Last weekend, Jurassic World, the long awaited sequel in the Jurassic Park film series, opened to T. Rex-sized numbers, edging out Marvel Studios’ The Avengers: Age of Ultron as the biggest opening film of all time. While the movie is filled with wonder and excitement, as I watched, I couldn’t help but think I’d seen this movie before. And then it hit me: Those bastards stole the plot of Jurassic World from The Shawshank Redemption.
Let’s look at the facts:
-Both films are about a prison break: Andy Dufresne escapes from Shawshank Prison, while the dinosaurs flee the fenced-in areas of Jurassic World.
-The asshole warden in The Shawshank Redemption wants to monetize prison labor, while Vincent D’Onofiro as Vincent D’Onofrio in Jurassic World wants to put dinosaurs in the service of humans.
-Both films feature Morgan Freeman, who’s able to calm savage thunder lizards with just the sound of his voice.
-Both Shawshank and Jurassic World contain a scene in which Rita Hayworth devours a human whole in one ferocious bite.
-The films were based on novels by two titans of the book industry: the writer of Dreamcatcher and the author of Timeline, respectively.
-In The Shawshank Redemption, Andy is wrongly convicted for the murder of his wife, who met her fate at the hands of a repeat criminal. Meanwhile, in Jurassic World, a velociraptor walks in on his wife cheating on him and shoots both his wife and her lover in cold blood. The screenwriters of Jurassic World wisely changed that part of the plot in an effort to avoid litigation, as it was pretty glaring lift otherwise.
-Genetic manipulation and mutation plays a key role in the storylines of each film. In Jurassic World, scientists use the DNA of long-dead dinosaurs and living creatures of today to bring the extinct animals into our era. In The Shawshank Redemption, Andy is bitten by a radioactive triceratops and gains the proportional strength and speed of the horned beast. This development heightens his metabolism, however, requiring Andy to take in more calories. This leads to Andy being beaten by prison guards for smuggling extra food out of the cafeteria.
-Both films have proven to be blockbusters, which the public cares about for some reason, although most of those people will never see a red cent of the profits. So, you know, who gives a shit?
-Both films rely heavily on CGI, with computer animation being used to create realistic-looking dinos in Jurassic World and a realistic-looking Clancy Brown in Shawshank. Mr. Brown was otherwise committed during the making of the film.
-In the climax of The Shawshank Redemption, Andy escapes prison on the back of a majestic pterodactyl.
Jurassic World is now in theaters. Or you could just wait until The Shawshank Redemption airs again on TNT or AMC, since they’re basically the same movie.