It is time to look at the sequel to Jurassic Park! It’s no secret that I wasn’t a fan of the first one and I was hoping that this title would be an improvement. The sequel was certainly better than the first one, but I can’t say that it was a significant difference either. It falls into the animal violence issue as expected and the characters are not quite as cool as they could have been. Third time’s the charm, or so they say, but let’s take a deeper look at this film.
Ian has tried to forget about the Jurassic Park incident, but that proves to be impossible very quickly. Everyone knows that he has been there and he can’t find any peace. While he was paid a decent sum of money to stay quiet about what happened, his reputation is still in ruin. Making matters worse is the fact that his girlfriend decided to venture off to a dinosaur island on her own. John Hammond effectively used her as bait since he knows that Ian will have to go after her. Ian leads a small strike squad there, but a bigger group is also on the island to enslave the dinosaurs. It will be a race against time and money as Ian tries to get everyone back home in one peace.
For starters, let’s look at what the film did wrong so that we can end the review off with some positives. First of all, the animal violence is certainly back. A dog is eaten in one of the final scenes of the film and it’s the kind of moment that makes you want to go and get a hoagie from 711 to help douse the pain. There’s no point for this scene to be there and it’s just animal violence for the sake of violence. It’s not cool and it wrecked any chance that the film had of actually being decent. Without this scene, I think that a 4 may have sufficed although I suppose that it still could have gotten a 3.
Another point against the film is the fact that the humans start to enslave them all. I came to watch Dinosaurs be the kings, not to watch them get defeated by the humans. I never like to watch the humans fight these creatures because the humans will always win and it is sad to watch the dinosaurs be defeated. One of them fractures his foot and other dinosaurs are quickly thrown into captivity. I could have done without that plot altogether and the film would have been better off without them.
This film also decided that the first one wasn’t edgy enough as this becomes a pseudo slasher at one point. You will possibly be surprised at just how violent the title can get as blood runs rampant here. It’s an unnecessary change and we didn’t come to Jurassic Park to watch a slasher film. Another scene that’s just painful to watch is the one where the mini raptors attack the villain. He’s a villain who is used for animal violence so the film has him brutally murdered, but it’s just not a good cycle. Essentially, we’re supposed to feel good since the bad character was killed off for doing something mean, but instead we’re just given two bad scenes that hurt the film even more. If we didn’t get the scene of the human antagonizing the dinosaurs, then we wouldn’t have needed the scene where he dies so violently. It’s a case of bad character development.
As you can see, the film was in pretty hot water throughout and it couldn’t recover. A raptor is even stabbed as it falls to help a “hero” moment turn into a fail. Now, let’s gather our bearings and look at what the film did right. Well, I actually like Ian as the main character. I think that he was more impressive in the first film and his dialogue was certainly a lot better, but he can hold his own film. He’s always ready and Ian warned the people that this was a bad idea from the start. You really can’t blame him for what happens and he actually gets the short end of the stick when you consider his reputation.
Ian’s daughter is less likable. She’s an improvement from the kids in the last film, but she still panics and holds the team back at times. If she had not told Ian to take her up to the trees where they would be a bigger target, Ian could have potentially stopped the falling tractor scene from ever taking place. Making a fire in a dinosaur land is also not a great move and she made a pretty big mess in the portable home. She means well, but this is why kids should not be main or supporting characters in most films.
The final big character is Sarah, but I can’t say that I was very impressed with her either. She left Ian without saying anything, which I found to be very irresponsible. She also acts as if Ian is not around because she takes many big risks when she doesn’t need too. Petting a dinosaur and messing with a cub is practically asking to be eaten. I don’t see how she would have survived the adventure and I couldn’t take her side in the disagreements. She placed everyone in danger by coming to the island and she’s not remorseful in the slightest. Ian’s got his faults as well of course, but at least he only puts himself in danger.
As this is the sequel, Lost World certainly feels a lot lower budget than the first film. The soundtrack and effects are not nearly as good as the first film and this one could have easily been a straight to DVD film. It definitely doesn’t have that theatrical feel that the first one had. You can say that for many theater films so it’s not unique to this title, but you could never say that the first film did not feel theatrical without grabbing some Air Head candies to keep you from making a straight face. The slasher elements and constant 3D (In your face) techniques also keep it from feeling quite as grand and real. I’m still not a 3D fan and I probably won’t be for another 40-60 years, when we will have finally learned how to make true 3D.
Some parts of the film do test your imagination a little bit like the actual premise. I don’t believe that the government would not have made a move at this point. People died in the Dinosaur adventures so they would not allow dinosaurs to quickly be brought into the cities and zoos. That’s simply not going to happen and with the amount of red tape that we have in the US, it would be years before any real traction would be made at that front. At most, They’d just let people visit the dinosaur land at their own peril, but there would likely be a huge fee and I could see them just keeping the island as a testing facility.
The Raptors still remind me of good ole Yoshi whenever they appear. They are my favorite dinosaurs although the good ole T Rex is in second. The Raptors mean business and there are not many animals who can defeat them while the Raptors are in a group. The climax may have had the dog scene, but I liked it a lot otherwise. It’s played out like a Kaiju film as everyone is running away from the Dino and many yells can be heard. The stakes have simply never been this high before and it was a decent reaction of how people would respond to such a creature. I think that some people wouldn’t be frightened as there are people of all sorts of personalities, but having everyone run away does make for more enjoyable scenes of terror.
Overall, The Lost World is a decent follow up to the second one. It greatly reduces the animal violence, which is certainly a good thing although it is weaker than the first film in all technical aspects. It simply doesn’t command your attention the same way that the first did although you will still be interested in seeing what happens anyway. The landscapes simply aren’t as interesting, but there is less mud and gross scenes, which is great. If you liked the first film, then you’ll like this one. Otherwise, you should skip this one and just wait until a really good dinosaur film arrives on your TV.