Played by the inimitable living legend that is Jeff Goldblum (check out The World According To Jeff Goldblum on Disney+ to see the great man in action), Dr Ian Malcolm was a mathematician subscribing to chaos theory in the original Jurassic Park movie from 1993.
As almost everyone in existence would know, in that first movie Dr Malcolm joined doctors Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) on a trip to a dinosaur theme park to provide their expert opinions and appease nervous investors. Things went pear-shaped pretty quickly in the action-packed adaptation of Michael Crichton’s novel which launched a massive franchise that is still powering along today. The sixth instalment – Jurassic World: Dominion – is due to hit cinemas in 2022 with the aforementioned trio expected to appear together for the first time since the first movie.
The character of Ian Malcolm has appeared in three Jurassic movies to date: Jurassic Park, its sequel Jurassic Park: The Lost World and in a lesser capacity in the fifth movie Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
In this writers opinion, he is probably the most intelligent character in the entire franchise. His apparent negativity and cynicism is born from his ability to see the big picture and imagine the current circumstances through to their logical conclusion. In the original movie he is briefly awestruck by his first encounter with a dinosaur, but is never swayed from his belief that the park is doomed to fail.
By the end of the movie he has been proven correct and spends his subsequent appearances trying to prevent others from making the same mistakes John Hammond did with the original park.
What also cannot be forgotten is Dr Malcolm’s dry sarcasm which featured most prominently in the original Jurassic Park.
Without further ado, here are 10 of Ian Malcolm’s best quotes.
“Again, how do you know they’re all female? Does somebody got out into the park and lift up all the dinosaurs’ skirts?”
As he quizzes Dr Wu on his methods of controlling the dinosaur population, Malcolm drops this nugget of sarcastic doubt. Despite Wu’s explanation, Malcolm is not convinced, telling Hammond that the control he is after is not possible.
Life.. ah.. finds a way.
This same conversation with Wu ends with this iconic line from Malcolm. Wu sarcastically asks Malcolm if he thinks a population of female animals will breed.
he scene highlights the key difference between the two men: Wu cannot see beyond the logical facts before him while Malcolm acknowledges such facts but still considers the intangibles that he believes the park has overlooked.
“What have they got in there, King Kong?”
As the tour vehicle approaches the main gates for the park tour, Malcolm utters this cheeky reference to one of Universal’s other monster movies.
“Genetic power is the most awesome force the planet has ever seen, but you wield it like a kid who’s found his dad‘s gun.”
Malcolm is less than impressed with how Jurassic Park is being managed. He suggests Hammond and co. don’t understand the power and technology they’re using and are therefore handling it irresponsibly.
“Boy, I hate being right all the time.”
As the Tyrannosaurus breaks free of its enclosure, Malcolm reminds himself and the viewer that he predicted chaos would befall the island.
“When you gotta go, you gotta go.”
With the big Rex about to break the fence, lawyer Gennaro decides he’s seen enough and makes a run for a nearby toilet block, abandoning Hammond’s two grandchildren in the process.
Malcolm and Grant watch Gennaro make his move, with Grant questioning “where does he think he’s going?” Despite the impending danger, Malcolm still has a witty response.
“Must go faster.”
A wounded Malcolm lays in the back of a Jeep being pursued by the T-Rex. As the animal gains, Malcolm fearfully states the obvious.
A few years later, Jeff Goldblum would utter this same line again during the final climatic scene of Independence Day.
“Change is like death. You don’t know what it looks like until you’re standing at the gates.”
In Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom Malcolm pleas for humanity to not step in and save the dinosaurs from the imminent volcanic eruption on their island.
In this quote he is admitting he is not quite sure what the consequences of dinosaurs and man living side by side would be, but he expects it to be chaotic.
His apparent coldness towards their fate is nothing new: in the first movie he argues with Hammond that “dinosaurs had their shot and nature selected them for extinction.” Malcolm does not believe they have any place in the modern world beyond an isolated island existence.
“Oooh, ahhh, that’s how it always starts. Then later there’s running and screaming.”
Perhaps Malcolm’s peak of sarcasm during Jurassic Park: The Lost World comes as the team encounter their first dinosaurs, a herd of stegosaurus. While the others are awestruck, Malcolm knows what awaits them.
As with the first movie, his words are soon proven to be prophetic.
“Now that is one big pile of shit.”
Malcolm’s reaction to a pile of triceratops excrement that is as tall as himself is pure dry wit.
As Sattler tries to discover what is making the animals sick by rummaging through their waste, Malcolm indulges in a brief exchange with Grant before reminding Sattler to wash her hands before she eats anything.
There’s plenty more great quotes from Dr Ian Malcolm that we left off this list. Did we miss your favourite? Let us know below.