The original Jurassic Park would go on to become one of the highest grossing movies of all time. Following the movie’s success the author Michael Crichton then wrote a follow-up book called The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Then in 1997 a film adaptation was made. How does this one hold up when compared to the original?

TLW1The story takes place 4 years after the events of the first movie. A family on a yacht cruise come across an island where a little girl is then attacked by a group of Compsognathus. Ingen facing a financial crisis then try to take the dinosaurs off the island and start a new Jurassic Park in San Diego to recoup their losses. John Hammond tries to send a team of people to document the animals in their natural habitats to try and keep their preservation and prevent the same incident from happening again. Yeah, compared to the first movie the plot is definitely more involved, and a lot of explaining has to be done before you even get to go to the island.


The acting here is pretty good. Jeff Goldblum returns as Dr Ian Malcolm, this time playing the role of the more serious and concerned character, and does this really good. The movie also stars Julianne Moore as Palaeontologist Dr Sarah Harding and Vince Vaughn as the video documentarian Nick Van Owen, who all lend themselves well to the movie. The other real standout character is the big game hunter Roland played by the late Pete Postlethwaite, who was probably the most entertaining character. The only actor who was annoying was the girl who played Ian’s daughter Kelly Malcolm, as she just came across as a lot more whiny when compared to Tim and Lex from the first movie.


How are the special effects though? Well they are just as astonishing as the first one. Even without the impact the first movie had this movie still creates some great looking dinosaurs as well as some thrilling action set pieces. It introduces new dinosaurs like the Stegosaurus and Compys and retains the favourites from the first film like the Velociraptor and of course the T-Rex. What I like is how even the smallest of dinosaurs could still prove to be a big threat. Even the herbivores that the hunters try to capture still put up a good fight to try and defend themselves. Once again the dinosaurs are the show stealers here.


This movie does have it’s shortcomings compared to the first movie, but it also does other things better. It lacks the whimsy and wonder of the first film but makes up for it by increasing the level of tension and survival elements. For that this is definitely the scariest out of the Jurassic Park movies. It ups the ante with the action scenes, in particular the scene where the main characters are in a trailer hanging over a cliff, which makes for one of the most nail-bitingly tense action scenes that I can remember. Another scene where the team stumble across a raptor nest in the long grass was really well shot, with the raptors barely visible but seen rustling through the grass. The atmosphere this movie creates combined with the increased elements of danger make the movie all the more exciting to watch as you’re thinking “How are they going to get out of this one?”.


The area where this movie stumbles the most is in it’s storytelling. With a story that requires a lot of explaining a couple of scenes were deleted to reduce the run time. One was a scene in the InGen boardroom and another was meeting Roland for the first time. They really should’ve kept in the boardroom scene as it explains what happened to InGen and Isla Nublar after the events of Jurassic Park. The movie also has it’s stupid moments. Whilst I loved the trailer over the cliff scene it also had to have a stupid Burger King line that feels so out of place. Also the scene where the boat crashes it doesn’t show what happened to the crew. It just makes you wonder, how did the crew get eaten by a T-Rex that then ends up in a cargo hold? For a movie like this I am willing to suspend my disbelief but this was just borderline farfetched.


The scene that garners the most mixed reactions is in the third act when the T-Rex gets loose in San Diego. Whilst some think it’s good fun other feel that scene is out of place. For a movie that tries to get across that the dinosaurs are animals and not monsters people feel that scene is too much like one from a cliché monster movie. Whilst I can see where these people are coming from I still enjoyed that scene for what it is. I do feel this movie is another case of people picking the stupid little parts that annoyed them and claiming that’s enough to ruin the film for them. I won’t deny the parts where this movie gets a bit dumb, but God damn there’s a lot this movie does right that more than makes up for any niggle-y complaints that people have with this movie.


Overall it’s not as good as the first Jurassic Park. The story isn’t told as well and some absurd moments tend to stick out. But for what it’s worth the dinosaur action is just as entertaining as ever and it feels like a justifiable enough followup to the first movie. I personally found this sequel to be enjoyable throughout and in my opinion is quite an underrated movie.

I give this movie (a high) 3.5 out of 5

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