With no time to pause for breath, it’s sequel time. Therefore, I humbly present my findings on a film mystifyingly not named “Jurassic Park II” but “The Lost World: Jurassic Park”
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
I always thought that “Jurassic Park” showed just enough of the dinosaurs to keep them suitably fresh and scary/awe-inspiring. Any longer and I feel that the film wouldn’t have been as good as it was. Imagine my thought process going in to see “The Lost World: Jurassic Park”. In fact, you don’t have to imagine- here it is:
1) Why the hell isn’t it called “Jurassic Park II”? Especially when it has feck all to do with the Arthur Conan Doyle book. I know the book sequel was called “The Lost World”, but if you have to segue that in there why not call it “Jurassic Park II: The Lost World”?
2) I bet they’ll amp up the dino-action in a vain attempt to out-do the first one.
3) Goddamn my brain is nerdy. Is this why I suffer from crippling loneliness and girls shriek and run away from me?
The basic plot is that after the events of the first film and the park being abandoned, it comes to light that there is another island where the dinosaurs run free- “Site B”. Blah, blah, blah evil nephew of the ailing John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) takes over the business and for some reason wants to take the dinosaurs from Site B and open up a Jurassic Park in San Diego, of all places. I honestly felt a bit insulted as the subtlety and (for lack of a better word) grace the first film won me over with were slapped out of my mouth with the glove of cashing-in. I don’t mind sequels at all, some of them rock the shit. But in the case of “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” all the dino stomping in the World couldn’t have taken away the nagging feeling that this was anything more than a wallet raping.
“Oh, yeah. Oooh, ahhh, that’s how it always starts. Then later there’s running and screaming.”
If I sound more hurt and sarcastic than normal, it’s ‘cos I am. The one thing that really gets to me (apart from all the other things that really get to me) is when bad sequels are made to great films and somehow the stink of the newer bastard filmic child manages to tarnish the original. I’m sure by the time you’ve finished reading this sentence you’ll have been able to think of at least 5 instances of this.
I can’t think of a nicer way to phrase this question but when did Spielberg lose his balls? (I’m not talking about his actual testicles as I’ve been informed by CelebNadNews.com that they’re fine…) I’m talking about his guts that he displayed in “Jaws” and the like. For instance, in “Jaws” a small boy gets mercilessly munched by the shark, whereas in this film- a girl of a similar age is set upon by small dinosaurs. We assume she’s a goner as the camera cuts away but we are needlessly told later she’s fine. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to see children hurt or killed on screen, but if you do want to make a point, don’t wimp out at the last minute. At least the boy’s death in “Jaws” actually meant something and drove the plot.
“Taking dinosaurs off this island is the worst idea in the long, sad history of bad ideas-and I’m gonna be there when you learn that.”
There are many silly moments in the film too. The one that instantly comes to mind is Ian Malcolm’s (Jeff Goldblum) gymnastic daughter swinging off poles and kung-fu kicking a raptor out of a window onto a spike. Sorry- are these the same raptors that took down an experienced game warden in the first film and an entire field of “redshirts” (Star Trek analogy- look it up) in this film? Surely the best thing to do would be to have the impaled raptor to realise he’s actually got balls and savage the little, flippy kid to death.
There are some good moments in the film though. I liked the tension-filled scene where a trailer is hanging over the edge of a cliff (the slow cracking of the glass is great). As cheesy as it is, I also liked the T.Rex running amok in San Diego. However, these moments are few and far between. I can’t really say it’s a shame though as I was pretty sure a sequel to “Jurassic Park” wouldn’t work from the beginning. I’m not playing a game of “I was right” or anything though. Really. But if we were, I so fucking am.