So this year in school I took college english, which was such a fucking joke of a class that our culminating activity was a 3-page long movie review. For mine, I decided to do the second Jurassic Park movie, which I personally think is pretty underrated. Now, because it was for school, there were certain guidelines and restrictions, so it’s doesn’t really follow the format of most of my reviews, and it’s also way longer, but I figured I would put it up online just in case y’all wanted to check it out. So here, for your reading pleasure, is my long-ass school commissioned review of The Lost World: Jurassic Park. (Not including the audio/visual portion, for which I just made a slideshow of pictures of Jeff Goldblum).
The Lost World Knocks it Out of the Jurassic Park. Dinosaurs.
Review by Ben Dick
In 1993, Doctor Alan Grant and company barely made it away from the dinos alive. Since then the park has been shut down, but something has survived. And now that an evil corporation is trying to play god once again, there’s only one man who can stop them: Jeff motherf*cking Goldblum.
So it’s been four years since the events of Jurassic Park, and what took place on that island has been kept pretty closely under wraps. The only person talking is Dr. Ian Malcolm (Goldblum), and with no proof any of it, no one believes him. In fact, he’s lost all credibility, his careers has pretty much been ruined, and he’s being sued by the parks creator John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) for breaking the non-disclosure agreement. Well, at least there are no more dinosaurs, right? Right?
NOPE! It turns out the dinos have survived, and are no living on their own island, with no gates, fences, or any human interference; until now. InGen, the company behind Hammond’s research, has discovered this new site and wants to exploit it. They want to open Jurassic Park, and not on an island this time, but in the middle of San Diego. The only way to stop it is to get the word out to the public, and the only way to do that is to go to the island and get some hard evidence.
So, Dr. Ian Malcolm, his girlfriend Dr. Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore) and Vince Vaughn for some reason, head to Dino-land to get some answers. As you may have guessed, it doesn’t go super well.
As you already know, the main character this time around is Dr. Ian Malcolm. In the first movie, he worked great as the sarcastic smart-ass character. He’s really just there to tell everybody that the whole thing’s going to blow up in their faces, and then to be a dick about it when it inevitably does. He could very easily have just been there for exposition, but the writing combined with Jeff Goldblum’s classic charm make him the highlight of the movie. This time around, his character has been flushed out a little more, and he’s lost some of the edge and humor he had in the original. Jeff Goldblum is an amazing actor, and he’s great as the protagonist in this film, I just kind of miss some of his irreverence from the first one.
The other lead of the movie is Julianne Moore, and despite giving a decent performance, she is very obviously there simply as a replacement for Laura Dern. She plays almost the exact same character as Dern did in the original; only this one’s involved with Goldblum as apposed to Sam Neil. Rounding out the supporting cast is Vince Vaughn, who is a pretty good “funny asshole” character, and actually manages to remind me of Goldblum in the first one. There’s also a kid who’s kind of annoying, but thankfully doesn’t get a lot of screen time.
The major theme of this movie, like the first one, is essentially that man should not interfere with nature. The extinction of dinosaurs was part of natural selection, and it is human arrogance to think it can simply be undone without major consequences. As Ian Malcolm puts it, “god creates dinosaurs, god destroys dinosaurs. God creates man, man destroys god, man creates dinosaurs.” The difference in this movie is the theme of a big evil faceless corporation pulling strings and disrupting the dinosaurs’ natural habitat. The implication is that the animals were doing fine on its’ own, and it was humans disrupting that eco system that brought about all the chaos and destruction, so there’s a little bit more an environmental theme this time.
One of the major technical codes I noticed in the movie is that almost everything is dark. About 90% of the film takes place at night, and so visually, it’s very distinct from the original. It appears that this was used to reflect the darker and more serious tone of the film. It’s as though the entire movie is the T-Rex coming up on the trucks in the rain scene from the first one.
But the big question remains: how does The Lost World stack up to the original Jurassic Park? Well, as anybody who’s seen The Empire Strikes Back should know, the second chapter in a trilogy is always supposed to be the darkest. The Lost World does not disappoint on this front. There’s more death, more destruction, and the presence of a big faceless corporation trying to exploit nature for money is a tad more depressing than the well-meaning Hammond trying to do anything to make up for his mistakes. However, darker is not always better, and with all these changes some of the charm and whimsy of the original is lost.
What’s really interesting about this one is getting to see the dinosaurs in some more diverse settings. Whereas the first movie has the dinos contained in a man made facility, in this one we get to see them in their natural habitat, with the humans now acting as the invading alien species. It doesn’t just take the premise of the original and make it bigger, but also shows the universe from a different and unique perspective. And I won’t give away the ending, but where the T-Rex ends up it pretty awesome. (Let’s be real, this movie is like 17 years old, we all know what happens).
So is The Lost World a worthy successor to Jurassic Park? I would say yes. While it may not be quite as classic and great of a film, it’s an interesting new take on the franchise, and truly feels like a story that was worth telling. Some of the characters are kind of flat, and the second act drags a little bit, but the dino action is as good as ever, and the effects still look impressive by today’s standards.
Overall Rating: Goldblum/10