WHEN: 3:15pm EST, January 23rd, 2013
WHERE: In my apartment in Portland, ME
FORMAT: Blu-Ray on a Vizio 47″ LCD HDTV
COMPANY: My brother Matt, for the last 20 minutes.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Relaxed, a little tired. The viewing was light, but fun.
– The table with the pie that Nedry puts the shaving cream on mysteriously disappears.
– It sure is convenient that all the dinosaurs are female. No dino-wangs!
– I now know why the awkward glass plates covering the steering wheels in the tour SUVs are there. If they took the steering wheels out entirely, Grant wouldn’t be able to cause the treetop car chase by accidentally bumping one of them.
THE TIME IS RIGHT:
Congratulations! Your company has achieved the impossible: through painstaking scientific efforts, you have resurrected some of the planet’s most fantastic creatures. You have spent years building a state-of-the-art resort/amusement park which is finally nearing completion. You have spared no expense. The only thing standing between you and the glorious unveiling of your creations to the world is the approval of three scientific experts. If this one tour goes without a hitch, everlasting glory and fame will be yours!
Now is obviously the time to force all but three of your employees to get on a boat for the mainland.
For the first 40 minutes of the movie, Jurassic Park is shown to be a massive undertaking, requiring dozens of employees to keep it running.
We see at least 22 security guards during the raptor loading scene that opens the film.
Well, 21 by the end of it.
We see 8 or so visitor center maintenance workers.
How are they going to get down off that scaffolding?
We see at least 10 geneticists.
We are specifically told that none of them are auto-erotica… I mean, animatronic.
That’s not to mention the man who operates the heliport, the three jeep drivers, the two guys who open the electric gate, three workers on scaffolding outside the visitor center, three computer technicians, and Alejandro the chef. Add them all up, and that’s 52 Jurassic Park employees that we see, assuming they didn’t replace the guy the raptor ate. That’s a decent-sized group of employees. So, isn’t it a little bit odd that they all disappear just as Grant and friends start the tour, leaving no one to run the island but Ray Arnold, Dennis Nedry, and Robert Muldoon?
Where did they all go?
If we listen closely, we hear Arnold make several cryptic announcements over the PA, reminding all personnel to get on the boat to the mainland, “no exceptions.” Later we hear him announce, “Everyone must be on the docks for the 19:00 hour departure.”
Henry Wu (who is only important enough to be on the island sometimes) notes of the eggs he is tending, “I’d hoped they’d hatch before I had to go to the boat.”
Dr. Harding, who takes care of sick Triceratops (but only till his shift ends, apparently) is also leaving: “I’m in a gas-powered Jeep, I can drop her at the visitor’s center before I make the boat with the others.”
What we know is this: On this particular day, all employees of Jurassic Park (with 3 exceptions) must board a boat for the mainland by 7:00 PM. This is mandatory, and there are no exceptions, even for essential park personnel, like Wu and Harding.
What we do not know is why.
WHY MUST THEY ALL GET ON THE BOAT?:
I can think of no logical reason why everyone would be ushered off the island in this manner. Is it a one-time event, or does this happen weekly? Couldn’t it have waited till the tour was over? Is InGen is severe financial distress, to the point of shutting the whole operation down? Did the entire staff accidentally request vacation time for the same weekend? Who was going to serve Grant, Malcolm and Sattler dinner? Did Nedry warn a couple of his friends that shit was about to go down, and everyone found out except for Muldoon, Arnold, and Hammond?
“Urgent news! We have no friends.”
No matter how you cut it, this situation makes no sense whatsoever.
That being said, there is a very simple explanation.
THE REASON EVERYONE GETS ON THE BOAT:
Jurassic Park is a thriller that successfully juggles ten major characters: Grant, Sattler, Malcolm, Hammond, Nedry, Arnold, Muldoon, Gennaro, Tim, and Lex. Once Nedry puts his plan in motion and shit starts hitting fan, the film tightly jumps between these ten characters. Everything is clear and fast-paced. By the time you start wondering what Grant is up to, the movie shows you. No one is lost in the shuffle.
But what if we also had to keep track of where Wu and Harding are? Hmm. That might start getting a little confusing. What if we had to keep track of the 21 remaining raptor guards, the 8 visitor center workers and the 10 geneticists? It would be difficult to keep the movie from devolving into a giant clusterfuck.
Like The Lost World: Jurassic Park! (But more on that later.)
Steven Spielberg needed to have those workers on the island to help create the sense of wonder that is so integral to the first half of the film; he also needs them off the island so that the second half of the movie can be a tightly paced thriller. It’s a catch-22. The shot of the two workers opening up the electric gate is beautiful, but if they were still on the island come nightfall, how could Nedry sneak out?
The solution was one little plot hole, but it was necessary. If you can sneak those 52 employees off the island without the audience thinking about it too hard, you can have the best of both worlds. Sure, the boat solution is a little sloppy, but without it, we wouldn’t have the Jurassic Park that we have.
I personally am willing to look the other way.