The Kids from Jurassic Park
Sometimes when you write a part for a kid in your movie, you luck out and wind up with someone like Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense giving a performance that will haunt him forever because he’ll never be able to equal that high again. But for every instance like that you wind up with several more like the annoying kids in Jurassic Park.
I’m not sure what went wrong here. Joseph Mazzello, who plays the overly precocious Tim, has grown up to do some fine work (my personal favorite is the snake-handling revival preacher in FX’s Justified), and Steven Spielberg has a good track record when it comes to working with child actors. Still, it just doesn’t ever come together here, and it’s really the one knock against an otherwise stellar movie. You spend most of your time rooting for the velociraptors, and I laugh every time I see Tim get electrocuted. If I were Sam Neill, I would have ditched those brats in that tree, or at least used them to distract T-Rex. “Hey kids, did you know T-Rex can’t see you if you jump up and down and make a lot of noise?”
How We Would Kill Them: T-Rex toothpick.