The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)

lost world jurassic park poster 1997 movie
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

The trailer-cliff scene, the tall grass scene

Jeff Goldblum's daughter, the King Kong ending

Movie Info

Movie Name: The Lost World:  Jurassic Park

Studio:  Universal Pictures/Amblin Entertainment/Digital Image Associates

Genre(s): Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  May 19, 1997 (Premiere)/May 23, 1997 (United States)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

lost world jurassic park compy

Don’t feed the animals

Jurassic Park has been shut down and stories of the island have been buried by InGen.  Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) discovers that Isla Sorna was the real island behind the resort and the dinosaurs of Isla Sorna have lived and thrived.  Malcolm heads back into the fray when he learns his girlfriend Dr. Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore) has gone to Isla Sorna on a research mission and discovers his daughter Kelly (Vanessa Lee Chester) has secretly come with him.  Unfortunately, power at InGen has left John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) and Hammond’s nephew Peter Ludlow (Arliss Howard) is making a name for himself at the company by capturing the dinosaurs of Isla Sorna for a new venture…but dinosaurs were supposed to be extinct and should have stayed that way.

lost world jurassic park julianne moore breaking glass rv

Oops…maybe rescuing a baby T-Rex was a mistake

Directed by Steven Spielberg, The Lost World:  Jurassic Park (or Jurassic Park II:  The Lost World) is an action adventure science fiction film.  The film is a sequel to Jurassic Park from 1993, and a loose adaptation of Michael Crichton’s 1995 novel The Lost World.  The film was released to mixed reviews but was a box office success.  It received Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects.  It received Razzie nominations for Worst Reckless Disregard for Human Life and Public Property, Worst Remake or Sequel, and Worst Screenplay.

I loved Jurassic Park but was less impressed by the follow-up novel The Lost World.  The same can be said about the sequel film The Lost World:  Jurassic Park.  While it still has all the dinosaurs and some great moments, the film itself is rather dull and lifeless.

lost world jurassic park velociraptor jeff goldblum

Those wacky raptors are back! Look out for gymnasts

The movie has real pacing problems.  It gets to the dinosaur action rather quickly, but it has characters that are rather unlikeable and underdeveloped.  If the movie had maintained more of the investigation with the investigators getting caught up in the trouble, it might have fared better.  Instead a group of bounty hunters are tossed in and the film gets really sloppy.  It finishes in an ultimate mess which is like King Kong in San Diego (and the story doesn’t actually work…the T-Rex getting loose, killing the crew of the boat, and getting trapped back in the hole was planned but cut…but it still doesn’t explain how it would have gotten people in the tight, small areas).

While the cast is impressive, they are caught in a bad movie.  Goldblum’s character is the saving grace with his quips which worked in the first film still working here.  Julianne Moore doesn’t have much of a character and Vince Vaughn has some moments as the environmental saboteur.  The “bad guys” played by Pete Postlethwaite, Arliss Howard, and Peter Stormare are pretty generic (Postlethwaite does manage to give his character dimension).  I do feel sorry for Vanessa Lee Chester who is one of the worst characters but it isn’t really her fault…she is just poorly written.  Ariana Richards, Joseph Mazzello, and Richard Attenborough reprise their roles from the first film.

lost world jurassic park t rex san diego vs police

Police vs. Dinosaur

The movie’s visuals are the top aspect of the film.  The dinosaurs still continue to be the highlight of the film but the movie didn’t really add much to the game.  The movie does add a few new dinosaurs including Compsognathus (aka compy) and a Pteranodon at the end of the film…but not enough innovation.  The film’s best scenes are mostly structural.  The scene with the breaking glass in the trailers and the long grass attack of the raptors are tense and well done…it just isn’t enough for the whole run of the film.

The Lost World:  Jurassic Park has a lot of faults.  Like a lot of action movies, it can be over-examined and critiqued, but it still is pretty watchable.  With a great premise and the fact that dinosaurs are always fun, it is a shame that the film wasn’t able to utilize it for a better story…but dinosaurs still rule.  The Lost World:  Jurassic Park is followed by Jurassic Park III in 2001.

Related Links:

Jurassic Park (1993)

Jurassic Park III (2001)

Jurassic World (2015)

Jurassic World:  Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Jurassic World:  Dominion (2022)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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