Lost World: Jurassic Park, The

USA - 1997

Movie Review By Alex Lau

Remember "Jurassic Park," that spectacularly glorified monster movie that broke all kinds of box office records? Of course you do; it didn't make almost a billion dollars worldwide by being a wallflower.

Well, it's back, and it's bigger and badder than ever. The sequel is called "The Lost World," with the subtitle being "Jurassic Park" in case you didn't make the connection. Jeff Goldblum and Sir Richard Attenborough are back, but the rest of the main cast is different. Not that it matters much.

The operative word here is "HUGE." As in, this movie is "HUGE." The dinosaurs are HUGE, the director is HUGE, the sound and the special effects are HUGE, and the box office take is already HUGE.

Director Steven Spielberg knows how to make a crowd-pleasing "event" movie. "The Lost World" is a shining example of that. Everyone already knows the plot is just an excuse to get back to seeing more dinosaurs, so no one needs to care that there are plot holes big enough to run a herd of brachiosaurs through. All of a sudden dinosaurs are an environmentalist cause? I'd think they would have dropped off the endangered species list by now. And if I was a dinosaur about to visit the United States, I don't think I'd pick San Diego as my first stop.

Anyway, throw out the plot problems (please), and you get your money's worth, even if you're paying $9 in Manhattan. There are even more dinosaurs than in the first movie, and they're bigger and scarier and deadlier than ever before. The first movie was about believing dinosaurs could exist; the sequel is about believing they could bite your head off. Literally. It's as if Spielberg were channelling Wes Craven.

Goldblum, like usual, spends most of the movie toeing the line between being witty and nervously excited and being annoying. Julianne Moore plays Goldblum's girlfriend, who just happens to be a paleontologist. Isn't that convenient? There's a brief subplot about Goldblum's stepdaughter, played by Vanessa Lee Chester, but that only serves to satisfy the formula of the first movie, where kids were put in mortal danger.

If you're looking for a movie where the level of conversation afterwards is somewhat higher than, "Wow, that was cool," then "The Lost World" is not for you. This is the kind of movie where you sit back, turn your brain off, and just watch the dinosaurs eat people.

© 1997 Alex Lau Air Date: 5/28/97

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