A wealthy family’s pleasure cruise becomes a new occasion
For horror and for trauma of the dinosaur persuasion.
So businessman John Hammond, who has learned from his mistakes(?)
Has decided to dispatch a team for his creations’ sakes.
He tells ol’ Ian Malcolm (you remember him, of course)
That some dinos have survived and somehow found a lysine source.
But John’s nephew Peter Ludlow wants to profit from the brutes
And remove them from an island, where the beasts have put down roots.
Malcolm tells John that he’s crazy when John offers him a spot
In a survey expedition that still has an open slot.
But when Malcolm learns his girlfriend is already part of it,
He departs to rescue Sarah, who is too headstrong to quit.
Though he finds her in one piece, he nonetheless is horrified
When he finds his daughter Kelly has, in secret, hitched a ride.
But then, once they’re all together, a whole helicopter fleet
Drops off Ludlow and his hunters, who are not at all discreet.
Malcolm, Sarah, and two others help to free the poachers’ prey
And they take a baby T. rex, who’s too hurt to run away.
While they try to heal the infant, Mom and Dad arrive on edge.
Once they have him, they then push our heroes’ trailer off a ledge.
All survivors band together, both the bad guys and the good,
And the body count starts rising, as most viewers knew it would.
One is stepped on; one just walks into an open mouth (which shuts);
One is nibbled by what’s equal to a thousand paper cuts.
Yet eventually, they make it to a radio that works,
But a male T. rex is captured as the villain Ludlow smirks.
He then has it shipped by freighter to a San Diego dock,
But the boat arrives by crashing and is lifeless, to his shock.
Then the T. rex male emerges, and he’s frankly mad as heck,
And his rampage through the streets leaves San Diego in a wreck.
But, with baby Rex, both Ian and his girlfriend lure the beast
To the ship again, where Ludlow ends up being Junior’s feast.
They return the giant creature and its child to the isle,
And mankind at least will try to keep his distance…for a while.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park, which has an oddly flipped title for a sequel, has the same kind of thrills, chills, and kills that made the original such a success, but it’s missing something, namely intelligent characters. I mean, honestly, except for Ian, everyone is way too stupid to participate in such a dangerous mission. From wandering off too far to go to the bathroom to freaking out over a snake when a T. rex is right on top of them, the hunters are just plain dumb. One supposed expert tells everyone not to wander into the tall grass, but, when everyone else does in panic, he follows them and pays with his life! Even the Velociraptors are dumbed down, having apparently lost their ability to open doors.

Still, a clever script, restrained language, and some impressive, if somewhat violent, creature effects help to move the story along at a brisk pace, and the action sequence with the T. rexes attacking a trailer is particularly riveting. I also believe this one is better than the third film, which suffered from a short length and recycled plot elements. After all, in that one, Sam Neill was too stupid to wait for a check to clear before journeying to a dino-infested island, a mistake Vince Vaughn was at least smart enough to not make in this film. Also, Lost World manages some originality, which other films later drew from. The aforementioned “long grass” scene was reimagined with pygmies in 2001’s The Mummy Returns, and the line “There’s a dinosaur in our backyard” seems suspiciously similar to “There’s a monster outside my room, can I have a glass of water?” in 2002’s Signs. While not perfect, The Lost World is still a worthy addition to the Jurassic Park franchise, and, as for the original film, readers may see it somewhere higher up on the list.

Best line: (Malcolm to Ludlow) “When you try to sound like Hammond, it comes off as a hustle. I mean, it’s not your fault. They say talent skips a generation. So, I’m sure your kids will be sharp as tacks.”

Artistry: 5
Characters/Actors: 4
Entertainment: 6
Visual Effects: 6
Originality: 6
Watchability: 5
Other (language and violence): -3
TOTAL: 29 out of 60

Tomorrow: #323: The Road to El Dorado

© 2014 S. G. Liput