Jurassic Park 3's Most Hated Scene Wasn't Even Possible
Jurassic Park 3’s Spinosaurus vs. T-Rex fight is one of the most hated scenes of the franchise, and the action wasn’t even biologically possible.
Jurassic Park 3’s fight between the new Spinosaurus and the T-Rex is one of the most hated scenes in the franchise, and the action in the fight is not even biologically possible for the dinosaurs involved. Jurassic Park has often taken creative liberties to fill in gaps or deviate from paleontological evidence to bring the dinosaurs to life. However, the Spinosaurus’ unrealistic capabilities caused a lot of story issues and created Jurassic Park’s worst problem, undermining the crux of the story in a way from which the franchise is yet to recover. In a revolutionary series that draws upon real science, the biological errors in this scene stand out as a drop from the movies’ usual high quality, and more recent discoveries have only made those errors worse.
Dr. Alan Grant and the others who crashed on Isla Sorna encountered this nearly disastrous fight early on in the movie. They came upon a T-Rex devouring prey and accidentally attracted its attention, but before the T-Rex could catch up with them, the Spinosaurus arrived to start a brawl. The T-Rex got the upper hand at first with a bite to its opponent’s neck, but the Spinosaurus quickly recovered and grabbed the T-Rex with both its teeth and arms, twisting and snapping its neck to win the fight. This scene has been hotly debated among fans for years, questioning whether a Spinosaurus could beat a T-Rex. While that question may remain unsolved, the logistics the Spinosaurus used to win in this fight would not have been possible.
The biggest issue with the Spinosaurus’ actions is the way the dinosaur moved. Recent discoveries indicate the Spinosaurus was an aquatic animal, built to maneuver and hunt in the water. It was too front-heavy to walk on two legs on land, so it’s highly unlikely it would have been able to outmaneuver a T-Rex in a land fight. Additionally, the movie’s Spinosaurus was able to grab and twist with its arms at the level of its mouth, but a real Spinosaurus’ arms hung lower to hunt fish. It would not have been capable of rotating its arms that way to grab the neck of a T-Rex. Jurassic Park’s scientists did alter the dinosaurs’ genomes with frog DNA and may have made more drastic genetic changes, but it’s doubtful they would have completely altered the Spinosaurus’ biology in order to make its movements in the movie feasible.
The fight itself is also a point of contention. Two major predators like the Spinosaurus and the T-Rex would probably have tried to avoid each other rather than fight, and if the fight did occur, the victor would likely be the one to score the first bite. In this case, the Spinosaurus would have succumbed to the bite of the T-Rex at the beginning of the action. While the intention behind this scene - showing that the T-Rex was not the largest carnivorous dinosaur - was accurate, the Spinosaurus’ portrayal otherwise strayed from established science. The T-Rex got its symbolic revenge in Jurassic World, but the Spinosaurus still incorrectly stands as the apex predator in the world of Jurassic Park.
The Spinosaurus vs. T-Rex scene is one of the low points of the original trilogy, defying science to create a more deadly predator for the protagonists to face. This killer version of the Spinosaurus also kicked off Jurassic World’s cliche of a single dinosaur supervillain, whereas the previous two movies had featured humans merely getting in the way of dinosaurs living how they always did. Jurassic Park 3’s theme is markedly different from the first two films, and that theme has persisted through the new trilogy. The upcoming Jurassic World 3 has a chance to return to the heart of the original movie, finally bringing the franchise back from Jurassic Park 3’s scientific and narrative mistakes.