One would find it hard to talk about any of the Jurassic Park movies without delving into the heroes of the story. Although some may argue the true heroes of the series are the dinosaurs, some credit should go to the main characters for their resilience and fortitude for withstanding scene after scene of prehistoric mayhem in order to bring the beloved stories to life. As with all good stories, every hero has their enemy, and as much as this writer would like to reveal the secrets to Jurassic World, he will not. Instead, this quick study will focus on heroes from the past and of what makes their stories unique.
Dr. Alan Grant—From the first time the audience meets Dr. Grant (Sam Neill), a paleontologist filled with the wonder and amazement of a child, he proves his low-key demeanor cannot hide his dark side. When a young boy observes velociraptors are nothing more than six-foot turkeys, he breaks from the group to set the record straight. He explains raptors’ visual acuity is unlike a T-Rex’s in that the animal can see its prey regardless if it moves or not. He slashes at the boy’s belly in a mock kill and says, “You are alive when they start to eat you. Show some respect.”
Dr. Grant’s expertise in paleontology serves him well as he battles raptors in a game of intelligence for island domination. Once the chase is on, his main concern becomes the kids who he takes charge. His inclination of not liking children takes a backseat to his willingness to sacrifice his life for the little ones in Jurassic Park.
Dr. Ian Malcolm—The chaos theory expert who takes the role of the parent in The Lost World: Jurassic Park guides a team of hunters to capture the island’s grandest prize. His role changes once a double dose of T-Rex introduces real life chaos to the apprehensive theorist. Suddenly, his life is not all that easy anymore. As with Dr. Grant, Dr. Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) has only one thing on his mind—save his daughter from the jaws of the massive carnivore.
In the heart of the jungle, Dr. Malcolm uses everything at his disposal to elude raptors and anything else that seems to want to take a bite out of him or his kid. He has no limit to what he will do to protect those around him—even if it means he would have to give himself as bait for the others to make a clean getaway.
Dr. Alan Grant—In Jurassic Park III, Dr. Grant is back. In this iteration of the classic theme, although older, he hasn’t mellowed. He proves age means nothing in the realm of killer dinosaurs. If anything, he takes a more aggressive stance against those who have deserted him and his party on the island of death. His goal to get off the island becomes his anthem.
These are the Jurassic heroes of yesteryear. With every generation comes a new breed of dinosaurs. But with every generation also comes a hero willing to risk his life for the sake of others.
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What are your thoughts about the Jurassic heroes? Do you have a favorite?