Jurassic Park: The Lost World Has The Best Car Sequence Ever
Sounds dumb, I know. But apart from the presence of Vince Vaughn, the cliff scene in 'Jurassic Park: The Lost World' is just about perfect.
While there are plenty of Hollywood blockbusters that feature really great car chases, others have a tendency to be pretty similar.
Not to say they're all the same, but car sequences usually revolve around one of three things: they’re either hunting down the villain, trying to escape, or transporting 'goods' across town.
Which is why the car sequence in 'Jurassic Park: The Lost World' is so good - it’s completely different.
*Spoiler alert* too, by the way. Just in case you have a go at me for ‘ruining’ an 11-year-old movie.
Let’s set the scene: Vince Vaughn, the guy from the Menulog ads (Jeff Goldblum), and full-time ginger Julianne Moore have stolen a baby T. rex with a broken leg. After successfully patching it up in the rear section of their RV, the baby dinosaur’s parents track down the childosaurus. A swift transaction takes place and everything seems to be forgiven.
But 'oh no' – the two T. rexes roll the rear half of the Fleetwood Southwind Storm RV upside down and push it off the side of a cliff. Which is a real tragedy considering how cool their setup was.
Luckily however, the counterbalance from the front half of the RV is keeping it from falling off. Just.
Additionally, "Eddie" - also known as "that guy from 'Dr. Dolittle' (1998)" - conveniently arrives out of nowhere, and starts setting everything up in order to try and heave the entire RV back with his kitted-out Mercedes-Benz M320 (W163). 11 years on and it’s still probably the only M-Class that has touched dirt.
Whereas most car sequences run on the speed and action of each shot, the brilliance here is the pacing. It’s slow, but more importantly, tense.
While everyone on the inside the RV is hanging on by a rope that has been fed through the bus' windscreen and wrapped around a tree, the RV itself is slowly sliding back. And once the Merc’s winch is attached to that, well…
Not only does the cinematography work well – utilising all of the heavy rain, ancillary lighting, mud, and tyre smoke – but there’s plenty of gnarly off-roading grit too.
There are winches straining, tyres blowing out, gearchange clunking, and a really satisfying bit where he activates low range. And it’s all in the wet too - so it’s bloody hard work.
As the rain continues to soften the mud, it later falls into a David and Goliath battle over the colossal mass of the RV against the SUV’s potent enthusiasm.
You want the little Merc to win, but despite it furiously tearing up chunks of earth, the RV is sucking everything in like an imploding star.
Unfortunately, however, before Eddie can make any real progress, the adult T-Rexes come back to ruin the guy’s life expectancy.
But, you know - that’s how the Jurassic Park film franchise deals with its supporting characters.
While we don’t know for sure if the upcoming Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom movie will have any cool car bits, we can at least savour this epic scene.