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Spared No Expense? Viral Reddit Thread Paints Jurassic Park's John Hammond In Unflattering New Light
John Hammond is the villain of the entire movie. Change our minds!
Like paleontologists unearthing the fossilized remains of some long-forgotten prehistoric creature, Jurassic Park fans continue to discover new things about the dinosaur blockbuster a whopping 30 years after its release.
Posting in the movies subreddit this week, user Dlph_311 drew attention to the Mano de Dios exchange between lawyer (Donald Gennaro) and amber mine digger Juanito Rostagno (Miguel Sandoval) near the start of the film, where the latter states that park founder John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) "hates inspections" because "they slow everything down."
Was John Hammond the true villain of Jurassic Park?
"I've seen this movie dozens of times and it's the first time I realized that Hammond's hatred of inspections is one of the major reasons the park failed," Dlph_311 wrote. "It's a subtle bit of foreshadowing that's easy to miss."
"Things like this are why Jurassic Park is such a perfect screenplay," replied ThisIsTheNewSleeve. "Every line has a purpose. No scene is wasted. Many scenes are doing multiple things at once."
Check out the specific scene right here.
As cwills815 pointed out, Attenborough's charismatic, grandfatherly, almost Santa Claus-like performance (fittingly enough, he'd play jolly ol' St. Nick in the Miracle on 34th Street remake a year later) makes it easy for viewers to forget that Hammond — not his genetically engineered attractions — is really the villain of the entire movie.
As longtime fans know, his unscrupulously deplorable methods are a lot more overt in the Michael Crichton novel the film is based on, which depicts him as a "cheap, profit-driven billionaire who cuts corners and sees science as an avenue to further wealth and power," wrote Chilli__P.
The man willfully ignored red flag after red flag in his crusade to get Jurassic Park up and running as soon as humanly possible. His joyful refrain of "I spared no expense!," cwills815 explained, rings hollow in the face of Dennis Nedry, whose deliberate sabotage of the security systems and theft of dinosaur embryos was born out of the fact that Hammond did not pay him enough.
"There's plenty of unspoken indication that Hammond spares plenty of expense wherever he can, and is merely displaying the contrary to get his 'show' open to the public. His little origin story later in the film involving working for a flea circus as a young man indicates trained practice not only in public showboating, but also in grifting. Yes, he admits wanting with JP to show people something 'real, that they can see and touch', but old habits die hard, or in Hammond's case, not at all."
The Jurassic Park and Jurassic World trilogies are currently available to purchase from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The 1993 original is returning to theaters next Friday (Aug. 25) for a limited RealD 3-D engagement in honor of its 30th anniversary.