The Lost World: Jurassic Park

Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Written by Nick McCann


So “Jurassic Park” kicked the door down and revolutionized the movie industry. The box office was demolished, people loved dinosaurs all over again and demand soared for another one. The studio and even Steven Spielberg wanted Michael Crichton to make another book, despite some reluctance from him. Eventually, another film eventually came and although it may not be as polished as the original, it’s got its own tasty prehistoric adventure flavor.

Much like his first “Indiana Jones” follow-up, Spielberg enjoyably goes darker and more serious. The plot still talks up the dangers of playing with nature while taking the scale-up many more notches. The cause and effect element has some interesting moments, but certain character motivations or points being made contradict themselves at some point. Not to mention it has some wonky pacing and a fairly tacked-on (though fun) last act. So while some of the substance is a little muddled, credit still goes to Spielberg for not repeating himself. It is definitely a bigger movie with more excitement, more maturity, and more dinosaurs.

The dinosaurs get a lot more time to shine. Both practical and CGI effects look every bit as good as before with expected improvements. There’s a bigger species roster, faster movements, and more prominence on screen. Spielberg’s camera team covers it all extremely well with his patented long take format, delivering memorable setpieces left and right. Sound design is top-notch as well. Each dinosaur sounds intense and mixing overall has immense power. John Williams back on scoring duty delivers magic once again. The new themes and melodies stack up well with the original’s score while having their own primal sense of seriousness.

Where it falters some is in the film’s characters. The writing, again, gives them motivations that inadvertently make them bad people. Still, all the actors are rock-solid in performance and make their own charming ensemble chemistry. Jeff Goldblum returns to be as charming as ever. Julianne Moore, Richard Schiff, and Vince Vaughn make for entertaining heroes to follow despite the script accidentally saying otherwise for some of them. Pete Postlethwaite completely steals the show though. As game hunter Roland, he commands the screen with ease and you buy into his convictions instantly.

“The Lost World” loses some of what made “Jurassic Park” a classic. Yet it’s still a well-done sequel that is darker, bigger, and loaded with more dinosaurs. Had the movie had another year or so for refinement, some of its shortcomings could’ve been ironed and we would’ve got something closer to the same level. To be fair though, the first movie is a high benchmark and no sequel could hope to get on its level. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little more of the good stuff. And that is what “The Lost World” is. Good stuff.

“The Lost World: Jurassic Park” Trailer

“The Lost World: Jurassic Park” is streaming on HBO Max.

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