When I was 12, in 1994, I basically did three things: watch The Fugitive, watch A League of Their Own, and watch Jurassic Park. Oh, and listen to Weird Al's "Off the Deep End." Four things. Over and over and over. (Oh!!! And play that Yo! Noid Nintendo game! Five things! But this is not relevant.) In that impressionable year and the ones that followed, Jurassic Park burrowed its way into my consciousness like some asshole frog DNA (COMPLETELY interrupting the cellular mitosis, BTW) and it has been there ever since—whispering "hold on to your butts" and "blah blah blah something about a flea circus" whenever I needed it the most. And now, 20 years later, as the cruel noose of Father Time's mustache grows ever tighter around my neck, it is with a mix of excitement and horror that I anticipate the 3D theatrical rerelease of my beloved JP.
On the one hand, fuuuuuuuck 3D (here, strap this headache machine to your face and then try to enjoy these screaming children!). On the other hand, dinos and Jeff Goldblum!!! On the third hand, when did I get so old? On the fourth hand, when will this frog DNA stop making me grow extra hands?
I can't tell you what to do, friend. But in case you don't have 127 minutes and $15 to spare, or if you don't feel like leaving your couch to see a 20-year-old movie, or if you're just easily confused by fake dinosaur science (who do I look like—B.D. WONG!?), or if you just want to pretend like you're watching the movie along with some drunk lady, I've broken it down for you in one handy guide. Herewith, everything that happens in Jurassic Park presented in a handy chronological format.
We open on some bushes. Scary bushes. You can tell the bushes are scary because a bunch of dudes in jumpsuits are standing near them looking scared. The bushes are all, "Rustle, rustle. Rustle, rustle." There is definitely something in those bushes. Some sort of monster. "Come over here," the bushes whisper. "Try me, I'm just bushes!" Suddenly, the monster begins to emerge. The leaves part. Is it a bigfoot? Is it a dino?
IT'S JUST SOME DUMB FORKLIFT CARRYING A DUMB BOX. The monster, it turns out, isn't a monster at all—it's a machine. The real monster, you see, is man. (Or else the real monster is forklifts. Unsure. TBD.)
Oh, except there totally are legit monsters in the box that the forklift is carrying. They're called velociraptors, and they are the world's biggest bitchez. Right away they wiggle out of the box and eat this dude named "the Gatekeeper," and then they're like "OM GROM GROMPH. WASN'T EVEN HUNGRY—JUST ATE HIM TO FUCK WITH YOU GUYS #YOLO." One of the velociraptors makes extended Six-Sigma eye contact with this Great White Hunter dude (let's call him "the Keymaster") through the bars, like she's thinking, "I'mma bookmark you for later, Keymaster." And she does. (Clever girl.)
Now we're in an amber mine in the Dominican Republic! Try to keep up! A lawyer is there, being annoying. "Waaaahhhhh, I want inspections! Inspections are my food!" yells the lawyer. "Mr. Hammond hates inspections," says the guy in charge of the mine, all normal as though that isn't the vaguest thing in the world to hate. The lawyer suggests that they get a certain "Dr. Grant" to do the inspection, because of "insurance." (Not sure why that's the mine guy's call, but bygones.) Mine guy isn't into it. "Grant's like me," he explains. "He's a digger." Then the miner, who's been mining this whole time BTW, gets very excited about something he's just mined. It's a piece of amber with a bug in it. The lawyer, feeling less appreciated than an old bug (and still very concerned about inspections), stomps off to sit on a tuffet somewhere and lick an oversized lollipop, probably. That's a lawyer stereotype, right? LAWYERS.
Cut to the Badlands. Dr. Grant is digging (OF COURSE) at a fossilized velociraptor skeleton, which is sort of half-buried in 1-2 inches of soft sand, like the cap to your sunscreen, or Joey in the opening credits of Friends. "I hate computers," says Dr. Grant. Dr. Grant hates computers. Dr. Grant touches Laura Dern on the buns to establish that their relationship is libidinous and caliente, yet tender. Laura Dern, in double denim, is busy agitating for Dr. Grant to impregnate her with a small paleontological baby. No luck yet.
Wait, who's that talking? UGH, it's a kid. DR. GRANT HATES KIDS. They're like computers, but covered in food and hair! Even worse, this kid is talking talking talking, and he has no respect for dinos. "That doesn't look very scary," the kid says, eyeing the velociraptor with disdain. "More like a 6-foot turkey."
"Oh no," says Laura Dern, shaking her head. She knows what's coming. Dr. Grant is going to spill the intestines of an innocent child with his 6-inch turkey-claw AGAIN. (The paperwork alone! Major headache.) But in the middle of his super-mean lecture about dino behavior and the fashionable disembowelment theories of the day, Dr. Grant is interrupted by the arrival of a helicopter full of Richard Attenborough's hubris. Richard Attenborough (Mr. Hammond, mentioned earlier, hates inspections, etc.) has ruined the turkey dig. Asshole. But it doesn't matter. He's there to invite Dr. Grant and Laura Dern to inspect his mysterious new theme park. Then this dialogue happens:
Hammond: "There's no doubt our attractions will drive kids out of their minds."
Grant: "What are those?"
Laura Dern: "Small versions of adults, honey."
Then there's a scene of Newman eating breakfast. Later in the movie, breakfast eats Newman.
Dr. Grant and Laura Dern hop into Richard Attenborough's helicopter and point the pilot toward Costa Rica. Also on board is Jeffward Goldblum as mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm, about whom it is extremely difficult for me not to write in all-caps at all times. It was a feat not to write this review entirely in all-caps, I have to tell you. I have basically no lowercase feelings about Jurassic Park.
Jeff Goldblum explains that he's not a mathemagician so much as a "CHAOTICIAN. Chaotician." At this point, if you go see Jurassic Park in the theater, you will have the opportunity to watch Jeff Goldblum hit on Laura Dern in 3D. Worth it.
Dr. Grant, being some sort of Flintstone who has never ridden in a motorized vehicle before, fumbles with the seatbelts like a confounded granny in an infomercial. The helicopter descends, and everyone hops into some jeeps. At this point, Richard Attenborough has flown four people all the way to Costa Rica without actually telling them why the fuck they're going to Costa Rica. Presumably they've been sitting in a tiny enclosed space staring at each other in silence for hours and hours. Nobody seems to think this is weird. Nobody is yelling at all.
The jeeps rumble deeper into the jungle. "HEY, RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH, WHAT'S WITH THIS BIG FENCE?" "DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT. IT'S DEFINITELY NOT FOR MONSTERS."
Finally it's time for the Big Reveal. There's dinos! Dinos everywhere! Dr. Grant pees his own pants, and then he pees Laura Dern's pants too, and then a butterfly pees its pants and it causes a landslide in Calabasas. "We're going to make a fortune with this place," says the lawyer, who clearly doesn't understand that greedy lines like that get you killed in Steven Spielberg movies.
"Welcome to Jurassic Park!"
Richard Attenborough leads them all into a little movie theater where he has a conversation with a piece of cartoon DNA named "Mr. DNA." Mr. DNA pronounces "dahnasauwwwer" in this weird Huell Howser drawl, and also I just discovered that the guy who voiced Mr. DNA is dead now:
His later career was hampered by acute alcoholism. His career was finished when he was arrested by detectives in May of 2004 after barricading himself inside his Los Angeles home for six hours before surrendering. Initial reports claim that a SWAT team had responded to a call from two of his female roommates that he was inebriated, armed and holding a third female roommate hostage. It was reported that he had been depressed over losing voice over work.
That is an extremely sad story. Think about it when you watch Mr. DNA, in case you were having too much fun enjoying this light popcorn thriller. Sorry.
Turns out, Jurassic Park scientists were able to build their own dahnasauwwwers by extracting blood from the stomachs of dinosquitos, putting the blood in a jar with some frog DNA and glue, and then shaking it. Or something like that. I don't know. Go ask B.D. Wong. He's in charge here.
The dumb lawyer asks if B.D. Wong is "auto-erotica," but he means "animatronic." It is offensive how little the lawyer knows about B.D. Wong.
After watching a baby velociraptor hatch ("Poosh! Poosh!"), Dr. Grant starts asking questions about how they control the dino populations. B.D. Wong explains that all of the animals at Jurassic Park are ladies, because B.D. Wong is on top of his shit and he engineered them that way and why must you always question B.D. Wong?
Time to feed the raptors! The Great White Hunter lowers an entire cow into the raptor cage, and they go fucking nuts. (Jurassic Park must go through cow slings like gangbusters.) GWH gives a terrifying PowerPoint (basically) on how smart the raptors are, their SAT scores, their Sudoku speed, their vengeful hunger for human intestines. Richard Attenborough tries to distract everyone with lunch—"Alejandro's prepared a delightful menu for us. Chilean sea bass, I believe!"—but ALAN GRANT DOESN'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT CHILEAN SEA BASS. He just wants to stand around and worry about raptors. (Dude, Alejandro probably worked really hard on that!)
They all sit down to lunch. Jeff Goldblum is extremely concerned:
"Don't you see the danger, John, inherent in what you're doing here? Genetic power is the most awesome force the planet's ever witnessed, yet you wield it like a kid that's found his dad's gun...What's so great about discovery? It's a violent, penetrative act that scars what it explores. What you call discovery, I call the rape of the natural world."
Laura Dern piles on, warning Richard Attenborough that the park is full of poisonous dino-plants that have "no idea what century they're in" and will defend themselves if necessary. (Devil's Snare, probs.) Attenborough is like, "Yo, Dr. Grant, back me up!" and Dr. Grant is like, "NOPE."
Okay. Then these kids show up. Disregarding why anyone would bring children to an untested island of monstros, everyone gets back in the jeeps and they head out for a tour.
"Hold on to your butts," says Samuel L. Jackson (Jurassic Park's chief engineer), demonstrating that he's the type of cool dude who says things like "Hold on to your butts," possibly even twice in one day. (Foreshadowing.)
They don't see any dinosaurs right away, but that's not really important because Newman is busy fucking up everything on earth. (Wait till you guys see Newman fuck up everything on earth in 3D!) See, Newman figured out a get-rich-quick scheme called "steal the dinosaur embryos and sell them to a shadowy ne'er-do-well," because that's really who you want to have control of your rogue dinosaur embryos. Just the ne'er-do-welliest fool on earth. In order to get the embryos and get out of the park undetected, Newman shuts down the security system. AGAIN. REALLY PLAYING FAST AND LOOSE WITH THE DINOS HERE.
Over in the jeep region, everyone is irritated that they haven't seen a T-rex yet and Jeff Goldblum is waxing philosophical.
Jeff Goldblum: "God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs."
Laura Dern: "Dinosaurs eat man, woman inherits the earth."
Dumb Lawyer: "MISANDRY! MISANDRY!!!" (Not really, but I bet he was thinking it.)
Everyone stops to help a Triceratops with a stomach ache and dig through its mammoth dump. (Fun fact: Laura Dern never goes anywhere without her elbow-length dump gloves. Both Laura Dern's character in this movie and the actual Laura Dern.)
Uhhhhh, okay, let's fast-forward. The T-rex gets out. The lawyer tries to hide in a toilet house, but T-rex finds him immediately because T-rexes hate lawyers (and, interestingly, landladies) and can smell one drop of lawyer in 100,000 gallons of Costa Rica. Newman gets eaten by these fancy lads (GOOD), while everyone else runs around screaming, or holds perfectly still, depending on their prior knowledge of dinosaur eyeballs. They all spend a long time trying to escape dinosaurs and sometimes getting covered in dino-boogers. A dino stampede interrupts Hurley and Jin's golf game. Dr. Grant pulls an extremely hilarious and appropriate prank involving an electric fence and some severely traumatized children. Everything is fucked.
(Cut to the interior of the Jurassic Park gift shop. Foolish humans and your hubristic dinosaur thermoses.)
Richard Attenborough is making a speech about fleas. He just wanted to make something that wasn't an illusion, you know? "I wanted to show them something that wasn't an illusion. Something that was real. Something they could see and touch." And get dismembered by.
Off in the jungle somewhere, in grave danger of being seen and touched, the boy-child calls the girl-child a "nerd" and she goes: "I'm a hacker! I am not a computer nerd—I prefer to be called a hacker." Lolololllololoolololll. (That's hacker-speak for, "Oh, 1993. You're adorable.") Then the boy-child gets fried on an electric fence and Dr. Grant dubs him "Big Tim, the Human Piece of Toast"—which also, coincidentally, is my stripper name. What are the odds.
Samuel L. Jackson decides that he needs to go reset the main power switch to fix all the crap that Newman fucked up. I think you know what that means. It's HOLD ON TO YOUR BUTTS #2.
Please. Hold on to your butts. It's just a thing I say. It's kind of my catchphrase.
Oh, also, this whole time Jeff Goldblum is just doing this:
When Samuel L. Jackson doesn't come back from his mission, Laura Dern decides it's time to hold on to her butt and go find him. She and Richard Attenborough have this exchange:
"it ought to be me, really, going."
"Well, I'm a...and you're a..."
"We can discuss sexism in survival situations when I get back."
BOOM, LAURA DERN. BOOM.
While Laura Dern runs to the switchy-hut (I am literally an engineer, obv), the Keymaster/GWH attempts to give her cover from the marauding velociraptors. It's the perfect job for him, seeing as he is the world's #1 expert on how to not get eaten by velociraptors. He immediately gets eaten by velociraptors. Oh well.
Over the walkie-talkie, Richard Attenborough gives Laura Dern instructions: "You've got to pump up the primer handle in order to get the charge. It's large, flat, and gray. Like my penis."
Laura Dern manages to get the power back on, but not before being attacked by a raptor and snuggled by Samuel L. Jackson's dismembered arm. (Samuel L. Jackson's dismembered arm was probably the #1 most traumatic thing that happened to me in my entire childhood.)
Hey, hey Samuel L. Jackson, MAYBE YOU SHOULD HAVE HELD ON TO YOUR ARM INSTEAD OF YOUR BUTT, AMIRITE.
I'm sorry. That was out of line.
Meanwhile, the raptors are chasing the kids around the kitchen (you guys, Alejandro has to clean all that up!), and they would have gotten so eaten if they hadn't come across science's #1 most effective dinosaur avoidance tool: the ladle. (Laura Dern never goes anywhere without her dump gloves and 17 ladles.)
Everyone is almost safe, but they just need to fix the computer so they can lock the raptors out. The hacker child runs over to help. Fortunately, it is a UNIX system (and/or Microsoft Entertainment Pack Fuji Golf), and she knows this. So then YAAAAYYY! Except, oh wait, there are still raptors in there for some reason.
Blah blah blah run from the raptors some more, and then OH SHIT, T-REX COMES IN AND SAVES THE DAY AND EATS THE RAPTORS AND IT IS RIGHTEOUS AS HELL. RAAAAAAWWWWWRRRRR!
And Dr. Grant loves the kids now, and Laura Dern's hair looks great, and they're all flying home (um, except for the dead ones), and haaaaaaaaay there are some majestic pelicans! "I pelican't fault you for using so many all-caps, Lindy," says Samuel L. Jackson who just came back from the dead for the purposes of my fanfic, "This truly is the greatest movie ever." [All laugh.]
THE END. Now, if you need me, I'll be over here doing this. Bye.