With Jurassic World’s trailer clock ticking down, I got a little excited and pulled my old Jurassic Park VHS out of its shoebox and re-watched the 1993 classic. After a fresh viewing, I realized something my 13 year-old self missed:
The dinosaurs are innocent. These thunder-lizards are just animals obeying nature’s programming, while a pageant of grotesque human debauchery plays out inside their cozy jungle.
For your consideration, I submit 4 humans far more villainous than the Jurassic Park dinosaurs.
4. Dr. Alan Grant
Oh sure, you remember Alan Grant as the hero of the story, the guy who saves the kids. But remember the beginning of the movie, when he frightens a child for no reason at all. Grant is explaining to a crowd that dinosaurs were, in fact, quite scary, and some bratty punk is all like, “that dinosaur's not scary, it’s a six-foot turkey.” So how does Doctor Alan Grant—the adult in this situation—behave?
By holding a raptor talon to the kid’s belly and detailing a painful, visceral death. “You are alive when they start to eat you…now will you show them respect?” Seriously, where was this kid’s mom to tell this psychopath to stop scaring her kid?
Why He’s Worse than Dinosaurs: Raptors would eat the kid to survive, not keep him alive to screw with his head.
3. Dr. Ellie Sattler
Simple: She told John Hammond’s grandkids to ride in the same jeep as a psychopath who loves scaring kids.
Why She’s Worse than Dinosaurs: She’s endangering the young of her own species, and has horrible taste in men. Good thing she wised up before JP3 and married some guy who conveniently works in the Department of Defense, so she could give up paleobotany and write children's books...Jurassic Park trilogy subplots are a hobby of mine.
2. Dr. Ian Malcolm
For totally hitting on Ellie Sattler when Alan was sitting in the Jeep. That’s a dick move, and I see why the guy has so many ex-wives.
Why He’s Worse than Dinosaurs: If they’re like most animals, dinosaurs breed when the female is in heat, the males fight a little, and then babies get made. Humans use a different system to mate, referred to as “dibs.” Alan Grant had dibs bro. Yeah, go raise your biracial daughter who was cut from her gymnastics team.
1. John Hammond
Bet you saw this one coming, huh? John Hammond, the billionaire entrepreneur whose hubris led him to resurrect dinosaurs. Of course he’s evil for playing God, right? Wrong. I don’t blame him for creating more dinosaurs—everyone on Earth except Jeff Goldblum would have done the same.
Hammond is evil for not paying Dennis Nedry a decent wage. Dennis Nedry, or “Newman,” is the programmer who designs Jurassic Park's computer system. He creates a fully-automated system that can control the entire park from a single room, using a 1993 Unix system. That's a machine barely sophisticated enough to play Minesweeper*, and this guy runs the park on it.
How does Hammond repay him? By not paying him. The catalyst for the plot isn’t the dinosaurs going berserk, or the weather destroying the power grid: it’s Dennis Nedry trying to make a decent living wage.
“Nedry was greedy,” you might say—but I don’t think so. When he complains about being underpaid, Hammond tells him, I’m sorry about your financial problems Dennis, but they are your problems.”
Ouch. That’s some straight up JP Morgan/JD Rockefeller/Let-Them-Eat-Cake/Guilded Age entitlement talking. If Nedry were greedy, he wouldn’t have bothered complaining—he would have just quietly sold the dino DNA for his millions.
Also, if Hammond wasn’t happy with the product Nedry was producing, then fire him. Or, maybe don’t take the lowest bidder on the job to create a system that can be run from one room, while you a pay minimal amount of staff. Oh, I forgot: he spared no expense.
Why He’s Worse than Dinosaurs: We expect dinosaurs to be Darwinian and devour each other, but humans are supposed to be better. Humans are defined by our ability to help others without benefit to ourselves, an act we call “kindness.” Not paying a decent wage isn’t just immoral, it’s bad business.
*I don't know if that's true. Come at me, nerds!