The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Run-time: 2 hours, 9 minutes
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, Pete Postlethwaite, Vince Vaughn, Arliss Howard
Four years after the release of Jurassic Park, the world was graced with a sequel entitled The Lost World: Jurassic Park. After the smash success of the original film, there's really no question as to why a sequel was made. Money talks, and the first film showed that audiences loved their trip to the ill-fated Isla Nublar, so why shouldn't the filmmakers have given them another dose of similar medicine?
Like I mentioned in my post about Jurassic Park, my age has shown me some of the flaws in The Lost World as well. From the very get-go, there's a very ridiculous aura about this film, and when you actually sit and think about what's going on, there's little that actually makes sense. For starters, why was there never a mention of a second island during the first film? You'd think that'd be something they'd at least allude to from time to time. It almost feels like a little bit of a cop-out at the beginning of the film: "Oh, by the way, there's another island with dinosaurs that I forgot to tell you about, and they're living on their own so we're going to study them." If that doesn't have you scratching your head, then I don't really know what to tell you.
It's also lost a little bit of the awe and wonder of the first film. We never get that moment of magic like we had in the first film, but I think that's one of the reasons the film works despite a curious screenplay with more holes than a bowl of Cheerios. In a way, we're experiencing the emotions of Dr. Ian Malcolm (Goldblum), who survived the events of the first film. He brings a level of cynicism to this film that permeates through a lot of it. There's a scene early in the film where Nick Van Owen (Vaughn) and Eddie Carr (Richard Schiff) are amazed by the gigantic creatures they see, but Malcolm immediately responds by saying, "Oh yeah, ooh ahh. That's how it always starts. Then later there's running and screaming." In a way, he's telling us that we've seen this all before, but there's no reason we couldn't go along for the ride anyway.
The acting is, at times, of a little bit lower quality than the first film. Goldblum's character doesn't work as well in a leading role as he does in a supporting role, so that brings some issues. Moore isn't really at her best, but she's serviceable. Schiff probably brings the best performance in a limited amount of screen-time, with his dry humor bringing a consistent stream of one-liners. We also get a great performance from Postlethwaite, one of my personal favorite actors (so yeah, I'm probably a bit biased). We also do get a great score from John Williams again, so that's a plus.
Despite the over-the-top ridiculousness of the overall storyline, there's still a lot to like about The Lost World: Jurassic Park. The special effects are a step above what the first film created, so if anything, there's a legitimate reason to give the flick a view. Just don't think too hard about this movie - it's just supposed a fun, popcorn-munching flick that'll take your mind away for a couple of hours. And I mean, come on - it's a movie about dinosaurs. That's enough for you to want to love it.