The Success of Jurassic Park made a sequel pretty inevitable, but Spielberg took time to craft a new adventure, rather than rush out something that just met the obligatory requirements of a sequel.
This film focuses on a second island…the real labs of InGen. When the park went out of business, so did site B. And the dinosaurs thrived. Hammond fought to leave the island alone and let the dinosaurs live in piece. To help his agenda, he has sent a team to simply observe and report about life on the island.
He requests the help of Ian Malcolm, who refuses, until he finds out his girlfriend Sarah is already on the island. His hope is to bring her right back. In the meantime, his daughter Kelly is upset by Ian dumping her off with a family friend. She stows away to follow her dad to the island.
Team Ian soon discover they are not the only ones on the island. The company wants to push Hammond out and capitalize on the dinosaurs. They bring a crew to capture dinosaurs to be returned to the States for a small scale version of the Park in San Diego.
The general idea of there being no park is a somewhat interesting change. Goldblum is highly entertaining here. Pete Postlethwaite plays a variation on the first film’s Muldoon. He is a big Game hunter who is there for very mercenary reasons, but is providing professional guidance. The effects are excellent, with some exciting new dinosaurs not seen in the prior film. The primary villain is more in the vein of the original book. A Corporate raider looking to exploit, Peter Ludlow is the example of corporate hubris believing it can control what others could not.
The film’s big finish is a T-Rex chase through San Diego. It is a bit of a shame that they squander such a great notion as “dinosaurs loose in a city” in a brief twenty minute sequence. I also really found the whole “daughter” subplot more annoying. The inclusion of kids in the first film actually made sense, here it seems forced and unneeded.
But when you get down to it, Spielberg can make most anything work, and the Lost World is a lot of fun.