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YMMV / Jurassic Park

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    The Franchise in general 

  • Adaptation Displacement: The films overshadow the two novels, though not as badly as some other cases due to Michael Crichton's decades-long superstar author status. This is, in part, because of Adaptation Distillation. By this point, the film franchise has a longer and much different continuity than Crichton created in the books. In fact, Crichton never intended for Jurassic Park to become a franchise when he published the original book in 1990.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Jurassic Park fans love to point out that Rexy is a great female role model since 1.) she never finds a mate or has kids which she seems to be perfectly OK with 2.) she saves the day without any male help in the climaxes of Jurassic Park and Jurassic World 3.) she is still in shape even well into her early 20s (which is pretty old for a T. rex) 4.) she fought and kept her title as queen of the dinosaurs 5.) and she is the biggest badass in both Jurassic Park and Jurassic World.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Ian Malcolm, the Breakout Character among the humans, is a pretty divisive one. On one hand: His arguments can easily come off as anti-science and anti-intellectual, and it certainly furthers Hammond's point that he's more of a "rock star" than a scientist. On the other: All of his predictions about how dangerous "playing God" with science could be turn out to be true across his three film appearances, and in the second film he's the Only Sane Man of his crew. On top of that, his wit, his saving the kids in the first one, and his taking on the raptors in the second one make him fairly popular. Being played by Jeff Goldblum helps him, too (though that's also something that bugs the non-fans).
  • Contested Sequel: Most of the sequels fall into this. The Lost World is criticized for being rather Anvilicious and having annoying characters but has its fans for having more dinosaurs, well directed action, and a darker tone. Jurassic Park III is mostly considered either an entertaining if simplistic film or a total abomination. Jurassic World seems to be the most well received film in the franchise since the original though it's not without its share of detractors. Fallen Kingdom seems to be the most divisive and controversial film in the franchise even topping The Lost World.
  • Creepy Awesome: The Velociraptors and the T. rex.
  • 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.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Robert Muldoon and Roland Tembo are usually quite popular among the fandom. Justified, as both are the Only Sane Man and Great White Hunter in their respective novel/movies. Not to mention that both are the ones in charge of the security of a lot of people. Bob Peck's and Pete Postlethwaite's intense performances certainly have a lot to do with it as well.
    • The Velociraptors. Before the movies came out, nobody really knew much about raptor-type dinosaurs or Velociraptors specifically, or even known they existed. However, after Jurassic Park came along, they have become one of the most well-known and popular dinosaurs around, alongside the T. rex.
    • Dilophosaurus within the larger Jurassic Park franchise itself. Only a single individual has appeared in any film so far, but you'd be hard-pressed to find ANYTHING else in Jurassic Park that DOESN'T feature them.
  • Evil Is Cool:
  • Fandom Rivalry: A one-sided one with Barney & Friends back in The '90s, as both works came out in the same timeframe and provided radically different portrayals of dinosaurs. Jurassic Park was loved by the general moviegoing public for bringing its dinos to life via Visual Effects of Awesome and using them masterfully for suspense and action scenes, a stark contrast to Barney giving a Tastes Like Diabetes portrayal of dinosaurs for very young children and nobody else.
  • Fountain of Memes: Ian Malcolm, the Velociraptors, and the T. rex.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The series is quite popular in Japan. There was even an exhibition based on the franchise which was meant to educate the public about paleontology.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In the first novel, Lex tells someone to "Hey, listen!"
    • "More like a six foot turkey!"
    • Even better. The so-called "safe" high window in the article below is probably no longer safe with the discovery of flight feathers in raptors. While not using them to fly, per se, they are thought to have maybe used them for something called wing-assisted-incline-running like juvenile flighted birds — which means they could possible run straight up sheer walls...
    • John Hammond lamenting the fact that he didn't build the park in Orlando. He later would, it seems.
    • Finding out that Velociraptors were actually rather tiny might have justified the (comically small, nowadays) size of the WD Velociraptor.
    • Mr. DNA! Where did you come from?
    • After Ellie fights off two Velociraptors, Ray Arnold's arm falls on her shoulder. So that's where Mace Windu's arm went!
  • Jerkass Woobie: Dennis Nedry. Sure, the guy's a greedy jerk who insults dinosaurs, but considering the financial issues he was facing, as well as Hammond's (possible) disregard for them, it's easy to see why he resorted to thievery. Additionally, his death is a bit too gruesome.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Let's face it — the dinosaurs are the whole reason why we come to see these movies in the first place.
  • Memetic Mutation: Now with its own page.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The theme song.
    • The cry of the Brachiosaurus.
    • The T. rex's roar.
  • Narm Charm: The T. rex's little arms come off as funny, but it's still a threatening, carnivorous dinosaur.
  • Older Than They Think: The concept of cloning dinosaurs for use in theme parks was actually done first by Judge Dredd.
    • The idea of cloning a dangerous extinct life form without the ability to produce certain amino acids for safety reasons was used in the 1974 novel The Godwhale.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: The Lost World has a divided fan-base and it was almost entirely different from the plot of the book, while the third and fourth movies are entirely original stories within the established setting.
  • Popular with Furries: The Jurassic Park franchise is one of the most popular series with scalies and is the most popular with fans of dinosaurs. It's a Gateway Series into paleontology and being a dinosaur fan.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Who doesn't want to watch the dinosaurs eat people?
  • The Scrappy: Kelly from The Lost World and, though not as commonly, Tim and Lex from the original also have their share of detractors.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Jurassic Park's depiction of dinosaurs is generally considered very outdated compared to the modern view of dinosaurs, and is largely blamed for the stagnation of their image in public perspective over the last few decades. But for its time, the original novel and film were very progressive and greatly moved forward from the slow, plodding reptiles that also stagnated in the years beforehand.
  • Signature Roar:
    • The famous roar of the T. rex. By now it is already a Stock Sound Effect.
    • The Velociraptors' growls and screeches have reached this status as well, but not to the extent of the T. rex.
  • Ugly Cute: The Dilophosaurus, sick Triceratops and baby Velociraptor from the first film, the baby T. rex and Stegosaur in the second, and a whole petting zoo of baby dinosaurs in Jurassic World.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: A surprisingly large amount of people assume the dinosaurs are male despite most of them actually being purposely made to be female. This is mentioned several times throughout the films and is a plot point.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: The PG-13 rating for all the films do not stop the franchise from attracting child viewers since most parents assume that their children would love dinosaurs. Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, in particular, are especially guilty of this.
  • The Woobie:
    • Many of the characters that play victim to the dinosaurs count, but Lex and Tim, from the first movie, stand out the most, at least for those who don't consider them The Scrappy.
    • Eddie, Howard King, and Hammond are very sad characters, too.
    • The sick Triceratops.


    The Novels 

  • Adaptation Displacement: Many of the darker implications people detected in Spielberg's whimsical first film, like Hammond's childish idealism, the ethics of corporate bioengineering, and altering the dinosaurs' DNA to be more docile, were already covered (fairly negatively) in the original novel. The 4th film even got praised for recycling one of Dr. Wu's speeches, about dinosaurs as engineered simulacra bred for entertainment, twenty-five years after the novel was published like it was some sort of revelation about the Jurassic Park concept.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The colour-changing raptor. It seems like foreshadowing, but it doesn't lead to anything or get mentioned again.
    • Earlier in the novel, a giant dragonfly (presumably Meganeura) appears very briefly. Its appearance raises a lot of questions, such as how it could possibly have been cloned using the method stated in the book (Meganeura lived a very long time before mosquitoes, or even amber, were a thing), why there's a random Paleozoic animal in an otherwise Mesozoic-themed park, and how it survives in the modern atmospheric composition.
  • Critical Research Failure: The book ends with the island getting fire bombed by the Costa Rican Air force. Anybody that actually bothered to read about Costa Rica would know that it doesn't have a Air force (in fact, it does not have a military at all).
    • Alan Grant's digging technique seems to be perfectly calculated to destroy fossils rather than preserve them! No paleonotologist would ever try to clean fossils in the field, flake off bits of bone, use jackhammers, or throw aside and grind up broken bones. This review by a paleontologist pretty much eviscerates everything that Crichton's written about excavating fossils, and shows it wouldn't have taken much research to get things right.
      • The same reviewer points out other details that a lot of people would know about, namely that is quite possible to fake a faxed X-ray - and pretty much impossible for an American to travel to Costa Rica without a passport!
    • The Cearadactyluses are referred to as "birds" and "dinosaurs". Neither term is accurate to describe Cearadactylus.
    • The lysine contingency is the park's way of controlling the dinosaur population, and making sure that the dinosaurs can't survive off the island, as they provide lysine-rich food. The problem is that no known animal can naturally produce lysine, meaning it's useless. In addition, lysine can be found in everything from beef and eggs to pistachios and pumpkin seeds; if a dinosaur (especially a carnivore) got onto the mainland, they could survive indefinitely.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Early in the novel Grant says that Procompsognathus is an obscure dinosaur species that the average person would probably have never heard of. The book and the later movies would help boost compies to Stock Dinosaurs status.
  • Squick / Nausea Fuel: Arguably the biggest change from the novels to the films, apart from Hammond's character, is the level of gore, which in the books borders on absurd. Those only familiar with Nedry's haha funny death in the film will get a nasty surprise when they reach that point in the novel, and afterward when his corpse is found. Another character, Dr. Wu, is ripped open by a raptor while still alive, feebly trying to fight it.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: The books' constant discussion of the robustness of dinosaurs and the purpose and intricacies of DNA may seem excessive nowadays, but it's easy to forget that these only became common knowledge outside of scientific circles as a result of the books.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The Sequel Hook about the dinosaurs who have somehow escaped Isla Nublar and are going on a reign in terror across Costa Rica. Crichton abandoned this when he wrote The Lost World, having Marty briefly mention them being wiped out, and the filmmakers of the sequel movies contented themselves with the characters going back to the islands.
  • The Un-Twist:
    • In the book, Dodgson meets with his unidentified mole, who says he's going to meet Dodgson later in San José; later, Hammond picks up Nedry, and only Nedry, in San José, thus letting the reader deduce that Nedry will simply return to where he came from. The revelation of Nedry as the mole is nevertheless treated as a shock despite there being no other real suspects.
    • The first part of the book attempts to keep the reader guessing as to what exactly is causing all these unexplained deaths and injuries in Costa Rica. Because of the movies it amounts to an It Was His Sled moment since we all know it is about genetically cloned dinosaurs, though even the title and the original cover of the book give it away.
      • And even if they somehow didn't see the film or even hear about it, it made velociraptors famous enough that most readers would probably understand very easily what's happening when the worker in the prologue mumbles 'lo sa raptor' while it's stated that he was clearly mauled by a large animal.
  • Vindicated by History: At the time the book came out, it was generally assumed that due to the sheer immensity of the DNA helix that a genome of anything would never be sequenced. However this assumption seems to have been made by people other than computer scientists, who understood that Moore's Law was dramatically increasing the processing power, memory and storage capacity of computers, and that it really isn't that crazy an idea to let a computer run an algorithm for years on end (especially if the partial results and system state are being periodically saved, you could even turn the computer off and have it pick up where it left off when you turn it back on.) Crichton questioned this assumption, and within ten years the human genome itself was one of the first mapped.
  • What an Idiot!: Among the multitudes of examples of this trope in the book, whose idea was it to release the Cearadactyluses into the Aviary before they built the Pteratops Lodge? The excuse was that they wanted to "acclimate the pterosaurs to the Lodge" but that makes zero sense, as the animals would likely have been acclimated to the lodge if you simply put them in there after it was built (or better yet, hold off on cloning them entirely until after the lodge is built).
    • Several characters, including Ellie and Dr. Harding, have characters try to tell them something is wrong but they cut them off/don't listen and thus make the situation all the worse.

    The Video Games 

  • No Problem with Licensed Games: Several of the games released for the first movie, especially the JP games for Genesis and JP2: The Chaos Continues for SNES were surprisingly good (even if Chaos Continues was ridiculously Nintendo Hard). And 2003's Operation Genesis was a surprisingly solid Zoo Tycoon-style park-building sim (that let you unleash hordes of carnivores upon your guests, but not without paying for it big-time).
  • The Problem with Licensed Games:
    • The Game Boy and NES versions of the game released for the first movie, which were severely cut-down versions of the already uneven SNES game.
    • Jurassic Park: Trespasser. Even if it is responsible for innovations that are still felt in games today (truthfully, it was probably too innovative for the time it came out), it's still one of the most Obvious Betas in video gaming history.
    • Jurassic Park Interactive on the 3DO, a title which has no clear idea of what it wants to be, as well as not using the JP license for anything worthwhile.
    • Telltale Games' episodic Jurassic Park: The Game received mixed reviews, both praising and criticizing the attempt to take inspiration from Heavy Rain. Favorable reviews praised the atmosphere and the respect for the franchise's spirit, while negative reviews criticized the graphics and (some of them) the gameplay as more akin to a FMV game, lacking the amount of player agency of previous Telltale games or the games by David Cage.

    The Arcade Games 

  • Awesome Music: The first game has some pretty good tracks that fit well with the action on screen.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The arcade game consists of half an hour of dino shooting action. At six minutes in you must shoot a Mamenchisaurus's butt to help it poop. No, really.
  • Fridge Horror: So you rescue the baby T. rex, mend its leg, then return it to the wild, but a few minutes later you kill both of its parents...

    The Attractions 


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