bookworm: Alan Grant in Jurassic Park, Jack Thorne in The Lost World.
Grant might be the most Badass character in the whole first novel, killing three Velociraptors only with his wits, among other things.
' The girl saw the dying Velociraptors and quietly said: "Whoa!" '
Behind the Black: The T-Rex's out of nowhere materialization at the end of the first film is perhaps the most prominent example of all time. It's certainly the biggest...
Being Watched: Muldoon and his "raptor sense". It's too late when he's killed by a raptor ambush, in the movie. In the book he survives by backing into a pipe where they couldn't climb in after him. Somehow, he survived in one of the comics. He and the raptors knew each other so well that they were essentially just playing around.
Big Bad: Lewis Dodgson, in the books and first movie.
Bigger Bad: The heads of Biosyn in the books: Steingarten in the first and Jeff Rossiter in the second.
Black and Nerdy: Arby in the The Lost World novel. Ray Arnold in the first movie.
Character Exaggeration: In the film Jurassic Park, Ian Malcolm was a comical Deadpan Snarker. In the original novel, he was a much more serious character, although he did have some humorous moments — such as dismissing the argument comparing reviving dinosaurs to using cloning to save the California Condor by pointing out the obvious fact that condors don't eat people. Although, perhaps as a nod to this change, while delirious from drugs and severe injury in the sequel novel, The Lost World 1995, he temporarily takes on a talkative, wisecracking persona similar to his movie one, although much more over-the-top.
Chekhov's Gun: A couple in the first novel and movie; a considerable number in the second novel; the most egregious being Kelly's gymnastics in the second film. The frog DNA is the most consistent one across the literature and film.
Chekhov's Hobby: One in each movie. Lex was savvy with computers. Kelly mentions being cut from the the gymnastics team. Billy has experience in base jumping.
Corrupt Corporate Executive: Hammond was noticeably more corrupt and uncaring in the book, where he suffers a Karmic Death. The movie version is more Walt Disney-esque (well, Walt Disney's charming public persona at any rate). It helps a lot that he was played by Richard Attenborough. The Lost World has Hammond's evil, greedy nephew. Additionally, Lewis Dodgson, head of research of InGen's rival company Biosyn, precipitates the plot of the first book/movie by hiring the disgruntled Dennis Nedry to steal embryos for him... then goes to Isla Sorna to do the job himself in the second novel.
Death by Adaptation: Muldoon surives the novel, but is killed by the raptors in the film. Gennaro was spared by the first novel, but his film character was merged with some aspects of the novel's Ed Regis and so he caught Regis' death in the film. The second novel revealed that Gennaro died of dysentery on the way back to America.
Death World: The dinosaur-filled islands themselves, which are even known to Costa Rican locals as "Las Cinco Muertes" (the five deaths). We only get to see Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna though.
Despair Event Horizon: Shortly after Arnold realizes that he needs Nedry in order to get the park back online, Nedry is attacked and killed by the Dilophosaurus. Eddie being eaten and the trailers/radio being destroyed by the tyrannosaurs in the second film also qualifies. In both cases, the one person who could fix things and provide a relatively quick/easy means of calling for help has been brutally killed off, driving home the point that the survivors are now stranded on a dinosaur-infested island with virtually no means of escape.
Determinator: Life itself. Life finds a way to bypass the safeguards against propagation and self-preservation, namely sexual isolation and lysine dependency.
Dirty Coward: Ed Regis, who abandons the Hammond children in a car with the door open to save his own ass when the T-Rex shows up and gets eaten for his trouble. Donald Gennaro takes on the role in the movie, despite having been very much the opposite in the book.
Do Not Do This Cool Thing: The novel was intended as a warning about the dangers of playing God and tampering with nature. Yet, let's be honest. When it was adapted to film, how many people walked out of the theater after seeing it thinking, "Awesome! I wish we could bring dinosaurs back to life! Get cracking, scientists. Increase dinosaur DNA research!"? This is, of course, because Ian Malcolm's message on why it was bad in the first place was not the focus of the movie.
Dynamic Entry: Frequent with the large carnivores, like Tyrannosaurus and Spinosarus, as well as the Velociraptors.
From Bad to Worse: The situation is bad enough with most of the dinosaurs running wild and no way of contact with the main land. Then the velociraptors get loose...
In general, the movies love the "frying pan -> fire" approach. Interestingly, in all three movies there's at least one instance where it involved velociraptors making things worse - in the first, as noted the bad situation gets worse when everyone realizes the raptors, already noted as and very intelligent and cunning, are loose. In the second, the camp is attacked by two Tyrannosauruses at once and the entire Redshirt Army runs for the hills... directly into a colony of raptors, which makes short work of the survivors. In the third, the troupe is lost on the island and has no way of knowing where they are, and things only get worse when another colony of raptors starts tracking them throughout the island after one of them steals raptor eggs. And that's not getting into all the times they run with the "our machinery is messing up/our vehicle has been disabled when suddenly the T-Rex/Spinosaurus shows up to make things worse" angle.
The novel talks about the From Bad to Worse phenomena being a consequence of chaos theory. It's even given the status of a scientific theory, named after Ian Malcolm. When modeling chaotic systems, Malcolm tended to include a nonlinear equation that included a point where a small change in input would cause a sudden and dramatic change in output, and often not for the better. In other words, he essentially included a mathematical Oh Crap into his models. Hammond's scientists don't believe the Malcolm Effect applies to living systems, but they're, of course, dead wrong.
Gory Discretion Shot: The series loves the "character gets attacked by a dinosaur and dragged offscreen, where a bloodcurdling scream (and maybe a trickle of blood) is used to show that they've been horribly killed" method. Nearly every death that isn't caused by a big dino happens this way.
Guns Are Useless: Strangely enforced - all three films have a good amount of guns, but no one ever seems to be able to effective use them against dinosaurs (with the exception of a tranq gun in The Lost World.
Jurassic Park: Muldoon is killed before having a chance to shoot anything, and Grant's shotgun jams as soon as the Velociraptors attack. Foreshadowed earlier when the Ingen workers fire uselessly at one of these same raptors while it's mauling one of their co-workers to death.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park: Possibly the most egregious use of this trope. A T. rex attacks a camp full of sleeping hunters. All of whom are well armed. Instead of raking it to death with a concentrated hail of bullets, they panic and run for their lives, some of them shooting their guns wildly in the air while fleeing the rampaging dinosaur. The only one who thinks to actually shoot his gun at the T. rex is Roland Tembo, but the cartridges of his elephant gun were secretly stolen by Nick Van Owen.
Eddie Carr's tranquilizer is this on a couple of instances: when the stegosaurus charges after Sarah, Ian yells at him to shoot it; he doesn't want to because they're "just protecting their baby." Later, the rexes attack him in his car (also "just protecting their baby"). He's quite willing to shoot them then, but since his gun picks that moment to get stuck on some netting well...Nom-Nom!
Jurassic Park III: Armed mercenaries bring many weapons to the island, including an anti-tank rifle. The only thing that is ever used against any dinosaur of any kind (albeit successfully) is a flare gun.
Iconic Logo: Illustrated on top of this page. The third movie replaces the T. rex with a Spinosaurus.
Infant Immortality: Pretty much played straight with Tim, Lex, Kelly, Eric, and any baby dinosaurs seen in the film series (baby Stegosaurus, baby T-rex, baby Pteranodons, stolen raptor eggs, etc.) The only real exception was that poor dog in the second movie and possibly the boy of the family that owned said dog who took a flash photo of the T-Rex. Chances are, the boy and his parents were killed, though this is never shown explicitly in the movie.
According to the final script, the rex smashes its head into the boy's bedroom, sniffs the entire family and goes on its way, leaving the kid and his understandably terrified parents completely unscathed. This part of the scene was either not shot or deleted for reasons unknown, and has not turned up in any releases of the film.
This is in the movies only. Sucks to be the baby that gets its face ripped off by compies in the first book. It extends past humans, too, when Tim tried to distract two velociraptors that followed him and Lex by sending a baby raptor found in the InGen lab to them. The adult raptors immediately slaughtered the baby. This scene was roughly adapted for the screen... by an episode of Primeval.
The Lost World novel elaborates on this, saying that by basically being cloned and left to their own devices, most of the raptors were cannibalistic, lacked the maternal instinct of their ancestors, and saw their own offspring as just another prey item.
The little girl in the intro of the second movie was obviously seriously injured, judging by the mother's screams. Peter Ludlow points this out during his business meeting with Ingen's Board of Directors and Hammond later mentions her to Malcolm. In both cases, the listening parties have to be assured that she survived.
Ironic Echo: Towards the beginning of the first film, Ian heckles Alan and Ellie over "digging up dinosaurs" and mocks a T-Rex roar to mess with them during the helicopter ride to the park. At the beginning of the second film, a random person on the train does the same thing to Ian over his media appearances following the incident, complete with a fake dinosaur roar.
Justified Tutorial: Jurassic Park for the Sega CD contains information kiosks which play video footage of Robert T.Bakker, who explains various dinosaur behaviors, cluing the player in on how to deal with them when encountered.
Karmic Death: A fair few people in the films (e.g., Nedry and Gennaro), although there are also undeserving victims (e.g., Muldoon, who was smart enough to realize that even having the raptors exist was a disaster waiting to happen). The trope is very evident in the novel, as not one of the responsible persons has thought of the consequences of reviving the largest predators ever to walk the earth. All of them save two die horribly.
A notable example would be Stark, who callously tasers a Compy just for the hell of it. Later he is ambushed and killed by a horde of Compys.
In the first novel, the Tyrannosaurus appears to always be a step ahead of every move Grant and the kids make.
Probably justified. In the raptor transport scene it's being handled rather roughly. Mistreated animals often attack humans when they get loose. The attacks may be more about revenge than food.
Actually discussed in the first novel. After some raptors try to attack the protagonists through their electrified enclosure, Malcolm mentions that lions and tigers typically only become man-eaters if they discover that humans are easy to kill, and wonders if the raptors made the same discovery at some point. Early on in the first novel it's mentioned that the velociraptors are actually quite vicious and kill for the pleasure of it.
LEGO Genetics: The main reason why the park fails - they used amphibian DNA, the closest thing possible to insert into the damaged DNA code without causing mutations. Except it did. The type of amphibian used can change sexes in unequal-gender conditions.
And using it is kind of stupid when you think about it, given that amphibians and reptiles share different classes, as compared to say chickens and dinosaurs, which start differing at the sub-order level, ie. about 6 evolutionary steps closer.
Leit Motif: The opening tune from the first film gets repeated a lot during the sequence involving the Velociraptors. And listen carefully for it in the sequels whenever someone even mentions the velociraptors, especially if the topic is brought up before the raptors have even appeared.
Limited Wardrobe: Malcolm's signature all-black ensemble. In the novel, he jokes about how his clothes are all grey and black, so he can get changed in the dark. He also said something about not wasting any time choosing what color to wear.
Living Motion Detector: Tyrannosaurs, though only in the first movie. In the book a paleontologist named Roxton theorized this was the case, and Grant acts on it to protect him and Lex from one. It's stated that all the park's dinosaurs have this problem, due to the frog DNA used to patch holes in their genetics.
This became a subject of discussion in The Lost World. It's pointed out that Grant was working off really bad data out of sheer desperation, as there really wasn't any other way for him to have gotten out of that situation alive. Levine, a more well-read genius, states that, "Roxton is an idiot. He doesn't know enough anatomy to have sex with his wife." The reason the Rex didn't chow down on Grant and Lex was because the goat it had eaten moments before was enough to fill its appetite for several hours. Baselton isn't aware of this, and tries the same stunt with a hungry T.Rex. While stealing eggs from its nest. It eats him whole.
Misplaced Wildlife: Velociraptor bones in Montana. Acknowledged in The Lost World and in the novel.
Never Saw The Body: Ian Malcolm. It is heavily implied in the first book that he's dead, but no one ever actually said so, and we never saw the body.
The epilogue does have a line on how the Costa Rican Government did not permit the burial of Hammond or Malcolm while they were investigating the incident.
Though if you think about it, it still works. The Costa Rican Government would certainly have had a problem with people trying to bury Malcolm if he was still alive.
Word of God says Malcolm was indeed supposed to be dead at the end of the first novel. Since he survived in the movie and became a popular character, Crichton decided to include him in the second novel. The Never Saw The Body aspect merely let him get away with it.
Non-Malicious Monster: The dinosaurs aren't evil, just hungry and/or territorial. Except raptors - at least in the first book, where it's stated that they kill even when they are not hungry, just for pleasure, and sometimes they kill their own. This was later explained as the result of the raptors being bred artificially, thus lacking the social development they'd have gone through if raised in a natural environment, with the benefit of a parent and other peers teaching them proper dino social skills. In short, they were basically creating intelligent, sadistic sociopaths with sharp teeth and big claws.
Non-Indicative Name: In-universe example: the park is called "Jurassic" despite the fact that several of the dinosaurs didn't live in that period (such as the T-Rex and the raptors that lived in the Cretaceous period).
Oddly Named Sequel: Jurassic Park > The Lost World (: Jurassic Park in the movie) > Jurassic Park III > Jurassic World.
Peek-A-Boo Corpse: In both versions, a hand falls on Ellie and they both think the man the limb belongs to is alive... until they turn around.
Playful Hacker: Dennis Nedry. "Uh huh huh, you didn't say the magic word!" Even has signs of this in the book with "wht_rbt.obj".
Shout-Out: The male raptors of the second and third films bear similar designs to Talon with tiger stripes and head feathers, respectively.
Somewhere, a Palaeontologist Is Crying: Discussed and intentionally invokved. Ingen had to extrapolate from the decayed DNA, on top of some intentional alterations to the genetic code. Dr. Wu wanted to take it even further by altering the dinosaurs into basically what visitors would expect based on existing pop-cultural depictions of dinosaurs. He believed visitors wouldn't be satisfied with dinosaurs that were so different from what they imagined. Hammond insisted they keep the current ones on the basis that it wouldn't be honest to show something different than real dinosaurs. Jurassic Park 3 and the novels discussed the fact that they weren't actual dinosaurs - just abominations of nature with genetic materiel from obsolete organisms that couldn't survive in the real world.
Sound-Only Death: Pretty much every casualty. Averted with Gennaro in Jurassic Park, Eddie in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and the mercenaries in Jurassic Park III.
Stay in the Kitchen: Hammond to Sattler in the first book/movie. Although in the movie, it was more well-meaning chauvinism (saying he, not her, should be risking his life to get the power back on) instead of being a jerk. Sattler, who is a healthy, athletic young woman (whereas Hammond is an elderly man) notes how dumb this is: "We'll discuss sexism in survival situations when I get back."
Stock Dinosaurs: Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops, and Brachiosaurus all make appearances, and Velociraptor itself became a stock dinosaur because of the movie. In the novels, they were specifically chosen to appeal to people.
Super-Persistent Predator: Goes between subverting and using quite a lot in both the novel and film. In the second novel, it is mentioned that the raptors, born without a pack mentality and "code" due to no pre-existing raptor to teach them on Site B, are cruelly intelligent and kill for sport - and often kill each other over food.
Take That: A bit of a Genius Bonus: The Robert Bakker Expy gets killed, and the technical advisor was Jack Horner, who feuded with Bakker over dinosaur biology.
Real life Bob Bakker, however, is said to have loved the scene. Specifically, Bakker and Horner at the time were not just rivals, but on opposite sides of the T-Rex as predator (Bakker) vs. scavenger (Horner) debate. After seeing his expy nom'ed by the T-Rex, Bakker called up Horner and triumphantly announced "I told you it was a predator."
The Take That goes further in the book. The main characters discuss the T-Rex not being able to see motionless objects and animals (something that was tried in the first film, to no avail). One of them calls the paleontologist who proposed this "an idiot".
The Dog Bites Back: Dennis Nedry's motivation for betraying InGen to Biosyn was how poorly he was treated by Hammond and InGen supervisors. He was given incredibly broad objectives (e.g. "design a feeding system. period.") in the name of secrecy and then ordered to work uncompensated overtime to fix the errors caused by his inadequate instructions.
Too Dumb to Live: Anyone who would (a) follow a Velociraptor into dense forest, regardless of how well-armed they might be; (b) run headlong into a field of tall grass in which God knows what might be lurking—after having been briefed that this was near a Raptor nesting site; or (c) knowingly steal raptor eggs for profit before even knowing if they'll make it off the island alive probably has a subconscious death wish.
Torch the Franchise and Run: A bit of a preemptive example, but the original Jurassic Park novel was never meant to have a sequel, so Crichton had Isla Nublar firebombed, killing all of the dinosaurs on it. That didn't stop Spielberg from convincing him to write a sequel anyways.
In the book, every one of Hammond's department leads figured out their containment methods were inadequate since they were planning on slow, stupid animals. They even give him a range of possible solutions, from equipment upgrades to modifying the dinosaur genetics to make them slow and stupid but he blows them off.
Or at least he does to their face. Later on, they discover that he'd ordered a stash of stronger weapons and hidden them in a secret bunker that some of the highest level folks in the park didn't know about. Perhaps he planned on telling them if he ever thought it was serious enough, but by the time he was at all worried it was too late.
Vince Vaughn's character Nick from The Lost World disappears from the film before the T-Rex makes it to the city. His disapearance is never explained. It's possible that he just got the hell out and never looked back.
It's never mentioned what happened to the dinosaurs on Isla Nublar after the events of the first movie. In the book they were all killed by Costa Rican Air Force, but in the movie... they were just left free? In the second film it is implied that everyone expected the dinosaurs to die by themselves after a short time, them being lysine dependant and all that.
The junior novelization also mentions Alan internally lamenting that the dinosaurs "would have to be destroyed" thus one can assume this does indeed happen. Of course, keyword here being junior, that's probably because it omits the discussion about the lysine contingency.
In a deleted scene in the second film, we see Ludlow addressing the InGen board about the lawsuits associated with the deaths of Nedry, Muldoon, Gennaro and others. He also mentions the costs of dismantling the Isla Nublar facility.
Any "dismantling" of Isla Nublar seems to have been either handwaved or retconned by the third movie—at least in the JP III novelization, which mentions both islands as being populated by dinosaurs and declared no-fly zones. Udesky briefly mentions it in film, but gets shouted down before receiving any confirmation.
In the first film, we never actually learn why the Triceratops got sick, as Ellie's theory is disproven before the storm hits. She's shown picking up smooth stones off the ground, though, alluding to the correct theory she eventually figures out in the novel.
Nedry's can of dinosaur embryos. Spielberg even thought that the sequel would pick up on that, but Michael Crichton chose another path. It eventually was picked upon in Jurassic Park: The Game.
A Winner Is You: Many Jurassic Park games don't bother with endings and just show players a lame and often lazy cutscene of the hero escaping the dinosaurs' island.
The T-Rex, after dominating the first two films, is rather implausibly killed by the Spinosaurus early on in the third film. The Spinosaurus itself is driven away by a flare gun and not seen again for the remainder of the movie.
The T. rex in the third film is a sub-adult male. It is obviously much smaller than any of the previous T. rex examples.