Jurassic Park in Review: JP Finale

 

Realizing that Arnold isn’t back yet, Ellie and Muldoon decide to head out to find out what’s going on and restore the power. Unfortunately however, turns out the total shutdown also turned off the Raptor fences, something Nedry left back on when everything else went south. Oops.

Muldoon says the Raptors are now stalking them, but he’s got one in his sights. He tells Ellie to run toward the shed, and we also get perhaps one of the film’s most signature shots of Muldoon.

Unfortunately, Muldoon falls victim to one of the Raptors that was hiding next to him while he observed the other one. This is actually foreshadowed earlier in the movie with Grant’s qoute

“You stare at him, and he just stares right back. And that’s when the attack comes. Not from the front, but from the side, from the other two raptors you didn’t even know were there…..”

What’s kind of weird though, although Muldoon is clearly getting killed here, the comic books published by Topps shortly after the film came out ressurected him, explaining that he was just ‘playing’ with the Raptors, and that he sort of raised them anyway (although he very clearly in the film isn’t fond of the Raptors at all: “They should all be destroyed”). Funny thing is, the idea of ‘tamed’ Raptors made it’s way into Jurassic World.

The comics are pretty much non-canon anyway (Their events are contradicted by “The Lost World”, especially since it seems to indicate Muldoon is, in fact, very dead).

Grant and the kids, in the meantime, find something in the way of the Visitor’s center-an electric fence-thankfully, still inactive (although Grant fakes them out by pretending to be electrocuted). They decide to climb it after hearing a T-rex roar.

Unfortunately Ellie is well on her way to getting the power back on….and we get the second action scene in the movie that doesn’t have too much to do with Dinosaurs. I really like the score in this scene by Williams (called High wire stunts on the soundtrack)-very fast paced, exciting, and tense.

Although Ellie’s able to restore most of the power (although the system still needs to rebooted from the control center), Tim isn’t able to get down and is electrocuted. This scene sort of parrarels one from the book, where Lex nearly drowns. In both cases, Grant is able to resuscitate.

Back at the shed, we’re given a jump scare as the Raptor bursts out of the cables and pursues Ellie. We also get a bit of core as we see the stump of Arnold’s arm.  Given all the “Mace Windu survived” theories about his Star Wars character who also lost an arm, one wonders if any fans feel that somewhere there’s an armless, badass Samuel L. Jackson fighting Dinosaurs on the island somewhere. 😉

Finally arriving in the visitor’s center, Grant goes to find Ellie and the other survivors while leaving Lex and Tim in the diner. Unfortunately-in another iconic shot of a Raptor shadow that lines up nicely with the Diner’s paintings-they’re not alone.

Grant of course finds Ellie (although she’s a little traumatized at this point) and gets himself armed. Meanwhile the kids flee to the kitchen, and we get a tense scene of cat and mouse. This is also our first real good look at the Raptors both as CG and animatronic. I do think though they look a bit more dated as the T-rex CG-wise…

Using some clever tricks, the kids are able to evade the Raptors and lock one in the freezer, and reunite with Ellie and Grant. Unfortunately the Raptors are in pursuit, and we get another tense scene as Grant and Ellie keep the Raptors at bay, but it’s up to Lex to save the day using her “hacker” skills. (although it’s really just a case of looking up the right “Unix” system files). There’s pretty much a scene like this in every Jurassic Park, although the one in “Lost World” is pretty goofy. The movie can’t really be blamed for this, though; it’s pretty similar to a scene in the book, but with Tim instead.

Even with the door locks, Raptors can still jump through glass, and they escape through the ceiling. There’s also yet another iconic shot of the DNA code being cast on the Raptor, sort of symbolic.

They make their way to the Visitor’s center lobby, and tangle with the Raptors on the skeletons. It looks like they’re cornered, but suddenly the Rex shows up in the nick of time-killing and eating the Raptors, and oddly allowing our heroes to escape with Hammond in the nick of time. Also, there’s that other iconic final shot…

With Hammond sadly giving up on his dream, at least Grant’s warmed up to kids now (However, as Jurassic Park III reveals, he eventually didn’t settle down with Ellie although they remain good friends). Grant also stares out the window at the birds, a sort of symbolic thing that says Dinosaurs don’t really need to be brought back genetically-they’re sort of still with us, although very different.

Overall Jurassic Park is of course, a very iconic film, and a return to form for Spielberg after some disappointments (Always, Hook, Empire of the Sun etc.). Both it and the Lost World sort of are the last gasp of his 80’s-90’s heyday, as he goes on to more serious films from this point, especially since Schindler’s list-released the same year-was critically acclaimed-although he still makes the ocassional action film as well (Minority Report, Indiana Jones etc.). This film would also further advance the use of CG in movies-which would turn out to be a two-edged sword at times.

 

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