The Lost World Sets the Change in Motion
The first Jurassic Park incident was triggered by Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight), a bumbling employee trying to steal dinosaur embryos for a rival company, but it’s The Lost World that gives us our first proper bad guys. The Lost World catches a lot of flack, but this 1997 sequel is where the filmmakers started teaching us to care about the dinosaurs.
The Lost World sees Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) struggling to balance his responsibilities as a father while also trying to rescue his girlfriend Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore) from Isla Sorna, a second island full of dinosaurs. Not that Sarah really wants rescuing; she’s perfectly content to risk her life trying to pet the young Stegosaurus she’s trying to photograph, even if Mama Stegosaurus doesn’t take too kindly to that kind of thing.
But they aren’t alone on the island. Peter Ludlow (Arliss Howard) and his big game hunting buddies intend to capture dinosaurs living in the wild on the abandoned island and transport them to John Hammond’s latest terrible idea: Jurassic Park San Diego. Other than being jerks, what makes them irredeemably villainous?
They hurt a baby Tyrannosaurus. A baby, you guys. That’s Cruella Deville level evil. It’s this, in a movie revolving entirely around Ian Malcolm’s family, that purposely parallels the dinosaurs with the humans. Yes, they are still dangerous, they still cause death and destruction, but everything they do after Ludlow takes the baby? It’s because he takes the baby. After that, we see their actions through a different lens. They aren’t just killing machines; they are parents, they have feelings, and we can sympathize with that. We can’t help but sympathize with that.
Jurassic Park III Continues the Trend
The third installment, 2001’s Jurassic Park III, reinforces the idea that the dinosaurs are more than instinct driven predators. The Velociraptors in this movie, like our heroes Paul (William H Macy) and Amanda Kirby (Téa Leoni), just want to find their offspring, and they will do whatever it takes to reunite their families.