Classic Intel: The Lost World: Jurassic Park - Blu-ray Review

'Thrusts a returning Jeff Goldblum into the role of most unlikely action man of the '90s'.

A film that to this day receives a considerable amount of hate seemingly for simply being a sequel to one of the most well-loved films of all time, The Lost World: Jurassic Park undeniably has some admirable qualities. Not least of these is that director Steven Spielberg evidently attempts throughout to provide a continuation of the story in 1993's Jurassic Park, rather than simply offering a carbon copy of his earlier film. Admirable though this may be, sadly The Lost World rarely comes close to the brilliance of Spielberg's iconic blockbuster.

The first act set-up, whilst mildly contrived, feels worthwhile; even if it thrusts a returning Jeff Goldblum into the role of most unlikely action man of the '90s. With Ian Malcolm (Goldblum) the only non-cameoing returning character, The Lost World's cast frustratingly ends up as less than the sum of its parts. Strongest here is Pete Postlethwaite as aloof big game hunter Roland Tembo, who disappointingly bows out at the end of the second act; Goldblum too does well with what he is given, trying his hardest to link his character's persona here to his markedly different performance in Jurassic Park four years earlier. Less impressive is Julianne Moore - apparently here only to pay off her divorce settlement, and it shows - who fails to make palaeontologist Sarah Harding at all memorable.

Much like its predecessor, The Lost World is at its best when focused on its prehistoric participants, who help to deliver several excellent action set pieces throughout. A sequence involving the group's trailer being attacked by a pair of Tyrannosaurus Rex initially feels reminiscent of Jurassic Park's famous scene involving the same species, but thankfully soon comes into its own through some simple but effective ideas and imaginative camerawork, generating genuine tension and emerging as one of the film's strongest sequences. The Velociraptors too, once they arrive, provide some entertaining scenes, although the manner in which Malcolm's stowaway daughter Kelly (Vanessa Lee Chester) fends off a group of Raptors signals the film's unfortunate descent into its disappointingly silly final act.

Spielberg has himself admitted he became increasingly disenchanted whilst shooting The Lost World, and this is never more evident than during the closing half an hour. The action abruptly changes location, the storytelling becomes sloppy, and the whole thing feels cheapened through a move into generic action and cheesy humour that is below both Spielberg and the franchise up to this point. In the end, The Lost World is never a bad film, but its lack of consistency and misguided finale cement its status a few clear notches below its predecessor.

By Ben Broadribb. Ben is a regular contributor to Film Intel, having previously written at Some Like It Hot Fuzz. He is normally seen in the wild wearing t-shirts containing obscure film references. He is a geek, often unashamedly so. He's also on and Twitter.


  1. The fairest Lost World review you'll ever read. Absolutely spot-on.

    1. Thanks for the high praise, Anonymous. Glad you enjoyed reading it!