Jurassic Park: 10 Sequel Moments That Lived Up To The Original

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Jurassic Park is a classic Spielberg movie that probably defined a lot of our childhoods. It has groundbreaking effects that still hold up, gripping pseudoscience, and interesting conversations about ethics. It’s also structurally perfect, and strikes just the right balance between humor and suspense. Subsequently, Spielberg immediately transformed the nature of the franchise with The Lost World. The series welcomed more elements of monster movies, and the third entry is often maligned for that reason. By Jurassic World, the new franchise installments had come to focus more on nostalgia. However, the sequels aren’t without their own merits, particularly Spielberg’s underrated 1997 film. So, let’s examine ten great moments that actually lived up to the original, spoilers included!


Jurassic World was essentially fan service from beginning to end, even if the tone was radically different. This resulted in a movie that, possibly inadvertently, included important traces of the series’ original film. One of the most important and captivating things about Jurassic Park was its interest in science and nature. It was surface level, sure. But it included 3D gene visualization, robot arms, and Frog factoids to explore its own mythology. This added a certain degree of internal logic—“realism” if you will.

Well, Dr. Wu is the connective tissue that allowed this to reappear in Jurassic World. He has an intriguing conversation with Masrani after the Indominus breaks out. Wu finally explains why the franchise’s dinosaurs don’t look like reality. He also briefly touches on ethics once more. He describes how Masrani’s interest in making a “cool” product led to an animal with needlessly dangerous traits. For all the dinosaurs, this is one of the best throwbacks to the original movie, if somewhat overacted.


The gyrosphere is a fun idea from Jurassic World, and the kids drive it into a restricted area, where the Indominus Rex promptly attacks them. However, it’s a splashy scene wherein the creature fights an ankylosaurus. It feels more like a kid mashing two action figures together. And yet, after the Indominus flips the gyrosphere over, the scene develops an interesting tone. Most of the film is pure action, rather than suspense. But in this scene, the vibrating phone achieves some effective tension.

Visually, this one-on-one with the Indominus has a number of callbacks to the original Jurassic Park. But the Indominus update is actually rather satisfying. The way it slowly wraps its mouth around the gyrosphere is pretty intimidating. Then, it starts slamming the kids into the ground, and they run for their lives. The kids outsmart the animal by waiting underwater, and the scene doesn’t end with a punchline. Overall, it’s a surprisingly effective scene that feels like the original film by standing on its shoulders.


This Jurassic World scene is all about hubris, which really ties into the roots of this franchise. It doesn’t come close to the breakout of the original Tyrannosaurus, but it’s still nifty. The Indominus sets up a trap for its guards, by misleading them with a skill no one was aware of. It’s revealed that this kind of intelligence is possible because the creature was infused with raptor DNA. But the only reason it escaped is because of the humans. They simply assumed their cameras would notice it. Then, before confirming the animal was actually gone, Owen and staff enter the enclosure anyway.

It’s foolish arrogance, and the foot chase that ensues is pretty gripping. The Indominus quickly eats someone. And just outside the breached gate, Owen hides under a car and creatively covers himself with gasoline. That moment alone, where the Indominus gets to bare its bloody teeth, is reminiscent enough of the first film. It’s a fun combination of suspense and action, and the deaths are genuinely striking.


Any scene that goes lengths to create suspense is going to be tonally closer to the original than the sequels tend to be. After all, the source material of the entire franchise was steeped in gory horror, while the sequels tend to be more lighthearted. Crichton crafted intense details, drawing from medical studies. This selection, from Fallen Kingdom, is a neat blend of both. In order to save Blue’s life, Owen and Claire need to get blood from Rexy herself. It’s a lengthy scene that's smartly paced and effectively utilizes the reputation of that particular animal. It’s a daring feat already, and the film smartly locks the protagonists inside the cage with Rexy. The claustrophobic setting, signature animal, and suspenseful escape make this a proper addition to the franchise.


The visuals in the opening scene of Fallen Kingdom are a blatant, welcome homage to the original movie. It’s the dead of night, and pouring rain, which are crucial elements to the franchise’s iconography. Then, you’ve got someone in a classic yellow parka. But the context has changed, and it works. It’s rather overused throughout the film, but at this point, the flashing lights are pretty neat. It’s classic horror imagery, gradually revealing the Mosasaurus and Tyrannosaurus as they approach. The sequence concludes with action that consequently feels decidedly out of place, but the atmosphere and direction are still terrific.


Ian Malcolm is often a voice of reason, and he’s the franchise’s biggest critic. In fact, he’s the one with all the meta jokes in Jurassic Park: The Lost World. But although most remember him for his Goldblum-isms, providing great comic relief, he has a more important task - questioning the characters' ethics. Questionable ethics are at the heart of this story, and there is plenty to scrutinize. So, when Fallen Kingdom allows Malcolm to attend a senate hearing, nothing could be more significant. He’s once again allowed to voice his concerns at the beginning and end of the film. Goldblum carries the same gravitas as ever, and Malcom’s point of view is very interesting. As the perpetual critic, he is the true moral voice of Jurassic Park.


It shouldn’t be surprising that Spielberg was the one who best lived up to the original film. The remaining entries all belong to the master craftsman. Dieter’s death by Compys is a superb scene in The Lost World, even if the impetus is ridiculous. And, it’s certainly on the nose that he’s somehow getting comeuppance for electrifying a Compy earlier in the film. However, the initial fall is appropriately hard-hitting.

Basically, the scene is a recreation of Nedry’s death from Jurassic Park. He fell down a hill, contended with a seemingly cute dinosaur, and we see blood trail away from the attack. Dieter’s final scene has an equivalent level of pacing, direction, and special effects. The Compy swarm is very convincing, and the one that rips into Dieter’s mouth is an alarming visual. Spielberg really knows how to make the entire scene immersive and suspenseful, even when the victim is a villain.


Again, it’s preposterous the way Julianne Moore’s character, Sarah, carried around a bloody shirt in The Lost World. Sarah has supposedly worked with predators before, but she still assumed that the Rex wouldn’t be able to smell that far. Either way, it leads to a terrific scene. A giant, practical T-Rex head invades Sarah’s tent, as she hides candy bars. Then, Kelly wakes up, and Sarah desperately tries to keep her quiet. This is a movie that allows implausible catalysts to achieve superb suspense. When someone outside notices the intruding Rex, his screams wake everyone and start a terrific foot chase. After Spielberg ramps up the action, he gets some camp survivors trapped behind a waterfall. Making everything claustrophobic all over again is a perfect conclusion to the sequence.


The darker these movies get, the closer they feel to the original film. This Lost World scene is full of kinetic camerawork, and certainly meets the level of chaotic suspense as the original. First, Sidhu warns everyone about the long grass. Predators are known to use it for cover. When the Velociraptors arrive, they break paths into the grass indicating their presence. It’s right out of Jaws, where floating barrels signaled the threat better than actually seeing the shark. And when the wild raptors strike, it’s an absolute slaughter.

The raptors first drag unsuspecting men to the ground, eaten en masse. Those that remain panic, and we see raptors leap through the air to pounce. It’s a ballet of violence, achieving the kind of pure adrenaline that Spielberg uniquely delivers. He absolutely knows how to handle the raptors, as crafty and ferocious animals. They live up to the reputation established by the first film. No other sequel handles or visualizes them nearly this well.


“Mommy’s very angry.” This is easily the best scene from The Lost World, or any sequel in the franchise. The entire finale of the story is simply a blatantly deliberate homage to King Kong. Many of the other scenes throughout the film echo that intent. However, when Sarah helps treat the injured Baby Rex, its parents show up and disapprove. The sequence is just as lengthy and memorable as the initial Tyrannosaurus breakout in Jurassic Park.

In fact, they follow a similar formula. Protagonists are stuck in a vehicle, under direct conflict with the mascot animal. The Rexes proceed to flip the vehicle over, and our main characters end up dangling over a cliff. Just like Grant and Lex. The entire scene is slow and methodical, with incredible practical effects and careful direction. Then, Eddie appears and heroically tries to save the protagonists from plummeting to death. Unfortunately, the activity attracts the Rexes again, and they end up tearing him in half. It’s a suspenseful, tragic, exciting scene that is every bit as effective as anything from Jurassic Park. It combines all the elements of claustrophobic horror, action, and effects wizardry that made the original so iconic.

Source: https://screenrant.com