Jurassic Park is timeless and one of my favorite movies. Watching it today, 20 years after the original air date, I am comfortable saying it comes across as believable as it did in the 90’s… besides the fashion of course. I was able to take advantage of the modern IMAX 3D screening at my local theater, something I have been looking forward to for months. There were a few things in the film that stood out even more than the 3D this time around.
1. Dr. Grant’s comment to Lex and Tim, after almost getting eaten by the T-Rex. Lex emphatically states that she “hates” the meat-eating dinosaurs, having almost become it’s next meal. Dr. Grant replies with a half shrug “It’s just what they do.” We forget that the predator is doing exactly what it was meant to do. Hunt. It isn’t personal, the T-Rex isn’t some evil being that had it out for our dino-stars. We cannot blame her for hunting. We forget this when dealing with people. We are all designed to think, feel, act, and behave a certain way. Everything that we are and do boils down to how we are wired. Blaming doesn’t do any good. We can learn from it, alter what we do, but that won’t change the other side. Even when we take a look at those we work with. They are hardwired to be a certain way, their decisions are a direct consequence, as is the results that they’ll take away. Just like the T-Rex, we cannot blame them for why they’re doing something, each choice stems from a reason.
2. Life will find a way- it was a reoccurring theme in the movie that no matter what you do to try to stop survival, life will inherently find a way to perpetuate itself. The scientists are certain that in the film that they are able to control the park by controlling each dinosaur in it. They attempt to do this by feedings, cages, and genetic modification to ensure each dinosaur is female. This of course backfires as the crux of the movie is to explain that we cannot control nature’s will, we are only one part of it. Which leads me to my next dino-point.
3. You can’t control it- Control is what gets us into trouble. Believing that we must be in control of a situation, and might not be, can cause great anxiety for many people, including yours truly. What is even more dangerous is the belief that we are in control, when really we are another moveable, replaceable part in the grand scheme of things. Look at our friend the T-Rex. She’s not in control, she is acting on behalf of her make-up (genetic, not cosmetic). She is wired to hunt and therefore she does. Otherwise, she might convert from the basic T-Rex of nature, into Tiny, the self-aware dinosaur from Meet The Robinsons who posed the thought-provoking question of his existence… “I have a big head and little arms. I’m just not sure how well this plan was thought through.”
4. We take what is wonderful and genius and before we even understand it, we begin to sell it. This is a nod at our society’s habit to commercialize everything. The movie emphasizes it at every turn, and it brings up a valid point. Dr. Hammond has a catch phrase in the film that he has “spared no expense.” In the end the money didn’t matter, it couldn’t save him or his park, because he refused to believe that money couldn’t be in control. Our world is often so intent on what profit we can make out of a new idea, we don’t stop to think of everything else, even with people. If we don’t feel that a person can give us something, we immediately write them off. It is one of the reasons why we treat our poor, our homeless, our ill, as harshly as we do. If we saw them as people, instead of walking $, maybe we could be convinced to treat them with some respect and compassion.
5. As much as I would really love to round it to a solid 5 points, I don’t think I have another aspect I wanted to cover. Oh well, see point #3. Instead I’ll end with a joke.
“What’s another name for a Dinosaur?”
By: Courtney Kidd, LMSW
SJS Staff Writer
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