With Jurassic World set to open this week - taking us back to Steven Spielberg's beloved Jurassic Park franchise - I have decided to celebrate its release by revisiting the original trilogy. Yesterday, I reviewed the first film (read the review here) and, today, we're heading to The Lost World.
Picking up 4 years after the events of the first film, John Hammond (Richard Attenborough)'s dream park has crashed. However, as The Lost World opens, we're welcomed on to another one of his private islands - Isla Sorna or 'Site B' as its referred to - where InGen were secretly breeding the dinosaurs, before they were transported to 'Jurassic Park'. When a family stumbles across the island and the dinosaurs inhibiting it, Hammond sends out a team to Isla Sorna to visit and document the reptiles - who are now flourishing in their natural habitat, away from man - before they're exploited.
When Hammond offers the returning Jeff Goldblum, as Dr. Ian Malcolm, an opportunity to be amongst the four heading to the island he is adamant to accept - following how 'successful' his first venture with dinosaurs went. But, upon finding out that his girlfriend Sarah (Julianne Moore) is already on the island, Malcolm leads a rescue mission after her. Upon arriving at the island, the team soon realise the presence of another group - who have bad intentions - and, of course, things go askew and, soon, both groups are fighting for their lives against some angry dinosaurs.
Let's be honest, there was no way that The Lost World: Jurassic Park could be just as good - let alone better - than its predecessor, and it definitely isn't. However, that's not to say that this film isn't good in its own right because it is still a great film and one that doesn't receive enough credit. What Spielberg created with the original was undeniably special and unique: a masterpiece, of sorts. However, what Spielberg created with the sequel was something on a completely different level: a thrill ride.
What I'm trying to say is that Spielberg didn't just take the gravitas of the first film and throw a generic, crap, identical-to-original Hollywood sequel our way for cash. In true Spielberg nature, he pushed the boat out and delivered a sequel that was actually different from its predecessor, one that was good and unique in its own right. Of course, that's not typical cinema so, all of a sudden, critics don't like it. New ideas that push the boundaries of this industry are frowned upon - take Ryan Gosling's Lost River as an example, or even Danny Boyle's Sunshine for that matter (both greatly under appreciated).
Just as was with Jurassic Park, The Lost World made use of some stunning CGI and animatronics. Whilst we had already seen the effects in the 1993 film, The Lost World was still astounding and still is, for that matter. I just saw the film again today (the day of writing this review) and the CG still holds up and, more impressively, is believable too. Seeing the dinosaurs wreak havoc once again was a blast. There wasn't the same sense of awe-inspiring wonder to the proceedings this time around - since we'd already seen it before - but it was still pretty overwhelming and made me feel like a little kid again, nonetheless.
There were a lot more dinosaurs this time too. Whilst not as iconic as the T-Rex reveal scene from the original, the scene with the trailer and the two T-Rexes wanting their baby back is still cinematic gold and high up on my list of best, most exciting scenes ever. Spielberg knows how to create suspense and that's something he did beautifully in the first film and does just as well here, keeping you on the edge of your seat. There's a lot more going on in The Lost World than there was in Jurassic Park; quicker paced and more action-packed.
However, that meant that things were a little too rushed and unexplained and you didn't have enough time to care for the protagonists in this one as much as we'd have liked. The characters were all superbly written and likeable and the performances were good as well but there just was simply a lacking of character development, enough for us to really empathise for them - more so for anyone outside our main group of Jeff Goldblum, the always charismatic and beautiful and delightful Julianne Moore and the witty, wonderful Vince Vaughn (a trio to be reckoned with).
My one other complaint with the sequel was that the final 20 minutes just felt so unnecessary. When Dr. Malcolm, Sarah, Nick and Kelly got off the island, I feel as though the film would've worked a lot better has it just cut off there - in a similar vein to Jurassic Park. The whole T-Rex rampaging through San Diego just felt so bloated and unnecessary and randomly tagged on that it didn't work. Sure, it was fun to see all hell break loose and the big action sequences go down but it just didn't fit in with the rest of the story and that really let it down.
Overall, The Lost World isn't as good as its predecessor but it was never going to be. Nonetheless, it was a fun film and a different, welcomed sequel. The action was great, as was the CG and all the illustrious, wondrous dino mayhem. Jeff Goldblum was back and you can't ever get too much Goldblum; "That's how it starts... the ahh screaming and the ahh, uhhm running."
Certainly not as great as its predecessor but just as boasting in fun and creativity, The Lost World: Jurassic World is a thrilling, entertaining ride and a truly worthy sequel.
About the Author
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.