Spoilers below. But, mostly about divorces.
On the surface, these films appear to be simple monster films, bent on killing a few lawyers, hunters, and Samuel L. Jacksons. But just beneath this terrifying surface, we find the dark subtext. It stares back at us with its dark eyes, from a broken home.
The divorces of the Jurassic Park franchise:
Jurassic Park (1993)
The first film in the franchise pays unusual attention to the concept of divorce, discussing failed marriages at two main points. In the first instance, we hear that John Hammond can’t be at the dig site to meet the lawyer because he needs to be in New York, with his daughter, who is getting divorced.
What do you do with your kids while you’re busy with divorce lawyers? Ship them off to a dino-zoo, that’s what! So, we never see the unhappy couple. Instead, we meet the children and see them bond over multiple near-death experiences. (This concept will get repeated later!)
We’re also introduced to Dr. Ian Malcolm, who is “always on the lookout for a future ex-Mrs. Malcolm.” His complex and storied series of divorces is just hinted at in this film. But, what we do see is a character who approaches marriage with the same reckless speed that BD Wong devotes to cranking out dinosaurs.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
They’re back! And by “they” I mean divorced people. Or, at least one of them.
Dr. Ian Malcolm reprises his role as a guy that’s divorced. And while we don’t get to see his wife, we do get to see his inexplicably black daughter, Kelly. These two are basically the main characters, thrusting the broken home and poor fathering to the forefront.
Jurassic Park III (2001)
Michael Crichton didn’t write this one. But, it’s all about divorce. Basically, this kid gets trapped on the dino-island just because his parents are split up. (The boyfriend takes the son on a very dangerous adventure trip. Gotta score points somehow!) Anyway, Paul and Amanda Kirby pretend to be together to get Dr. Alan Grant to the island. And in their adventures on the island, they end up back together! (We guess, they don’t really let you know what happens.)
What’s up with all these divorces? Michael Crichton was married 5 times and divorced 4. Is it any wonder he’s obsessed with broken homes? But, Michael Crichton died in 2008. So, it came as a surprise to us to see a divorce in Jurassic World!
Jurassic World (2015)
We were a good bit into this movie and starting to get worried that there wasn’t going to be a divorce. That’s when they nail us with it: Gray and Zach’s parents are getting split up! (Just like Tim and Lex’s invisible parents from the first film.) They’re getting mail from two different lawyers! There’s no hope for them! But, these brothers—at odds at the beginning of the film—are reunited by the divorce. (Also by running from dinosaurs.)
Divorce, not dinosaurs!