Making the Grades
Cliffhanger suspense. A T-Rex around every corner. Screams from terrified participants. Is it Jurassic Park: The Ride or the latest Spielberg dinosaur movie, The Lost World? After viewing this film, I'm convinced that Spielberg and writer David Koepp were just as confused over this question.
Picking up a few years after Jurassic Park, this prehistoric plot begins with the discovery of another island where the genetic recreation experiment was carried out. These dinos have had a home on the range for four years without interference from man. Of course that is about to change. Scientist Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) gets cornered into going to their haven after learning his girlfriend (Julianne Moore) is there alone documenting these creatures' existence. With two other team members and a gaggle of equipment, the reluctant Malcolm heads out to save his girl.
If you have seen Anaconda or many of the other movies made with this cookie cutter, you know a huge cast is necessary so the hungry predators have someone to devour. Thus another plot twist is introduced with Pete Postlehwaite playing an evil hunter who leads an army trying to capture a T-Rex so he can start a prehistoric park in San Diego. Any bets on how this will turn out?
The original Jurassic Park opened with incredible scenes of realistic dinosaurs. It presented a plausible idea that left you wondering, "Could this really happen?" Lost World only left me wondering when this too long thrill ride would be over. With the endurance of a brontosaurus, the film lumbers on into a closing b-movie-like sequence where a T-Rex terrorizes San Diego's streets.
Most of the violence has limited blood, and shots of people being pulled in half are not in close-up. Even so, this monster flic is not suitable for the under-teen crowd, who will still find it very intense and suspenseful. For adults and teens, Lost World is too unbelievable to be truly terrifying. Nor is it certainly to be the ride of your life.