When a British couple stumble upon Isla Sorna, another island filled with dinosaurs, John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) sends Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), survivor of the incident at Jurassic Park four years prior, and a small team to photograph the dinosaurs in the natural habitat to rally support for the island’s isolation before Hammond’s nephew, Peter Ludlow (Arliss Howard), can remove the dinosaurs from the island.
It can be difficult to create a sequel to a movie that perfectly balances action, characterization and humor the way Jurassic Park does. It is even more unlikely to do so successfully with the most obnoxious character as the sequel’s main character. However, The Lost World: Jurassic Park somehow manages to be a decent follow-up by doing just that.
Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) was the character in Jurassic Park that you loved to hate. He is obnoxious but charismatic at the same time. I thought it was interesting that he was the main character in The Lost World. I almost would have expected Alan Grant, played by Sam Neill, to take the spotlight again. There was a sense of humor Goldblum brought to the character, but it is not as prevalent this time around. He still has his funny moments, with Goldblum’s signature humor, but not as much as before. It is clear the character has matured since the last movie.
In Jurassic Park, there was a moral to the story. However, this film tries too much to imitate that message but is unable to do so as strongly. Survival becomes a big part of the story and the movie begins to slip into B-level monster movie territory. It doesn’t make it quite that far, but it comes awfully close.
Every time I watch The Lost World, I forget that Vince Vaughn and Julianne Moore are in it. This movie doesn’t seem like their usual type of film but both do well in their parts. Goldblum was the comic relief in Jurassic Park, this time Richard Schiff has that responsibility. Too bad he didn’t stick around longer because some of his scenes were the most humorous of the film.
The Tyrannosaurus Rex didn’t get as much screen time as I would have expected in Jurassic Park after watching the trailer. Instead, the velocirapotors were the main dinosaurs. In The Lost World that is reversed. Velociraptors have one or two scenes in the middle of the movie but that’s it. Otherwise, the T-Rex is the main dinosaur focused on most in this movie. I really liked that because, after all, the T-Rex is the king of the lizards.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park takes the Jeff Goldblum, the comic relief from Jurassic Park, removes some of his humor and makes him the central character. Somehow this manages to work, if not by himself then with the cast around him, particularly Richard Schiff. This movie tries to have the same moral as the previous film, but begins to degrade into monster movie status when the story becomes about survival. The Tyrannosaurus Rex finally gets the spotlight and velociraptors, the main dinosaur in Jurassic Park, were relegated to only a few scenes. It may not be the perfect sequel, but The Lost World brought dinosaurs back on screen, so that’s something, right?
Cast & Crew
Steven Spielberg – Director
David Koepp – Screenplay
Michael Critchton – Based on a novel by
John Williams – Composer
Jeff Goldblum – Ian Malcolm
Julianne Moore – Sarah Harding
Vince Vaughn – Nick Van Owen
Richard Schiff – Eddie Carr
Vanessa Lee Chester – Kelly Curtis
Pete Postlethwaite – Roland Tembo
Arliss Howard – Peter Ludlow
Peter Stormare – Dieter Stark
Harvey Jason – Ajay Sidhu
Thomas F. Duffy – Dr. Robert Burke
Richard Attenborough – John Hammond