Avast mateys. It be International Talk Like A Pirate Day and I am sure that you will be hearing/seeing a lot of people talking like this throughout the day. But right now, there be more important things to worry about, namely today’s movie. So after the success of the first movie, and the popularity of the original novel, there was a lot of pressure for Michael Crichton to write a sequel, even though he had never done one. After Steven Spielberg urged him to do it, he finally gave in and in 1995, his latest book titled The Lost World was released and almost immediately, Spielberg began pre-production on the movie adaptation called The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
The plot: Four years after the events on Isla Nublar, the Bowman family is on a yachting cruise and decide to take an excursion onto the island of Isla Sorna when the daughter is attacked by a pack of small dinosaurs (Compsognathus). A few weeks later, Ian Malcolm is summoned to see John Hammond but, after saying briefly speaking with Lex and Tim, he sees Hammond’s nephew, Peter Ludlow, and learns that Ludlow is now in charge of InGen. When Ian talks with Hammond, Hammond explains that while some dinosaurs were shown on Isla Nublar, they were actually bred on Isla Sorna, called Site B, and though the people were forced to evacuate after the events on Isla Nublar, somehow the dinosaurs found a way to survive. Hammond tried to keep the away from InGen and human interruption but with the incident involving the Bowman family, Ingen used it to take control from Hammond and give it to Ludlow. Hammond wants Ian to join an expedition to catalog the dinosaurs so they can try to preserve the island as a natural habitat before Ingen pillages it. Ian refuses at first but when he learns that his girlfriend, paleontologist Sarah Harding is already on the island, he joins the team to go rescue her. Ian meets the two other members of the team, equipment engineer Eddie Carr and photojournalist Nick Van Owens. as they make final preparations on their equipment, then he talks with his daughter, Kelly, who is not happy that he is sending her to stay with someone else, so she sneaks on board the trailer. When the team arrives on the island, they discover Sarah’s pack by a stream, just as a herd of Stegosaurus appear and they find Sarah nearby photographing the herd. When they head back to their camp, they find Kelly attempting to cook dinner and Ian attempts to call their ship to get Kelly out of there when they notice a bunch of InGen helicopters flying towards the island. They soon discover that Ludlow has sent a large team to capture several different specimens of dinosaurs that are on the island. As the InGen team make camp, the team leader, Roland Tembo, goes after a male Tyrannosaur but when he finds the nest, he only finds a baby in the nest, which he decides to use as bait. Meanwhile, Sarah and Nick decide to sneak into the camp and release the captured dinosaurs before Ludlow can have them shipped to San Diego. During the distraction caused by the dinosaurs rampaging through the camp, Nick comes across the baby T-Rex and, seeing that it is injured, takes it back to the trailer for treatment. As Nick and Sarah treat the baby T-Rex’s injured leg, Ian, Sarah, and Eddie use the hide high to protect themselves but when Ian hears the adult Tyrannosaurs searching for the baby, he rushes back to the trailer to warn the others, getting there just as the parents do. Ian and Sarah carry the baby outside, where the parents grab it and make their way back to the jungle, but just as they start to relax, the Tyrannosaurs suddenly charge the trailer, knocking it over and begin pushing it over the edge of the cliff it is on. When the Tyrannosaurs leave, Eddie drives back to rescue Ian and the others, throwing a rope down to them and using the jeep’s tow cable to secure the trailer, but his efforts attract the Tyrannosaurs back to him, where they attack the jeep and kill Eddie. Ian, Sarah, and Nick are helped up by Roland and the rest of the InGen team and, after getting Kelly from the high hide, the combined group decides to head towards the worker’s village InGen had built on the island, figuring it would be their best chance at finding shelter and a way to contact help. Along the way, Roland notices the blood on Sarah’s clothes and during a quick break in the march, he questions her about it. During the break, one of Roland’s men goes off a ways to use the restroom but winds up getting lost and attacked by a pack of Compys. That night, the adult T-Rex’s, tracking the scent of the baby’s blood on Sarah’s clothes, attack the camp, causing everyone to run in terror. As Roland uses a tranquilizer on the male T-Rex, Nick, Sarah, Kelly, and the InGen’s paleontologist hide from the female T-Rex behind a waterfall but the T-Rex manages to grab the paleontologist and eat him. The rest of the InGen team heads through a field towards the worker’s village, but they fall victim to the Velociraptors that are living in the area. After Ian meets up with Kelly and the others, they head towards the village, but as they run through the field, Ian winds up injuring himself so Nick runs ahead to the village to call for help. When Ian and the others arrive, they are attacked by a group of Raptors but manage to get away and meet up with the rescue team to fly off the island but as they are leaving, they notice the male T-Rex that Roland had captured being prepared for transport off the island. On a San Diego pier, Ludlow is holding a press conference to announce the new park that he plans to open when the ship carrying the T-Rex crashes into the dock and the T-Rex escapes into the city. Ian and Sarah, learn that the baby is at InGen’s facility and head there to retrieve the baby and use it to lure the adult back to the boat, where they can send it back to the island. Ludlow sees them with the baby and attempts to stop them but when they jump into the water, he heads into the cargo hold to retrieve the baby. The adult heads into the cargo hold and injures Ludlow’s leg, allowing the baby to kill Ludlow. Meanwhile, Ian and Sarah return to the ship and Ian closes the cargo hold while Sarah manages to shoot the adult with a tranquilizer, allowing for the ship to safely take the two dinosaurs back to the island. Later that day, as Ian and Sarah sleep on the couch, Kelly watches footage of the ship heading back to the island before the news report cuts to an interview with Hammond, who urges that the island be protected so that the dinosaurs can live in peace.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park was met with mixed reviews by the critics, earning a 52% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While the critics praised the special effects, many of them found the character development to be lacking. The movie would set numerous box office records at the time, including highest single day box-office, highest grossing opening weekend, and fastest movie to reach $100 million. Though it set all of these records, it would actually make less than it’s predecessor, only earning over $618 million, which was almost $300 million less than the original film.
Another good movie from a great director, but alas, I found it not as good as the original. Jeff Goldblum was great in reprising his role of Ian Malcolm and Julianne Moore and Vince Vaughn were good in there roles of Sarah Harding and Nick Van Owens. And while he was only on screen for a small portion of the movie, I really liked Pete Postlethwaite’s portayal of Roland Tembo. The plot was ok, taking some elements from the book but a lot of differences as well. Those differences actually took away from the movie for me. I loved the special effects and the dinosaurs looked even better than in the first movie, but the whole T-Rex rampaging through the city was actually a disappointment. I mean, Spielberg took a great story and at the end, it wound up being just another giant creature attacking a city type movie. Don’t get me wrong because as you are well aware by now, those are my favorite types of movies. I just expected better from Spielberg. All that aside, this is still a great movie to watch.
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5