WORLD: JURASSIC PARK
Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, Pete Postlethwaite, Arliss Howard, Richard
Attenborough, Vince Vaughn, Vanessa Lee, Peter Stormare, Harvey Jason
1997, 134 Minutes, Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Jeff Goldblum returns as Ian Malcolm, the quirky chaos theoretician who now
reluctantly agrees to go to another island where cloned dinosaurs are roaming
freely. Along with his girlfriend (Julianne Moore) and daughter, Malcolm has to
deal with hunters, environmentalists, and corporate swine who stupidly bring
back a big dino to Southern California, where it runs amok. —
it isn't only dinosaurs that get cloned: movies too can get
cloned. Or at least that's what we get to learn from the sequel
Lost World. Because that's what Lost World plays like:
less than a sequel to, but more of a remake of Jurassic Park.
Once again we have a group of people being chased around a
sub-tropical island by all kinds of nasty dinosaurs intent on
having them for dinner. Once again we have a group of cardboard
characters about whom we care nothing.
things are a whole lot worse this time around. If you've seen the
original film then it'd probably be a case of been there, done
that and didn't even bother with the merchandise.
Good as they
are, we've become accustomed to the amazing special effects
employed to make dinosaurs walk the earth again. And if the
special effects aren't that special anymore, then what's on
offer? Definitely not an original plot, likable characters or
some sense of fun. Instead we get idiocy: The group of people
stuck on the island must be the stupidest bunch of dinosaur
experts and big game hunters on the entire planet! They serve
only as plot devices to make sure that the plot progresses from A
to B, so that they can get chased around and eventually eaten by
the various dinosaurs.
"Must be the stupidest
bunch of dinosaur experts on the entire planet!"
When the Sarah Harding character (played
by Julianne Moore) walks around with a blood-smeared jacket
leaving trails of blood all over on plants, trees, etc. we in the
audience know that it is a stupid thing to do. But none of the
other characters seem to think so.
Not even the world-renowned
big game hunter played by Pete Postlethwaite! But it is allowed
to happen because there has to be yet another attack by a T-Rex
to fill in some screen time.
characters in Lost World are even more cardboard than
those in the first film. But what is even worse is that the
dinosaurs are also cardboard cut-outs. They have no attitude - at
least we had two street punk-like Velociraptors towards
the end the end of the previous movie. But the dinosaurs in The
Lost World might as well be any old monster. Pick any old
movie monster from recent horror movies and The Lost World's
plot would still work. There is no sense that we are dealing with
a species which hasn't walked the earth for millions of years,
there's no sense of awe.
In fact this movie
should have been sub-titled Cruise Control because that's what
it seems to be on. Spielberg (who also directed this film) is simply going
through the motions, trying to get the movie over and done with as quickly
as possible. Moments of inspiration are few. There's a scene in which
a T-Rex steps on a poor guy who gets stuck to its feet and get chomped
on over and over again. In another, the family dog gets eaten by a T-Rex.
These Gary Larson moments are however far in-between. A promising action
sequence with a trailer hanging from the edge of a cliff with people still
stuck in them starts off promisingly and then just carries on for too
long. In fact, the best sequences are those at the end of the movie when
a T-Rex creates all kinds of havoc in the suburbs. But they seem to be
taken out of a completely different movie altogether. The Japanese
for example. But maybe this is the movie we all wanted to see.
of Dinos Attacks! would have been more fun, but this film is a
boring, unoriginal and ultimately dreary rehash of Jurassic Park.
Not really what we wanted to see . . .
(Followed by a sequel
Jurassic Park 3 in 2001, which is actually
better - sort of.)