*NOMINATED FOR 1 OSCAR*
Sometimes I feel as if fans, of a specific movie, can be that movies, worst enemy. Let me explain. After Jurassic Park set new records, in terms of Box Office success, and basically ‘everybody’ loved it, fans, among others, started to pressure Michael Crichton to write a sequel novel to the successful Jurassic Park. Crichton hadn’t written any sort of sequel before, to a novel, and hence refused. Spielberg and fans insisted, and so 4 years after, the fans got what they wanted, The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Well, actually it wasn’t exactly what they wanted, because this sequel resulted in a weaker instalment, and did not share the same success, Box Office-wise that is.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against sequels, and it seems that nowadays they are inevitable. Sometimes, sequels are not necessary, and can even taint the original stories. It is interesting to note that Jurassic World is a direct sequel to Jurassic Park, and virtually ignores instalments 2 and 3 of the Jurassic Series, that alone says that Spielberg is almost ‘ashamed’ of this instalment! He takes pride in his work, and he also did say about The Lost World that he became ‘disenchanted’ with it, asking himself, “is that all there is? It’s not enough for me.” Cleary is was not enough for us either, The Lost World: Jurassic Park is my least favourite of the initial trilogy.
It’s important to recognise that this film again proved to be a technical marvel. This time we have 2 massive T-rex’s, each animatronic version of these beasts weighing in at 9 tonne each! Set’s were built around them, since they were to ‘stubborn’ to move. Again, the computer generated imagery is top standard, by 1997 standards, that is, and John Williams delivers a strong score, tuned up to a more action based film, as opposed to the adventurous, family, jollier score of the first film. So ‘technically’ this film had the makings of yet another Spielberg hit! What makes this film less ‘appealing’, then?
Much like the sets being built around the ‘robot’ T-Rex’s, the human characters in this film are written around the monsters of the film, not the other way around. Unfortunately dinosaurs can’t express themselves with words and human emotion, so we are unable to relate to them, although we do feel sorry for them when we see them being mistreated and only used for hunting game. Hence, because we are not dinosaurs watching this film, we instantly look to the human element as a source of relation. I am sure that a family of T-rex’s would have loved watching this film, given it a 10 out of 5 star rating, but a family of humans, unfortunately are unable to find any human characters to relate to, because the characters to this film are not written with enough depth, as they were in the first film.
Continuity is also just, brushed upon, there are clever cameos of Tim and Lex at John Hammond’s mansion, and ‘Dr. Chaos’ is back as the star lead. But I think that most of us wanted Sam Niell and Laura Dern back as they reprised their iconic roles, and it’s this that instantly dampers the film, even before you start watching. Julianne Moore is a fantastic actress, and apparently only agreed to do The Lost World, because she needed the money to pay for her divorce settlement, enough said, clearly we did not get her best performance out of this one. ‘Dr. Chaos” daughter is hardly a character in this film, and hence this film all of a sudden is more adult, the presence of Tim and Lex in the first film made it family, The Lost World is hardly ‘family’.
There are thrilling action sequences, especially the scene with mommy and daddy T-Rex, its great to watch, and lest we forget my favourite bit, the Raptors! In this instalment you will see the Raptors develop amazing acrobatic abilities, these beasts can jump! I am certain they deserved their own spin-off as ‘Raptors Can’t Jump’ with Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrleson, as they tackle their basketball abilities. All joking aside, the action in this film does feel ‘recycled’, but who doesn’t want to see a T-Rex wrecking havoc in suburbia!?
Anticipation grows with Jurassic World, let’s hope it is able to supersede at least, this instalment!
TRIVIA COOKIES: Vince Vaughn is in this film! Again, I was shocked to see him in it!
Initially Spielberg planned to only be a producer to the film, but ended up directing. This is one of the few sequels that Spielberg has directed himself.