11 unforgettable moments from the Jurassic Park franchise
Ever since Jurassic Park roared into theaters, the blockbuster films have consistently delivered fantastic thrills. Here are our picks for the 10 most unforgettable scenes.
11. OWEN TO THE RESCUE! (Jurassic World)
Remember when Owen (Chris Pratt) entered the paddock himself to save a worker cornered by three raptors? Just call him the velociraptor whisperer.
10. LIFE, UH, FINDS A WAY (Jurassic Park)
The Jurassic movies aren’t exactly known for their dialogue, and this scene, set in the first 35 minutes of the first movie, doesn’t include a single dinosaur or DNA strand of action, but it has shaped the entire franchise more than any other. As chaos theorist Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) is told by John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) and Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong) that the dinosaurs will never be able to breed because they’re all female, and that these prehistoric behemoths can be controlled, he issues a warning that will go on to become the moral and philosophical touchstone of the entire franchise. “Life will not be contained. Life breaks free,” he says. “Life, uh, finds a way.” Now, 25 years later, it’s still the most memorable line of the franchise.
9. FEELING BLUE (Jurassic World)
Loyalty counts in the Jurassic movies, and for the first time in the series that rule extends to the dinosaurs themselves. In the film’s climactic scene, Indominus rex is about to destroy a T. rex — and then every living thing on the island — when Blue, the velociraptor raised from birth by Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), comes to the rescue, jumping onto Indominus’ back and distracting her long enough for the T. rex to rejoin the fight. In a final face-off, Blue and the T. rex force Indominus against the sea wall, where the monster is snatched into the sea by the mosasaurus. Blue shares a final look with Grady before trotting off to freedom. Interspecies love never felt so good.
8. NO WONDER YOU’RE EXTINCT (Jurassic Park)
Ah, sweet justice! In the Jurassic franchise, the bad guys with the least respect for the animals often get their just deserts — or rather, become desserts. The first delicious casualty is disgruntled computer programmer Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight), who sabotages the park’s facilities as part of his plan to steal dino embryos. In his escape, though, his jeep gets caught in a mud bank, where he’s confronted by a chirpy little dilophosaurus. He tries to shoo it away, but when it fails to obey, he barks, “No wonder you’re extinct.” Don’t diss the dino, dude. Seconds later, the dilo unfurls its giant cowl, blinds him with poison saliva and… just like that, a yummy sleaze-bag sundae!
7. WE’RE GOING TO NEED A BIGGER T. REX (Jurassic Park III)
After reigning as the queen of the jungle in the first two films, the T. rex discovers that no one stays on top forever. In the franchise’s first major dino vs. dino fight scene, Rex battles to the death with a massive ridge-backed spinosaurus aegyptiacus and loses when the spino snaps her neck. Pity. We were finally starting to like her.
6. MEET THE NEW POOL BOY (The Lost World: Jurassic Park)
Amid all the screaming, there are also times to laugh, and Spielberg obliges with this comic-relief gem. As a papa T. rex terrorizes San Diego in the middle of the night, a boy wakes up to see it drinking from his family’s backyard pool. He rouses his parents, who naturally don’t believe him — until they look out his window. In a classic three-shot, the kid, as his parents scream in horror, calmly snaps a photo. Picture-perfect.
5. WHAT’S FOR DINNER? (Jurassic Park)
Kids-in-peril scenes have become a hallmark of the franchise, and it all started here, with siblings Lex (Ariana Richards) and Tim hiding in Jurassic Park’s industrial kitchen from two velociraptors. The kids scamper along the floor as the raptors open doors (!), knock over pans with their tails, sniff ladles and generally menace them before one, at least, is tricked by a reflection in a stainless-steel cabinet. The kids lock it inside a walk-in cooler and escape before becoming tartare tapas.
4. GOT YOUR GOAT (Jurassic Park)
Steven Spielberg brilliantly hides the T. rex until the film’s halfway point and then delivers in gory cinematic glory with this scene that starts in a tropical storm with a live goat hors d’oeuvre and ends with screaming kids in a jeep and a smarmy InGen lawyer (Martin Ferrero) being chomped, head first, while he cowers on a toilet. No movie monster has ever made a more terrifying entrance.
3. PEOPLE IN GLASS HOUSES… (The Lost World: Jurassic Park)
“Mommy’s very angry,” Malcolm says. Yep. So is Daddy. When Dr. Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore) and Nick Van Owen (Vince Vaughn) rush an injured baby T. rex back to their high-tech trailer on the edge of a cliff for medical attention, the kid’s parents are not pleased. In a white-knuckle sequence, the beasts push the trailer over the cliff. Harding plummets onto a window high above the ocean. As she tries to move, spider veins in the glass snap and crack around her, while Malcolm, Van Owen and, above on land, Eddie Carr (Richard Schiff) try to save her — and themselves — before the trailer crashes into the water. Oh, and did we mention that it’s nighttime and pouring rain? If you weren’t already terrified of heights (or T. rexes), this should fix that.
2. THE FLIGHT OF ZARA (Jurassic World)
The world’s unluckiest assistant, Zara (Katie McGrath), is tasked by Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) with babysitting Dearing’s nephews (Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins) as they tour Jurassic World. She’s rewarded for her efforts by being snatched from the park’s Main Street by a flying pteranodon, dropped into the tank, grabbed underwater again by the ptera and lifted into the air before both she and the ptera are gulped down by the massive sea dinosaur the mosasaurus. Worst job ever? Def. But possibly the franchise’s coolest death.
1. WELCOME TO JURASSIC PARK (Jurassic Park)
For all the jaw-dropping moments in this franchise, nothing can top the first time we all saw a living dinosaur. As John Hammond gives his visitors their first glimpse at the reptiles he has resurrected from extinction, they, and we, gaze up in wonder at a towering brachiosaurus. “You did it, you crazy sonofabitch. You did it,” Malcolm says. Exactly.
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