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Jurassic Park: The Lost World

Year: 1997
Production Co: Amblin Entertainment
Studio: Universal
Director: Steven Spielberg
Producer: Gerald Molen/Colin Wilson
Writer: David Koepp/Michael Crichton
Cast: Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, Pete Postlethwaite, Richard Attenborough, Vince Vaughan, Peter Stormare, Richard Schiff, Ariana Richards, Joseph Mazelllo, Camilla Belle
By the time this first Jurassic Park sequel came out, the jaw-dropping special effects Spielberg and ILM forged to make the first film such a stupendous sight were already becoming passé thanks to a never-ending stream of movies relying solely on the effects they inspired.

As such there was a strong sense of 'been there, done that' to the whole thing. The effects technology was not only as strong but improved over the comparatively light effects reel of its predecessor. But where Grant, Sattler, Malcolm and Hammond formed a core of characters we identified with, this film throws a huge number of mostly colourless personalities into a very messy mix. Together with sequences of cartoon schmaltz like Malcolm's daughter Kelly high kicking a velociraptor on the gymnast bars after being kicked off the school team and thus saving the day, the result is lacklustre at best.

Spielberg and writer David Koepp pull the ultimate movie cheat out of their arses; the as-yet unknown Site B, another island not far from Isla Nublar devoted to breeding. Long abandoned by Ingen staff after the bloodbath at the theme park site, the prehistoric inhabitants have broken loose and Isla Sorna is now a perfect prehistoric ecology preserve.

As Hammond's successor, the slimy Ludlow, jockeys to take control and exploit the profit potential of the dinosaurs to the full, Hammond summons Malcolm (Goldblum) to his stately mansion, begging him to accompany a small team to Isla Sorna and catalogue the beasts. Wary of the carnage the last expedition ended up in, Malcolm flatly refuses until Hammond reveals the offer Malcolm can't refuse; Malcolm's girlfriend, photographer Sarah (Moore) is already there.

As the group try to stay out of the way of the gnashing reptilian teeth, Ludlow's team arrives as well, an army of hunters and trappers to round the animals up and take them to the site of the new Jurassic park in San Diego.

After fighting the bad guys and trying to stay out of the way of snapping jaws, the movie moves into high camp as a tyrannosaur gets loose in San Diego, cueing a lot of Godzilla nods and comedy.

Watching the enormous T rex eyes and teeth through the windows of the trailer was enough to convince me Spielberg and co. didn't intend to do anything different with the visuals, and the story certainly wasn't up to scratch. The franchise improved marginally in Jurassic Park III with the introduction of new species to marvel at, but just went to prove that creating the most believable dinosaurs in film history was a one-trick pony. Watch out for current movie it girl Camilla Belle as the kid who gets attacked at her parent's tea party on Isla Sorna's beach in the beginning.

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