Over the last 25 years I’ve watched Jurassic Park roughly 25 dozen times, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned from repeated viewings it’s this: if I were on that island I would definitely be eaten by a dinosaur. But what if I had someone to help me survive? Which character from the film would be most likely to get me out of there alive? And who would guarantee I ended up as a giant dino dung pile?
To answer that very important question I’m breaking down their pros and cons based on two-and-a-half decades of intense study, to rank them from worst to best. (Note: We’re imagining them all in the same situation–stuck with me in the middle of the park–and not their circumstances in the movie.)
Pros: Lightweight, informative, fun
Cons: Not an actual person, absolutely no help whatsoever, might even be worse than being alone because it’s possible I’d have to carry around an oversized computer from 1993.
Verdict: Mr. D.N.A. means being D.O.A.
THE STUPID LAWYER (POSSIBLY NOT HIS REAL NAME)
Pros: Can rock a hat, would be able to sue a dinosaur in some sort of prehistoric court
Cons: All of them, especially being greedy, cowardly, shortsighted, naive, weak, stupid…
Verdict: All he has to offer is the hope that your last moments on this planet will be knowing him and his stupid face were also eaten by a dinosaur.
Pros: Good with computers so he could help reboot the system, values good manners
Cons: Out of shape, conniving, bad sense of direction, struggles in bad weather, very loud
Verdict: Being polite counts for a lot, but not as much as being able to flee. You’d be better off without Dennis, which means you’re still dead.
Pros: Young, healthy, rises to the occasion, good with both computers and their systems that should definitely be far harder to crack
Cons: Scared of dinosaurs, knows little about dinosaurs, hates dinosaurs
Verdict: Lex is underrated; she’s far braver than she first appears. The big problem is I’m no Dr. Alan Grant, and I’d likely sacrifice her to survive for the extra 90 seconds it would take for her to be eaten. Am I a terrible person? Without question, and having a dino-phobic kid with me would only highlight my worst tendencies.
Pros: Genius, knows the park better than anyone else
Cons: He’s older and walks with a cane, stubborn, slow to recognize the gravity of the situation
Verdict: The goal is to get off the island alive, right? Well who would get me to the hidden tunnels and passageways of the park better than he would. The problem is getting to them. What if we can’t find a jeep fast enough? What if I have to carry him on my back? That’s easy–some lucky dinosaur gets two helpings of out-of-shape white guy for dinner.
Pros: Young legs, knows everything about dinosaurs, isn’t afraid of them
Cons: Suuuuuuper annoying, doesn’t understand the concept of a countdown or “high voltage,”
Verdict: Tim would be a sneaky good option to make it out alive. His broad dino knowledge would be a huge help, he wouldn’t need a lot of food, it wouldn’t be too difficult to carry him when he got tired, and little kids always have a lot of energy. The problem is you shouldn’t be secretly rooting for your partner to get eaten so he’ll stop talking.
DR. HENRY WU
Pros: Knows the dinosaurs intimately, very smart
Cons: Huge nerd. “Oooh, look at me and my stupid lab coat. I use it to help raise dinosaur eggs, which is about as dangerous as making an omelette.”
Verdict: Just based on Jurassic Park we have no idea he’s evil, so all we can go on is the little we see of him at work here. I don’t know, I guess he’d be helpful, but when you’re trapped in an actual jungle of actual dinosaurs, do you want an actual geek who might not be able to climb over a pebble as your best hope of survival?
Pros: Looks to be in good shape, willing to venture into dangerous places to help others, computer savvy, coolest guy in the park
Cons: Forgets to say please, thinks it’s a good idea to travel alone, a computer nerd
Verdict: Bigger and stronger than Dr. Wu and less of a geek, but he’d probably be relying on me just as as I would be on him, which is NOT what I am looking for. At least he’d probably say something witty right before we got devoured by a T-Rex.
Pros: Brave, intelligent, tall, courageous, witty, damn sexy
Cons: Shortsighted, cynical (even if he is right about everything), relentlessly a pain-in-the-ass, impossible to carry if he gets hurt, too damn sexy
Verdict: Nobody was in better shape than Dr. Ian Malcolm, which earns him such a high ranking, since he is physically the best bet to navigate a jungle and outrun the man-eating creatures. But that’s the problem–who can focus on survival when you’re distracted by the world’s sexiest mathematician?
There are definitely worst people to be stuck in a dinosaur’s digestive system with, but I’d still like to avoid that entirely.
DR. ALAN GRANT
Pros: Leading dinosaur authority, smart, brave, naturally protective, in better shape than you’d think
Cons: Can’t operate a seat belt, can be kind of mean
Verdict: Maybe not the best choice as a dinner date, but there are few people you’d want by your side more if you are trying to outsmart a dinosaur. That handkerchief around his neck is a little distracting though.
DR. ELLIE SATTLER
Pros: Leading dinosaur authority, smart, brave, protective, waaaay more more likable than Dr. Grant, able to do Jurassic Park-our, can still move quickly even after being injured
Cons: Fondness for ice cream
Verdict: It’s no surprise Ellie Sattler survived, since she had almost everything you’d want from someone stuck on the island. And that’s exactly why she’s only in the second spot.
Pros: Park expert, doesn’t trust the dinosaurs, courageous, can handle high-powered weapons
Cons: Overconfident, a poor man’s Crocodile Dundee vibe
Verdict: You know why Ellie survived the velociraptors? Cause this guy told her to run while he hunted that “clever girl” down. Sure, it got him eaten in what might have been the single worst death in the movie, but that’s exactly what I’m looking for!
I don’t care if anyone else survives, just me.
What do you think though? Who would help you make it out of the park alive? Tell us in the comments below who you’d pick as your Jurassic Park partner.
And be sure to check Alpha Book Club soon on Alpha for a discussion about Michael Crichton’s original Jurassic Park.