The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
I don’t care! I just don’t care if Steven Spielberg himself lost interest in this sequel while filming it because what he ended up putting on the screen is still, in my opinion, a worthy follow-up to its revolutionary predecessor. Its inevitable comparison to Jurassic Park may have hurt its own identity but The Lost World: Jurassic Park remains a highly satisfying successor to the original that offers its own set of thrills & entertainment that simply work.
Set 4 years after the events of the first film, The Lost World: Jurassic Park follows Dr. Ian Malcolm who, after meeting with John Hammond, assembles a team to set off to the Site B island (where dinosaurs are allowed to roam freely) in order to get back his girlfriend who’s already there to conduct her research. Once on the site, his crew discovers that they’re not the only ones as another group from InGen arrives to take the dinosaurs back to the mainland but once again, everything soon spirals out of control.
Written by David Koepp & directed by Steven Spielberg, The Lost World takes the viewers back to the world of living dinosaurs, this time filling the screen with even more species, more body counts & bigger entertainment. The direction retains Spielberg’s ability to provide that magical sense of wonder & amazement but it also goes a bit far than required this time as few sequences look ridiculous. The screenplay is downgraded too with more emphasis on action than story or characters yet it works for the most part.
Coming to the technical aspects, Production design team does a fantastic job in recreating the same world we witnessed back in 1993 and the set pieces are wonderfully detailed. Cinematography makes more energetic use of camera than the first one due to increased action, coz of which various sequences benefit immensely. Editing never lets the pace settle down n unfolds the story briskly while John Williams once again chips in with a thrilling score that exquisitely captures the different tone of this chapter.
What Jurassic Park brought on screen during its time of release was something never done before, never seen before & never experienced before, at least not in such realistic manner. It was a landmark moment in cinema history that opened up many new territories previously thought unattainable through existing filmmaking means. And what this sequel lacks is that same level of freshness for much of the story is actually a rehash of the original and tries to make up for what it lacks by amplifying its action, at which it succeeds.
Coming to the performances, the cast comprises of Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, Richard Attenborough, Pete Postlethwaite, Vince Vaughn & others, with all doing a good job in their given roles. But just like the original, it’s the dinosaurs who rule this film since almost every sequence featuring them is a delight to watch. Visuals & Sound is state-of-the-art stuff like before and the film brims with plenty of jaw-dropping sequences that exhibit the remarkable skills of Spielberg when it comes to larger-than-life action moments.
On an overall scale, The Lost World: Jurassic Park gets a lot of flak for following a formulaic route as well as its lack of interesting human characters but for any dinosaur aficionado like me, it delivers everything that was expected from it. Whether it’s the scenes involving the two T-Rex or Velociraptors or Stegosaurus or Compsognathus or that infamous San Diego mayhem, there’s almost nothing that I don’t like about this sequel for it remains true to the spirit of the original and is nearly as enjoyable as Jurassic Park, if not more.