Jurassic twist

I first saw Jurassic Park when it came out in theaters in 1992. Like everyone else, I was in awe.

Every moment of it was masterful. Spielberg had somehow redefined the art of filmmaking, and we all knew it.

One moment in particular jumped out at me, in its sheer ornery cleverness. Seventeen minutes into the film, a tiny “blink and you’ve missed it” event reiterates the entire central conflict of the film.

It’s during the scene in the helicopter. Technophobic Dr. Grant, played by Sam Neill, can’t manage to fasten his seatbelt, and everyone is trying to help him to strap in.

At first he sits there helplessly, holding two female seatbelt ends. But then, in a moment of inspiration, he ties the two ends together, with a look of triumph on his face. So what was this really about?

You’re probably way ahead of me here. The central twist of the film is that the creators of the park had guarded again the possibility of dinosaurs breeding by raising only females. No males, no propagation of the species.

But because they had introduced frog DNA to fix the gaps in the recovered dinosaur genetic code, the dinosaurs gained the power to reproduce by parthenogenesis. No males required.

I other words, a seemingly tiny throwaway moment early In the movie foreshadows the giant plot twist that comes to dominate not just that film, but all the sequels that followed.

Perfect, simply perfect. This is one reason I go to the movies.

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