'Jurassic' journey, part 1: an unforgettable day at the park
It’s been 25 years since “Jurassic Park” launched one of Hollywood’s most enduring franchises. Now, before “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” arrives in June, we’re taking a look back at the events of the first four films.
The film that launched a multibillion-dollar franchise, “Jurassic Park” kicks off the series with a premise as big and intriguing as a rambling, rumbling brachiosaurus.
Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum star as three scientists enlisted by eccentric billionaire John Hammond (Sir Richard Attenborough) to vet his latest creation, a theme park where he claims to have brought dinosaurs back to life using DNA extracted from prehistoric mosquitoes.
Alan Grant (Neill), Ellie Sattler (Dern) and Ian Malcolm (Goldblum) are appropriately skeptical about his claims, but Hammond delivers on his promises, showing them an island filled with triceratops and other fauna.
All is wonder and awe until corrupt computer programmer Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) shuts down the complex’s security systems and Hammond’s creations run amok. The three scientists, along with Hammond’s two young grandchildren, find themselves stranded on the far side of the park with a T-Rex, a pack of bloodthirsty velociraptors and hundreds more prehistoric beasts between them and safety.
David Koepp’s adaptation of Michael Crichton’s novel skillfully juggles the varying viewpoints of its three experts — as well as Hammond’s willfully naive enthusiasm — while creating a world of dinosaurs that feels equally exhilarating and terrifying.
The big three return (sort of): The original trio of scientists — Sattler, Grant and Malcolm — shows up in subsequent “Jurassic” sequels, but never reunite completely. Sattler sits out the second film but gets a brief cameo in “Jurassic Park III.” Grant appears in “Jurassic Park III.” Malcolm, meanwhile, anchors “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” and is scheduled to make an appearance in “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” where his decidedly pessimistic view of meddling with science is ignored as new casts are assembled as a “moving feast” for the series’ dinosaur populations.
Did You Know? In the iconic scene where the T-Rex is first “felt” before it’s seen, the glass of water sitting on the dashboard of the Ford Explorer is made to ripple by using a guitar string attached to the underside of the dash.
Click the image below to continue the Jurassic Journey with a trip to “The Lost World”: