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Jurassic Park’s main villain isn’t dinosaurs or Dennis Nedry

If you read the Jurassic Park book, the main villain is abundantly clear from the start, but in the movie, it takes a little bit of digging to figure it out.

Dennis Nedry in Jurassic Park

For those who have read Michael Crichton’s 1990 novel Jurassic Park, there is little doubt who the real villain of the story is. While Steven Spielberg’s hugely successful movie turned John Hammond into a kindly Grandpa warmly played by Richard Attenborough – the book version is quite different. But if you pay close attention to Jurassic Park the movie, you can pick up on clues to Hammond’s true movie villain status.

Hammond ‘plays God’ from the start, as rightly pointed out by Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) in order to create a dinosaur theme park. He doesn’t treat it as a zoo, which would actually care about the animals, he only cares about making money.

As well as not caring about animals, Hammond also doesn’t care about humans – specifically, his employees. The driverless jeeps are a clue that Hammond wants a fully automated park, with as little human involvement as he can possibly get away with.

While many view Dennis Nedry (played by Wayne Knight – a major highlight of the Jurassic Park cast) as the villain of the piece, Nedry is right to be disgruntled that he is being massively underpaid by Hammond. This has been pointed by a Reddit user, who says that; “Keep in mind, Nedry is a S-tier programmer. The guy debugs over 2 million lines of code…so he does deserve to get paid a lot more money than he is. Moral of the story Jurassic Park: Pay your programmers what their worth and don’t cut corners in their pay.”

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Another Reddit user points out Hammond’s hatred of inspections because they slow things down. In the book, Ian Malcolm realizes as soon as he gets to the park that the dinosaurs are breeding, that there are many more dinosaurs on the island than Hammond thinks there are, and that they’re also not where they should be (eg. they are escaping their paddocks). Hammond brushes all of this off, and is unconcerned.

In the Jurassic Park movies, Henry Wu (BD Wong) turning villainous seemed to come out of nowhere, but again, this is established in Crichton’s book. Wu is happy to tinker with genetics, but doesn’t care about the practical, real-world results. So, we think it’s pretty clear that the raptors and the dilophosaurus are innocent, and to an extent – Dennis Nedry is too.

Check out our guides to the best adventure movies and the best Steven Spielberg movies. Also find out what we think about a potential Jurassic World 4 release date.