The Lost World

Bomb Rating: 

Think "Gym-Kata" with big lizard puppets thrown into the mix.

Welcome to screenplay-by-numbers. Dr. Ian Malcolm's (Jeff Goldblum) African-American daughter (Vanessa Lee Chester) tells him that she was kicked off the gymnastics team. Naturally, this is just before she sneaks onto the dinosaur-bound RV and ends up in "The Lost World" with her dad. Gee, just how might those gymnastics skills come into play when she's climbing up some piping to escape the velociraptors? C'mon, guess: Think "Gym-Kata" with big lizard puppets thrown into the mix.

In the original book, John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) is killed in the end, but in the movie he survives. Why? Because carnivorous dinosaurs do not eat sweet grandfather-types. So in "The Lost World," the filmmakers have created a pesky nephew, Peter Ludlow (Arliss Howard), for the dinosaurs to munch. Peter sends an expedition to the second dinosaur island to capture and bring back dinos to the mainland while Malcolm, his girlfriend (Julianne Moore) and a photojournalist (Vince Vaughn) are sent by Hammond to do some documentary work.

When Ludlow and his group do actually get a T-Rex back to San Diego, the film goes overboard in both concept and time. Somehow a locked down T-Rex manages to kill the entire crew of a boat, then escape when a stupid policeman opens its hatch. Then it's time for the usual Spielbergian special effects ejaculation as the T-Rex runs around San Diego feasting on Republicans and yuppies. What a waste of good terror -- at least if I'm making this movie, my T-Rex is indiscriminately stepping on orphanages and eating lots of screaming clergy.

How convenient too that Spielberg would pick San Diego. I'd like to see how that T-Rex would fare running around Compton where most of the residents are heavily armed. Then we'd have a much different ending: two and a half minutes of automatic weapons fire, followed by six months of neighborhood barbecues.

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