blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997, Steven Spielberg)

Even though The Lost World: Jurassic Park is pretty bad, it features some of Steven Spielberg’s more interesting work as a director. It’s a b genre picture, with a huge budget and Spielberg directing it. It even has a cute King Kong reference. It’s a singular film in Spielberg’s filmography—even when he does a terrible sequel like Temple of Doom, it’s not as interesting. None of those statements mean one should see The Lost World. It’s tiring and boring; all of the action sequences are stale.

One problem is the CG technology. It’s gotten away from Spielberg. He can do pretty much whatever he wants, so he doesn’t have to think about it anymore and so he doesn’t. The film rushes from CG sequence to sequence, but nothing interesting. This Jurassic Park is intent on being dumb, not even giving the pretense of intelligence. Jeff Goldblum handles it pretty well, but his character is nowhere near as amusing as before.

Another problem is the script. While Spielberg may be responsible for Vince Vaughan’s casting and performance, David Koepp wrote some terrible lines for the character. But Koepp has even more problems—he doesn’t have a story. He’s got Vanessa Lee Chester pointlessly running around (as Goldblum’s daughter); she doesn’t even have a real action sequence.

There’s some good acting—Julianne Moore, Pete Postlethwaite, Arliss Howard and Richard Schiff are all excellent. Howard’s a great worm.

Even the John Williams score is peculiar.

But being strange doesn’t make it worthwhile.

One response to “The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997, Steven Spielberg)”

  1. I’ve always found this film a let down. When I first saw it on the big screen I sat in silence as the credits began to roll and wondered what it was I had actually been watching. Was it supposed to be funny – I’m talking about the sequence when the T-Rex gets let loose on an unsuspecting city – because I found that entire sequence to be more lame than anything else and far below what I – at the age I was then – thought Spielberg was capable of doing. Goldblum’s character is more difficult to understand in this film too. In “Jurassic Park” he was a character on the sidelines and he worked well alongside Sam Neil and Laura Dern but as a lead he just doesn’t pull it off in this film. Don’t get me wrong, I like Jeff but I thought this movie didn’t do him any justice. Vince is an odd choice and unfortunately I found Julianne Moore more irritating than anything else. The child (Vanessa Lee Chester) could have been deleted from the entire script too. I agree with the reviewer on the CG topic. It seems to me that all this movie is saying is: “Look at what WE can do with all our technology and money!” Pretty pointless film and yes, John Williams score seemed a little lack luster too.
    Sorry Steven!

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