Jurassic Park (the movie, not the book) is 20 years old this year. Hard to believe, isn’t it? On the whole, the special effects still hold up today and it’s still a great film to watch with the family (Tadpole loves it!), but there has always been an awful lot that bugged me about this film, right from the first time I saw it in the cinema while on summer holiday in the Lake District with my family. Here are a just few of the biggies…
1. Entry and exit
When everyone first arrives on the island, they are taken, by car, through the herbivore paddock, which would indicate there is a gate at both ends for entry and exit. Remember this for later on…
2. Entry and exit 2
The electric cars on the tour run on a track. They go past the T-Rex paddock and a goat is brought up for the T-Rex to eat. It does not, at this point, get eaten. They continue on the tour and are sidetracked by the sick triceratops which they go right up to and even touch, This would indicate there are multiple entrances/exits to the herbivore paddock. Again, remember this!
3. Rotating vehicles
The electric tour cars set off again to return to the compound, again going past the T-Rex paddock. We know they’re at the same spot as they were before when the cars stop because the goat is still right there and bleating. The cars, however, are now facing in the opposite direction. How did the cars get turned around? They definitely didn’t do a circuit and return on a different track because there is only a single track in evidence!
4. Changing levels 1
We’re still at the T-Rex paddock. That goat is still tethered up and bleating and it’s on a level with the road. We know this because the kids could see it from the car window. The T-Rex escapes, breaking through the fence next to the car in which the kids are sitting, terrified – it just steps straight through. However, when Dr Grant goes over to the car to help the kids and he and the girl (Lexi) are forced onto the edge, they are suddenly faced with a terrifying drop which they have to climb down. The car (with the boy, Timmy) still inside) is also pushed over the edge into the top of a tree. It then proceeds to fall down through the tree. So, how did the ground level change so drastically? We know it’s not a ditch because once Dr Grant, Lexi and Timmy are down, they just walk off without having to climb back up anywhere.
5. Changing levels 2
Dr Sattler and Muldoon have come looking for the tour group in a regular car. Dr Sattler looks down into the T-Rex paddock. Suddenly she is down there with the fallen car with no indication that she has climbed. She notes that there are shoeprints heading away fro the car, so she knows they are alive and somewhere in the T-Rex paddock. Cut to the injured Ian Malcolm in the car,waiting for Muldoon and Dr Sattler to return. He notices the vibration of the water in a giant footprint and knos the T-Rex is returning. He indicates to the others to return to the car and they come running down the track. No mention of Dr Sattler clmiing out of the paddock and no indication of why they went back down the track they had already driven along when they already know Dr Grant and the kids are in the paddock somewhere and the cowardly accountant who hid in the toilet (Gennaro) is dead (they found his remains immediately upon arriving at the scene). Dr Sattler seems to be able to jump around all over the lace at will and without getting out of breath!
6. Entry and exit 3
It’s still the dead of night, but suddenly Dr Grant and the kids are in the herbivore paddock (we know because the brachiosaurs come right up to their tree in the morning. They have either, a) climbed over a fence, b) gone through another gate, or c) gone through the breach the T-Rex must have made to later hunt in the herbivore paddock. None of these explanations is sensible because a) they later climb over a fence and Timmy shows fear over coming down the other side (surely if he’d done it before, he’d be fine with this or would refuse to climb at all if it scared him that badly), b) they make no mention of finding a gate, and c) they show surprise at the T-Rex appearing in the herbivore paddock, therefore they did not come through a breach made by that creature.
7. Climbing the fence
Dr Grant makes a great show of the gaps in the fence not being wide enough for any of them to get through so they have to climb over. However, when Timmy is scared at coming down quickly on the other side (due to the warning signals flashing to alert them to the power being turned back on), Timmy’s head and shoulders are fully through a hole in the fence, showing there is plenty of room for him to have climbed through lower down. And also, Dr Grant was driven right through the herbivore paddock when he arrived, so surely he would know about the entrances/exits that are big enough to let a whole car through. Why didn’t he just head for one of these instead of making the kids climb over a fence that could be re-electrified at any moment?
8. Not such bright sparks
Timmy is still holding onto the fence when the electricity is switched back on and he is electrocuted. However, the sparks that fly from the fence are nowhere near his hands which is where the sparks really should have been as they were the point of contact!
9. A free hand?
The velociraptors have chased our intrepid heroes into the computer suite. Dr Grant and Dr Sattler are struggling to keep the door closed and keep the hungry dinosaurs out while Lexi tries to reboot the computer system and lock the doors to keep them safe. Sattler and Grant cannot reach the gun, just out of reach of their feet. If only there was someone not doing anything at all who could reach it for them so they could shoot at the ‘raptor trying to gain entry! Hang on a moment… isn’t that Timmy just watching his sister work and ignoring the adults behind him? Surely one of the doctors could call out to him and he could at least shove the gun closer to them?
There are many more errors littered throughout the film, some large, others tiny and nit-picky, but these are the main ones that really get on my nerves every time and make me want to shout at the characters to use their common sense.
Have you spotted any major errors in this or any other film? I’m talking about the great big glaringly obvious ones that we’re amazed got by the editors because they stare you right in the face, not the little teensy ones that anyone could miss. I’d love to hear about them!