Jurassic Park : T-Rex doesn't Need Glasses (1200 words)
In Jurassic Park the T-Rex can perfectly see motionless objects. Now you can stop reading and rewatch the movie and have a good time spotting all the things that indicate this and also how the screenwriters managed to make us believe the contrary.
The only person in the whole franchise who says that T-Rex cannot see motionless stuff is Alan Grant.
Any allusion to this in Jurassic World? No. Don’t you think that such a good idea would have become a main aspect of the franchise? That we would have a specific “don’t move” scene in each Jurassic Park movie? But we don’t. In JP2 Eddie gets attacked while still and inside a car. The T-Rex gets quickly killed in JP3 just after a "don't move" from Alan Grant is turned into ridicule. The dinosaure has a very short appearance in JP4. It's easier this way to deal with the problem when the public still believes the words of Alan Grant, who was wrong and self-infatuated. He is the one high on himself, not Ian Malcolm.
So, what are my arguments? As I said, my best argument is “rewatch the film.” And it's also the most entertaining.
When he first appears, the T-Rex starts his career as a superstar by crunching a motionless goat and spotting motionless cars.
He looks very ominous so that the audience can perceive him as a killing machine when in reality he is just a carnivorous animal who’s just eaten his meal and thus doesn’t much care about eating more people.
The T-Rex is tapping Ian and Alan’s car when Lex fatefully turns on the light out of panic. The animal is intrigued by the cars. That’s how the whole scene is written; he is interested in the cars not in the human beings.
So, obviously, the light attracts him, does his vision need to be based on movement for that ? No. The T-Rex checks Lex and Timmy’s car and grunts impressively, the audience automatically imagines that he sees them and wants to eat the two little creatures inside the metal box, but he is simply checking out this strange thing that he sees for the first time.
Think of it as giant Labrador. And I’m not joking, the T-Rex is just a giant dog in the film. When he roars terrifyingly, it’s just a dog yapping at a little animal that itches his curiosity. He knocks the car with his nose, turns it over, attacks a motionless wheel… he’s just playing with his toycar.
Then comes one of the real “blind to immobility” moment of the scene: Alan Grant waves a torchlight at him, and the T-Rex “goes fetch” because he couldn’t “see” Alan. Or he is simply not hungry anymore after the goat and is more interested in the luminous object that the little animal threw away than in any more food.
Why should he necessarily want to kill and eat everything on his path? (Because we don't think of him as an animal but as a monster like Indominous Rex)
Ian attracts his attention by calling him and waving a torchlight but forgets to make himself discreet. Alan shouts “stop moving.” Do you really believe Ian is such an idiot? He just doesn’t believe in Grant’s theory.
Could it be possible that Ian wasn't trying to have the T-Rex follow the torchlight ? That he was just sacrificing himself to save the kids ? It really doesn't look like he believes the T-Rex is going to follow the little glaring object => He is leading the animal to gennaro to save the children's life.
The problem that the screenwriters might have had here is that if this development didn’t reach a climactic “eating” everybody would see that the T-Rex isn’t that dangerous or bellicose. And thus, Gennaro the guy who left the children, has to be sacrificed.
The thing is, when he is eaten, his “apparition” on screen is essential motionlessness. The cabin around him collapses and he remains sitting on the toilet. He appears in the T-Rex’s visual field without any movement.
For someone who perceives motionlessness Gennaro is put forward, for an animal who is supposed to have a vision based on movement the lawyer should be invisible.
And the T-Rex bites him nonetheless and shakes him around like a toy… and doesn’t eat him because he is already full. I’m sure you will agree that it’s strange, but think about the fact that the movie is written. If you want an animal to be blind to motionlessness why making his sole victim motionless ?
True Ian is running when he’s hurt. Can you determine what his wound is though? No. It’s not even sure that he is actually bitten by the T-Rex, it might just come from how he is thrown into the wooden cabin.
Once he’s had his fun with Gennaro the animal comes back to his prior object of attention: the jeeps. That’s when Alan Grant’s theory is supposed to save his life and Lex’s: when the T-Rex appears just behind them. You know... because he tip-toed there in stealth mode.
Lex always dreamed of being eaten by a T-Rex but that selfish Alan Grant deprived her of this nice experience.
Alan grabs Lex who’s already shouting like hell (3 long seconds) at the sight of the giant animal which doesn’t seem to care. Is he deaf too ? Alan utters his famous moto “Don’t move. He can’t see us if we don’t move.” But the T-Rex is so close to them that his breath blows Alan’s hat off his head.
A falling hat metaphorically means that a character is “proved wrong" or "broken.” Here, it underlines the fact that if seriously the T-Rex was looking for food, he would have spotted them because of their smell and they’d be in his stomach by now. Or does it have a dysfonctionning sense of smell too ? What an impressive predator !
So, Alan loses his hat because the situation simply proves that if the T-Rex isn’t attacking, it’s just because they are both insignificant to him at the time. Alan understands that he is full of shit, or does he ? The T-Rex is interested in the car.
Eventually, the labrador manages to throw the intruder off the road and roars satifyingly because he's proven that he was the dominant one.
A little later, the T-Rex chase with Ian, Ellie and John starts exactly at the moment they’re NOT moving. The dinosaure is computer generated, why making him appear right at the moment the two running characters have entered the jeep and are now motionless? Also, how come Ian tells them to run faster instead of “move slowly toward the jeep, the T-Rex is around.” => He still doesn’t believe in Alan’s theory even after it's supposed to have caused him to be chased by the prehistoric animal.
And the dinosaure appears and turns toward them exactly when they shut the doors of the jeep and therefore become motionless and silent for about four seconds.
When the T-Rex attacks the jeep, he attacks the jeep… again. There’s no roof, if he wanted to crunch some little humans, he could just pick them up. But what he wants is to stop that fast little animal (which he spotted when it was motionless).
Then, there’s the galiminus hunt which underlines motion. Alan and Tim comment on the way they move “in flock” and we cannot but notice their speed which makes the T-Rex’ attack practically metaphorical. Movement = T-Rex attack. This scene brands our brains with Grant’s theory. The fact that this reasoning follows a common fallacy easily escapes us. Yes, the T-Rex is attacking running animals; it doesn’t tell us anything about his capacity to perceive motionless ones.
And finally, when the T-Rex attacks the Raptor at the end of the film, he bites the one that is about to jump on Alan and is also motionless. Yes it is somewhat arguable but again, why creating a situation in which it is arguable instead of one that makes things perfectly obvious?
So, that’s it for the normal vision of the T-Rex. It seems short doesn’t it ? Maybe because there is actually very little that hints at the fact that the T-rex can’t see motionless objects in the first place. There’s Alan Grant saying it, throwing the torchlight and the moment when he holds Lex. Three little moments and a whole franchise was stuck with a very problematic rule that would create a lot of misunderstandings.