It’s always a blast revisiting cherished films from our youth and seeing how they hold up today…though in the case of some (Home Alone, for example), I won’t even take the plunge, preferring to let my fond memories suffice instead of assuredly ruining them. In the case of The Lost World, “cherished” is too strong a word, and should be reserved for the original Jurassic Park, which was the first picture I saw in theaters multiple times: six, to be precise. My mother hasn’t forgiven me to this day. I rewatched that one about a year ago, and it held up very well—much of its magic, particularly the team’s initial encounter with the brontosaurus’s in the field, remains intact, and the darker moments like the fantastic raptor-in-the-kitchen sequence and the T-Rex attacks remain moody and exciting. The dinosaurs, which were so painstakingly designed, don’t seem particularly dated, a tribute to Spielberg’s production team and massive wallet. I never held The Lost World in such high esteem, but I watched it multiple times and always felt it got a bit of a bum rap. After checking it out again fourteen years later, I still feel the same way. Oh, there are some clunkers in the script, especially in scenes with Ian Malcolm’s (Jeff Goldblum) daughter Kelly (Vanessa Lee Chester), and the original’s majestic sweep and enchanting vibe isn’t really there. And the ending is pretty silly…Crichton’s book is vastly superior to the adaptation (I slightly prefer the Jurassic Park novel as well, but the difference is much smaller). But The Lost World has a strong cast (Goldblum, Julianne Moore, Vince Vaughn, Pete Postlethwaite, Peter Stormare of Coen Bros. fame), the action sequences are still gripping, and the set design and atmosphere are first-rate. Most of all, though, there’s just something about dinosaurs and us boys…the wonder never really fades, even as we age, and Spielberg’s flair for the dramatic is such a good fit for the subject matter that even a flawed product is exciting to watch. The Lost World‘s warts are evident and nobody would ever confuse it with a great film, but if you dug it back in the day, you’re probably going to dig it now. As for the younger generation seeing the Jurassic Park franchise for the first time (and with a rumored JP4 in the works, count on the originals getting plenty of views), I welcome opinions and thoughts!

62/100