Cinema’s Ultimate Jerks #20: Dennis Nedry from Jurassic Park
Cinema’s Ultimate Jerks is a celebration of the characters we love to hate in the movies we love to love. They’re not always the main villains – and sometimes they’re not even villains at all – but they’re definitely jerks. So let’s take a look at this week’s jerk-off, and why they find themselves forever enshrined here in the hall of shame. Since this week we’re talking about Dennis Nedry, this is your spoiler warning for the 1993 movie, Jurassic Park.
Perhaps I’ll start a column about cinema’s most amazing shirts, and this will be the first one I’ll write about. Honestly, look at that bad boy.
Poor John Hammond. A kindly old billionaire wants to delight adults and children alike by – his critics would probably say – playing God and resurrecting numerous dead species of animal for profit. DINOSAURS! Of course, there’s a fly in the ointment and Hammond’s plans go awry, thanks to a series of events started by a jerk-off 65 million years in the making, Dennis Nedry.
Okay, so dinosaurs are fucking radical. We all know that. They’re big and scary and they go feral and eat people and stuff. That’s movie magic right there. But you gotta respect nature, man. Nature is a savage mistress, and if one treats her badly, then her scorn is without equal. You don’t just find an incredibly far-fetched method of genetically recreating a number of extinct, gigantic, terrifying lizards and then do it without considering the consequences. Not in real life, anyway. Fortunately, nobody in Jurassic Park considers the deadly implications of housing lethal creatures behind electric fences and then giving Newman from Seinfeld the responsibility of keeping the fences buzzing, and carnage ensues.
Dennis Nedry, you see, is a massive strap-on. He’s found himself in financial peril, and after speaking to John Hammond about getting a pay-rise and being told to go swivel, he decides he’s going to get his dollar by hook or by crook. Well, it’s definitely crook, I’ll just tell you that now. See, Dennis Nedry’s plan is that he’s going to steal some dinosaur embryos and crash the computer system in Jurassic Park to buy him time for his escape. Of course, there’s one minor issue with crashing the computer systems – it will also disable all of the electric fences – which means that dinosaurs could wind up on the loose, but Dennis Nedry couldn’t give a fig about that. He reckons he’ll be alright, and if a couple of people get accidentally eaten then it’s probably their own fault for looking so damn tasty.
Those ’90s computers are a thing of beauty. You needed a fucking fork-lift truck to move the monitors.
So Dennis puts a virus or something on his computer – I don’t know, man, I’m not one of these hi-tech computer dorks – and he suspiciously asks the room if anybody fancies a can of coke as he’s wink wink heading upstairs to the vending machine. Off he waddles, but it turns out he isn’t going to the vending machine at all and that was just a dirty, rotten lie. He goes into a futuristic looking room (for the ’90s) with dry ice steam and all that stuff, and he opens a vault and steals himself some dino babies. He hides the embryos in a specially hollowed out tin of shaving foam – James Bond style – and then he plots his escape. He hops into a car and head off into the night, ill-gotten gains in hand, ready for all of his financial troubles to be over.
As Dennis Nedry is escaping the island – kind of – the inhabitants of Jurassic Park quickly notice that something is amiss when dinosaurs start roaming about and eating everyone. Jeff Goldblum is amongst the terrified guests and I’m still annoyed about Dennis Nedry putting Goldblum’s life in danger. You just don’t do that to an icon like Jeff Goldblum. Anyway, the dinosaurs go on a rampage and a bunch of people – but thankfully not Jeff Goldblum – get eaten, including a young Samuel L. Jackson, and some lawyer dude who hilariously gets chomped by a Tyrannosaurus Rex while he’s sat on the pot. What a fantastic movie.
This is like the ’90s version of Michaelangelo’s The Creation of Adam.
Jerk-off Quote: “No wonder you’re extinct. I’m gonna run you over when I come back down.” – Dennis Nedry, being a jerk to the dinosaur that will, comically, eat him.
Comeuppance: As Dennis Nedry is escaping Jurassic Park, a storm hits, and he finds himself lost. While desperately trying to suss out the way to the docks his car crashes, and he needs to get out to use the winch to get it back on the road. Unfortunately, thanks to his previous actions, in a delicious moment of irony, dinosaurs have escaped their compounds without electric fences to keep them in, and as he gets back in the car he’s greeted by a cute little dino that just wants to be friends. Just kidding, the dinosaur spits thick, poisonous, black goo into Dennis’ eyes, blinding him, and then mauls him to death in the car. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why you don’t fuck with Jeff Goldblum.
Tune in next week – same jerk time, same jerk channel – to find out who’s next in our celebration of cinema’s ultimate jerks. And if you’ve not quite had your fill of cinematic jerk-offs, check out #19 Byron Hadley (The Shawshank Redemption), #11 Anakin Skywalker (Star Wars), or #9 Mrs. Deagle (Gremlins).