Here we finally meet Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore). Julianne is of course still a top actress (She got an Oscar just two years ago), and although this was earlier in her career, she had already drawn accolades for “Short Cuts” and “Safe”.
She appears somewhat more quirky and excitable than Ellie, and perhaps a little more reckless, when she tries to pet and photograph a baby stegosaur. There’s also a bit of obvious product placement here when she asks Nick for his Nikon camera, which is given a bit of screen time itself.
Nick and Eddie express disbelief at what they’re seeing-the thought that they thought they were just photographing “Iquanas”-which might be a tongue-in-cheek nod to the 1960 adaptation of the old Arthur Conan Doyle book, which *did* use big Iquanas with horns pasted on them. We also get one of the most memorable lines from the movie (and which pretty much describes the entire series formula) : “Ooh, ahh, that’s how it always starts. But then later there’s running…and screaming….”
Her camera’s noises though anger the Stegosaurus, and she nearly gets impaled by their nasty spikes.
This also would’ve been the scene that featured this early publicity/trailer shot of the group running through the jungle and Sarah saying “isn’t it great!”-but this part of it was cut.
Malcolm of course tries to dissuade Sarah from exploring the island further, but she’s adamant. Things of course then turn out to be even more complicated when it turns out Kelly has stowed away….and then Ludow’s INGEN shows up with Roland leading the expedition.
Here we get a nice lecture from Tembo to Ludow, showing a clash in personas between the two-Ludow the business-minded man who isn’t very cautious, and Tembo the experienced hunter who seems to have at least some care for the safety the mercenaries he’s working with.
Ludow:This is as good a place as any for base camp.That’s first priority after we’re finished.I want it up and running in 30 minutes. That’s half an hour.Understood? Over.
Tembo: Cancel that order.
Tembo:This is a game trail. Carnivores hunt on game trails.
You want to set up base camp or a buffet?
Let’s find a new spot, shall we? Over and out.
Tembo”Peter, if you want me to run your little camping trip, there are two conditions: first, I’m in charge, and when I’m not around, Dieter is. All you have to do is sign the checks, tell us we’re doing a good job, and open your case of scotch when we have a good day. Second condition: my fee? You can keep it. All I want in return for my services is the right to hunt one of the tyrannosaurs. A male, a buck only. How and when is my business. Now if you don’t like either of those conditions, you’re on your own. So go ahead, set up base camp right here, or in a swamp, or in the middle of a Rex nest for all I care. But I’ve been on too many safaris with rich dentists to listen to any more suicidal ideas, OK?
We then get a pretty good scene as the mercenaries pursue a Dinosaur stampede. One of the best shots is of a motorcycle weaving below the belly of a mamenchiasaurus, a sauropod which pretty much makes it’s only appearance in the film here.
We then get two main captures-the Pachycephalosaurus. Like the Dilophosaurus in the last film, this creature seems smaller than the real thing, so there’s a bit of dramatic licence here, although it doesn’t sport frills or spit venom.
Next we get a cruel take down of a Parasaurlophus.
Introduced here are two other mercenaries, Robert Burke, sort of a less ethical paleontologist than Harding or Grant, although played somewhat for comic relief.
Burke is a parody/throwing shade a bit at Robert Bakker, a real-life paleontologist. Although he sort of served as an advisor for the films, Bakker’s views about the T-rex rival those of chief ad visor (and Crichton’s inspiration for Grant) Jack Horner, and reportedly this was kind of thrown in as a favor to Horner. Bakker apparently took the joke in good stride, though.
We also meet Dietar Stark as well, played by noted Character actor Peter Stromare, and a guy who’s not nearly as honorable as Tembo.
Meanwhile, the main characters watch the roundup overhead, and are quite displeased with what they see. Although for some reason I find Richard Schiff’s “sad face” a little funny…not sure why.
Meanwhile, Tembo and Ajay capture a baby Rex to draw it’s parents out while they watch for a blind to get ready to hunt it. For some reason the Rex’s leg is broken, something that’s not explained in the final film, but it’s clear from a deleted scene that it’s the fault of a drunken Ludow.
Ian and co spy on Ingen’s camp, and we learn about Ingen’s plot to bring the Dinosaurs to San Diego to stock the unfinished “Jurassic Park San Diego” complex, something Hammond considered but ultimately went with the Island instead. Ludow argues that his first idea was his best:
Ludow: You don’t bring people halfway across the world to look at a zoo. You bring the Zoo to them! San Diego is the perfect set. People already associate this beautiful city with animal attractions. San Diego zoo, Seaworld, San Diego Chargers….
Here we get one of the somewhat more lame-brained ideas in the film-Nick Van Owen decides to sabotage Ingen’s camp by releasing the Dinosaurs, which is not the greatest idea considering their own equipment hasn’t proved quite reliable as far as reaching their escape boat is concerned (As Malcolm finds out as he tries to contact the boat, only succeeding on pissing off a lady on the other end looking for “Enrique”). He’s like the reverse Nedry.
On the plus side, at least we get to see a non-sick Triceratops for the first time, as well as a baby Triceratops built, but never used, in Jurassic Park.
Of course, Nick also decides to bring in the baby T-rex, also not quite a good idea (although this still happens in the book).
In my next post I’ll bring up the T-rex attack, which leaves both groups stuck and without an easy way to communicate with the mainland….