Tuesday, January 15, 2008

REVIEW: The Lost World: Jurassic Park

The Lost World: Jurassic Park

Year: 1997
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, Vince Vaughn, Arliss Howard, Richard Attenborough
Distributor: Universal Pictures
MPAA: Rated PG-13

The Lost World: Jurassic Park came out roughly 4 years after the 1993 successful box office smash hit "Jurassic Park". It was highly anticipated not only because it was a sequel, but that Steven Spielberg was once again taking the director's chair. I had high doubts that this film was going to be better than the first film considering the first film was so imaginative, it would seem impossible to release a sequel to it yet Universal Pictures did. The film grossed over $618 million worldwide which is pretty amazing, but it failed to beat the first film's gross by almost $300 million. The film wasn't too well received by critics around the world because its simply a film that we didn't really need since the first film was so great. With this said, I still found it to be pretty entertaining.

Plot Outline:
John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) convinces the now ruined Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) to take another trip to an island filled with prehistoric reptiles. This isn't the same island as the first though, this is "Site B" sort of a nature reserve to the originals theme park where the dinosaurs roam free with no fences to hold them in and are allowed to thrive in their own right. Malcom goes to the island with a new team which consists of Dr. Harding (Julianne Moore), Nick (Vince Vaughn) and Eddie (Richard Schiff). They soon find things going wrong when a large group of evil poachers with no respect for the natural order of the island, arrive tooled up with all kinds of weaponry with the intention of capturing enough dinosaurs to start a new park in San Diego.

The story of The Lost World: Jurassic Park isn't as well made as the first film. The story to me just doesn't feel too convincing. A sequel to a film that was almost perfect just seems like a waste of time never the less, the story is still engaging. The film has a very dark tone now with the blood and gore raised up a few notches. The film has many moments that in some way do live up to be a good sequel, but it also has moments where it disappoints. I guess going into this film, I shouldn't have expected the story to be any good since its a sequel to a dinosaur movie. Whats weird is that even though the story wasn't great, it was still entertaining. I mean at the end of the day the film is all about the dinosaurs and we do get alot of shots at many different dinosaurs in the film, but it would have helped if the story was alittle on pair with the creativeness of the first film.

The cast of the film is kind of a mixed bag. While we don't get the entire cast back from the first film, we do get some. Jeff Goldblum reprises his role as Ian Malcolm and he does a great job in his role. Hes more alive and serious compared to the first film. We have Richard Attenborough also returning as John Hammond in a few, but brief scenes. The cast that's actually new to the series is Julianne Moore and Vince Vaughn. While Moore is alittle more goofy in the film, she does have a few moments where her character shines and that's what makes her part interesting. Vince Vaughn in my opinion wasn't needed. He doesn't have the same look and feel as the cast of the fist film had so it was kind of irritating to watch him on screen. Whats missing is Sam Neill and Laura Dern who I thought had great roles in the first film, but some how are absent in this film.

I praised the first film for having amazing special effects for a film at the time and The Lost World: Jurassic Park easily ups that up. While I have to take into consideration that I'm reviewing the special effects as if I was in that time or else it wouldn't be fair because people at the time praised the CGI effects and called them amazing. The dinosaurs look much sharper, but also more darker. We get beautiful shots of the jungle that really pop out. There are many rainy scenes in the film that look really nice and wet. The film still keeps that same lonely atmosphere that the first film consisted of. As much as the first films special effects were amazing, the sequel easily kicks it out of the water with stunning CGI effects in the dinosaurs. We get many different dinosaurs that manage to look great in their areas.

The first film had a truly amazing soundtrack that was composed by Oscar winner, John Williams. So it was very important for this film to compete with that and I'm happy to say it does. John Williams returns once again and composed a slightly different soundtrack for this film. While we still get the original masterpiece music sounding even better in this film, we also get many other new ones. There are many areas in the film were the sound keeps up with the action, its what makes this film entertaining. The music is very well made and very well executed. John Williams gets my praise yet again with this wonderful soundtrack he composed for The Lost World: Jurassic Park.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park is a sequel that in my opinion shouldn't have happened, but it did so I cant do anything about it. As much as I was disappointed with the film compared to the first film, I still found the film entertaining to watch. I mean sure the story isn't has well made as the first film or if the cast of the first film isn't entirely back. Its still a movie that's worth watching in my opinion. The special effects look even better than the first film and the film boasts an even more powerful score composed by John Williams that's definitely worth hearing. I recommend this film to anybody who enjoyed the first Jurassic Park and is looking for some more Dino love, but be warned that you will be disappointed with the film if your trying to compare it to the first one.

Grade: C+

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