The Lost World: Jurassic Park (often abbreviated to just “TLW”), was the 1997 sequel to the 1993 summer blockbuster Jurassic Park. Once again, Steven Spielberg took the director’s chair, along with returning Jurassic cast alum Jeff Goldblum (Dr. Ian Malcolm). New faces to the franchise included Arliss Howard (playing Peter Ludlow, nephew to John Hammond), Pete Postlethwaite (playing the venerable big game hunter, Roland Tembo), Julianne Moore (playing behavioral paleontologist Dr. Sarah Harding), Vince Vaughn (playing video documentarian and eco-terrorist Nick Van Owen), Richard Shiff (playing equipment expert Eddie Carr), and Vanessa Lee Chester (playing Malcolm’s daughter, Kelly). Cameos were provided by the great Lord Richard Attenborough (John Hammond), Joseph Mazzello (Tim Murphy) and Ariana Richards (Lex Murphy). Composer John Williams returned to compose the soundtrack, and dinosaur effects were once again provided by Stan Winston Studios and Industrial Light and Magic. The movie was produced by NBC Universal.
The film is loosely based upon the Michael Crichton novel The Lost World (1995), which Spielberg commissioned Crichton to write to go along with the sequel film Spielberg had wanted to direct. Joe Johnston approached Spielberg wanting to direct, but was denied, and instead promised the directors chair for the next Jurassic Park movie. The film was the first to feature the famous fanfare Universal logo that was used up until 2012. The film opened Memorial Day weekend in 1997 to mixed reviews. Most critics disliked the film’s new darker tone from its predecessor. However, the film garnered over $60,000,000 more in its opening weekend than the first had, though it did not make as much in the long run.
Opening on a shot of the coast of Isla Sorna, InGen’s Site B, the film introduces us to the Bowman family, Paul, Deirdre, and their daughter Cathy. They are having a lunch picnic on a beach of Isla Sorna, unaware of the island’s prehistoric inhabitants. Cathy wanders off from the beach, though her mother frets this. With a napkin full of roast beef, Cathy comes across a lone Compsognathus, Unaware of the animal’s true identity, mistaking it for a bird or lizard, Cathy feeds it a piece of beef, only to discover more Compys coming to join in. Backing away nervously, Cathy tries to distract the new arrivals by throwing her roast beef, but to no avail. Cathy is attacked in the face, and although she does not die from her injuries, her parents later sue InGen for the incident.
Peter Ludlow, nephew to John Hammond, uses the incident to take over as CEO of the company that had been on the verge of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy since the 1993 Isla Nublar Incident four years prior. Hammond fights back by putting together a team of experts, led by chaotician Ian Malcolm, to document the animals in their surroundings in order to sway the public to allow Isla Sorna to be made into an off-limits nature reserve. When Hammond calls Dr. Ian Malcolm into his New York estate, Malcolm is initially noncompliant with the request to head the team until Hammond mentions that he had already recruited his girlfriend Dr. Sarah Harding to be the team’s behavioral paleontologist expert. Hammond tells Malcolm that Harding chose to venture to the island herself prior to the rest of the team, citing “observation without interference” as her reasoning. Malcolm becomes irate, and tells Hammond that he going after Harding, stating that the venture is no longer a research expedition, but a rescue operation. Unbeknownst to Malcolm, however, Hammond has received exactly what he had wanted: a four-person expedition to Isla Sorna arriving on the island prior the the InGen Harvest Operation being put together by Ludlow.
Malcolm then goes to Eddie Carr’s garage, where the two meet up with Nick Van Owen, the team’s field equipment expert. Nick Van Owen had previously been employed on Bosnia and Rwanda, as well doing work with GreenPeace. Also visiting the garage is Malcolm’s daughter, Kelly, who wanted to join in on the expedition and not be pawned off on the babysitter, Karen. After a brief argument, Malcolm storms off sarcastically, telling Kelly not to listen to him. Kelly, not picking up on his sarcasm, instead checks out the mobile lab trailers that Eddie’s crewmen had been finishing up. While Malcolm, Carr, and Nick discuss their plans for the trip they would soon be taking, Kelly uses the time to stow away aboard the trailers.
Riding the barge, the Mar Del Plata, to Isla Sorna, Carr decides to take the time to put together a Lindstradt air rifle, which fires a powerful neurotoxic dart, killing targets instantly. After offloading the two modified Mercedes SUVS and the mobile trailers, the trio trek them up to a seaside cliff in the northern part of the island. After setting up their camp, they go looking for Dr. Harding. The idea of splitting up is suggested, but Malcolm quickly negates it. Instead, the trio use Carr’s GPS to find the location of Harding’s satellite phone. They come across Sarah Harding’s lucky pack, but Harding is nowhere to be found. She is taking pictures of the Stegosaurus herd that makes their way across a shallow creekbed. With a crash in the bush, the Stegosaurus reveal themselves, as does Dr. Harding.
Malcolm confronts Harding about her lack of communication with him over Hammond’s offer to come to Isla Sorna, but Harding is too excited about the dinosaurs to truly care. Instead, she continues to discuss the Stegosaurus and the other dinosaurs of Isla Sorna. Trekking along the creekbed, Harding finds the herd once again. The infant of the herd had wandered off, and Sarah seizes the opportunity to take some close up shots with Nick’s Nikon camera. Unfortunate for Harding, the roll empties during the shoot, and the ensuing noise the camera makes as it rewinds the film spooks the baby Stegosaurus. This in turn enrages the Stegosaurus parents who attempt to trample, then impale Harding. Harding survives by hiding in a hollow log, and the Stegosaurus leave.
On the walk back to the trailers, Malcolm and Harding continue their spat, with Harding explaining her intentions on the island. At the same time, Nick and Carr rush back to basecamp, smelling a fire. Nick uses a water container to put out the fire, while Harding berates him, telling him to use dirt rather than water, the latter which makes the smoke billow. The question of who started the fire is revealed when Kelly emerges from the door of the aft trailer, a sizzling pan in hand. She had only wanted to make dinner.
Malcolm lectures his daughter on the wisdom of coming to the island, while he, Kelly and Harding clean up the mess Kelly made while cooking. Malcolm then tries persuading Harding to come back to the mainland with him and Kelly. He makes several attempts throughout his arguments to reach the boat via the trailers radio and satellite phone, but fails in all attempts. While Malcolm is arguing with Harding, Kelly hears a distant rumble, and a fleet of InGen helicopters appear over the horizon, all carrying equipment and men for the Harvest Operation. Malcolm’s attempts to raise their attention does not come to fruition, and the helicopters land somewhere south of Hammond’s team’s position.
The InGen Harvest team immediately begins working on harvesting dinosaurs from Isla Sorna, chasing down herbivores on a dusty game trail. Led by Ludlow and Roland Tembo, the various harvesters capture several animals, including an adult and juvenile Triceratops, several Compies, an adult Parasaurolophus, a Pachycephalosaurus and an adult and juvenile Stegosaurus. With their quarry contained, the InGen team begins the construction of their encampment somewhere nearby, while Roland and his friend, Ajay Sidhu, track down the Tyrannosaurus. Sidhu and Tembo track the Tyrannosaurus next down in a small grotto, where they find a several week old infant feasting on the bare carcass of an unknown animal. They capture the infant, hoping to lure his parents so that Tembo may kill the Buck as his trophy. While waiting for the adults in a tree blind, Ludlow stumbles into the trap and, in a revelled drunken stupor, tries to convince Tembo to let him use the Tyrannosaurus in Jurassic Park: San Diego, which Ludlow hopes will be the solution to InGen’s financial woes. In the discussion, Ludlow trips and breaks the infant’s leg, much to Tembo’s chagrin. Tembo, angrily, sends Ludlow away from his trap, lamenting the injury to the infant.
Meanwhile, Hammond’s team discover’s the InGen camp, and discuss what to do about it. Malcolm knows they have to stop them from taking the dinosaurs off of Isla Sorna, and Nick and Harding agree. While Malcolm takes Kelly back to the trailers to once again attempt raising the Mar Del Plata, Nick and Harding sneak into the camp, cut the fuel lines to the InGen vehicles, and release all the animals from their cages. Ludlow, unaware of the trespassers, gives a pitch to prospective investors on funding the renewed Jurassic Park project. It is then that a Triceratops charges the tent where Ludlow is giving the speech, while the rest of the escaped dinosaurs destroy the camp around them. The Harvesters try to wrangle the animals back up, while attempting to protect the equipment from further destruction. Unfortunately, one of the campfires are knocked askew, igniting the severed fuel line on a Humvee and sending it rocketing into the air, where it nearly crushes Tembo and Sidhu in their blind.
In the aftermath, Dieter Stark finds a cut lock near one of the opened cages, exposing the presence of Hammond’s team. As Nick rushed out of the ramp, he also found and freed the wailing infant Tyrannosaurus from Roland’s trap. Bringing the flailing infant to one of the two modified Mercedes M-class vehicles. Despite Sarah Harding’s protests, Nick brings the infant back to the trailers. Malcolm immediately protests bringing the infant into the trailer, but is outnumbered on the opinion that it’s leg should be set with a make-shift cast. Kelly, frightened by the loud honking of the infant T. rex, pleads to her father to take her someplace else. Braving the rainstorm, Malcolm brings Kelly to Carr’s High Hide, which he has set up in a particularly tall tree near the trailers. As Malcolm reassures Kelly in the High Hide, a roar of a female Tyrannosaurus is heard in the distance. Dimming the lights, Malcolm, Carr and Kelly watch as the trees sway as two large predators make their way to the cries of their infant. Malcolm, knowing that Harding and Nick are in danger tries calling the trailer. After no answer, Malcolm slings down to the ground, leaving Carr and Kelly behind, and sprints to the trailers. Managing to make it to trailers before the T. rex parents can.
Once inside, Malcolm instantly decides to try to move the infant, only to be startled when a menacing rumble is heard from outside. Two large fanged heads make their appearance in the trailer’s barred windows. The T. rex parents communicate to their infant using infrasound, urging Nick and Harding to slowly release the infant back into his parents custody. The Rexes take their infant to a safe location, then return to overturn the trailers, as they now present a territorial threat to the mated pair. Pushing the trailer to the cliffside, the pair knock the second trailer over the cliff. Satisfied with their work, they leave.
Carr then arrives to the camp to rescue his companions. After Nick and Malcolm rescue Harding from falling through the trailer’s class lined back, Eddie arrives beeping his horn. Rushing from his Mercedes, Carr swings down a rope he tied to a tree stump to the trio in the trailer. After they start climbing, Eddie notices that the trailer begins slipping, and attempts to secure it by using his Mercede’s winch. However, the weight of the Mercedes is not enough, so Carr hops back into the M-class and uses the 4-wheel drive to pull the trailer back up slightly. The noise of Carr’s efforts, however, attract the Tyrannosaurus pair back to the site. The male of the pair makes short work of the SUV, tearing its roof off, and removing Eddie from it. The two consume Eddie after tearing him in half. When the female of the two removes her foot from the hood of the car, the weight is no longer sufficient to keep the trailers from going over the edge, taking the M-class with it. When the survivors climb up the rope, they are surprised to find that the InGen Harvesters have come to their rescue, Kelly among them.
Back at the ruins of the InGen camp, the survivors deliberate among themselves of their next move. With both parties equipment destroyed, they are stranded with no way of contacting the mainland. It is then that Ludlow tells that the InGen Worker Village, the place where InGen geneticist workers would have ate and slept when the island still produced dinosaurs, has a radio room, and because it’s ran on geothermal power, it would still likely be in working condition. The survivors agree this is the best option, and begin their hike to the Village in the center of the island, where the Velociraptors are nesting. Little stops the survivors as they make their way, until they come close to an area known as “the ridge.” Here, during a 15 minute break, Dieter Stark leaves the safety of the group to relieve himself. During this, a Compy sneaks up on Stark, who attempts to taze it. The small creature evades Stark’s shock prod, but as Stark attempts to chase it, he finds himself lost. Yelling for his acquaintance, Carter, Stark missteps and falls down a hill and into a ravine. In a cruel twist of fate, Stark is quickly ambushed by a flock of Compies, who chase the man down, eventually consuming him. Roland, who realizes Stark has gone missing, takes a small group to go looking for him, ordering the rest to make camp on the ridge where they will then make for the final push to the Village from.
By the time the survivors make camp on the ridge, night has fallen. When all have gone to bed, Kelly and Harding are given the sole tent among the survivors to sleep in. Unwisely, Sarah continued to wear the jacket from when she and Nick had set the infant’s leg, which meant the infant’s blood was still on it. Consequently, the Tyrannosaurus parents had followed the survivors to their temporary camp. The male inspect Harding’s bloody jacket, sticking his massive head into the tent to do so. Carter, waking up, sees this, and screams out in terror. The rest of the survivors awaken and flee in panic. The female Tyrannosaurus then barges into the dry river bed, and gives chase to the group. The male stays behind to pick around the clearing. It is here that Tembo, unable to kill the Buck because Nick had pulled his bullets, instead attempts to overdose the male with tranquilizers.
The female, meanwhile, chases the survivors down a narrow ravine, eventually corning a group comprising of Nick, Harding, Kelly and paleontologist Robert Burke, behind a waterfall. A milk snake slides down Burke’s shirt, spooking him into the waiting maw of the female’s jaws. Satisfied, the female leaves the grotto. Malcolm then jump into the waterfall, and thanks Nick for taking the lead in saving Harding and Kelly. At the same time, the other survivors run out of the jungle, and into a field of long grass. Ignoring Sidhu’s protest, the trek onward towards the Village. The field, however, is home to a pack of Velociraptors. As the survivors move deeper into the field, the Raptors close in around them, and slowly begin to pick off the men. No one survives the slaughter. As what’s left of Hammond’s team gets to the edge of the long grass, they hear the men being
eaten by the Raptors. Malcolm decides to run in a different direction, and the quartet sprint for an adjacent forest edge. There, they slide down a muddy slope into a valley of death. Surrounding them are several carcasses in various states of decomposition. Malcolm, who brought new life to his old injured leg stops to rest, with Harding and Kelly by his side. Nick, however, spots the Worker Village structures and decides to move on and send the radio call for help. Moving quickly through the Worker Village, Nick makes his way to the Operations Center in the back, and there he finds the communications center. Turning the power on, Nick sets the frequency to the Harvest Base, and makes the call for help.
While he’s doing so, the beleaguered trio come into the Village, calling for Nick. However, as they walk in they are ambushed by a trio of Raptors. Splitting up, the trio are chased through the Village. After Malcolm attempts hiding in a gas station, then a rusted out truck, he makes his way into the Kiln Shed, where Kelly and Harding inadvertently dug out a hole for the Raptors to get in from. As one male Raptor makes his way into the shed, the trio climb into the rafters, but the Raptor follows. Using her gymnastic skills, Kelly kicks the Raptor out a rotted window grate where it’s impaled on a piece of equipment. As they begin to flee, a female comes around and attempts to follow them. Kelly and Malcolm make it out, but the female follows Harding onto the roof, where Harding attempts to flee from it. Harding’s attempt at jumping onto the roof of the boarding house fails, leaving her hanging on the roof’s edge, where the male Raptor Malcolm had fled from was waiting. The female Raptor makes the jump across, but the sliding roof tiles that make up the roof cause the female to fall. Landing on the male, the two Raptors begin to fight, allowing Harding to escape and join Kelly and Malcolm.
Nick, reappearing, rushes them all to the helicopter landing on the helipad of the Operations building, where they all make it off the island safely. However, as the helicopter makes its way to the mainland, it passes over a temporary base camp that InGen had set up on the ridge. They have caged the mighty male T. rex, and Ludlow has made plans to bring him and his infant to JP: San Diego, hoping to recover some effort made on the excursion. Ludlow offers Roland a job at the Park, but Roland declines, declaring he had spent enough time in the company of death. Later, in San Diego, as Ludlow prepares to give a press address in the early hours of the morning, the S.S. Venture arrives with the male T. rex on board. The ship, however, is unable to be reached, and crashes headlong into the InGen dock. When people rush aboard to find the purpose. they discover the ship’s crew had been destroyed by the male T. rex, but not entirely before they were able to lure it back into the hold. One security officer foolishly begins trying to release the cargo hold doors on Ludlow’s orders, but the T. rex buck breaks loose from the hold, and stomps off into the InGen Waterfront Complex. Breaking the sign in half, the T. rex then storms into the streets of San Diego.
Harding and Malcolm then devised a plan to lure the raging animal back to the ship by using the infant to bring him. Getting the location of the Tyrannosaurus infant from the now shaken Ludlow, the two then set off to retrieve the infant. Meanwhile, the adult had wandered into a San Diego neighborhood. Crashing through the brick wall of a suburban family, the T. rex then helped himself to the water in the backyard pool. The family dog, unfazed by much larger size of the intruding Tyrannosaurus, began barking at the T. rex before being silenced by a short growl from the Tyrannosaurus. Benjamin, who had been awakened by the noise in his backyard, woke up to find the Tyrannosaurus peering into his bedroom. Promptly fetching his parents from their own bedroom down the hall, the trio returned to find that their dog had been eaten. In the meantime, Malcolm and Harding had driven into the Jurassic Park: San Diego construction site and into the infirmary. Quickly retrieving the sedated infant Tyrannosaurus, the two are confronted by a pair of armed InGen security guards. Malcolm calmly tells them that if they wish to stop Harding and himself, the guards will have to shoot them. The two guards decided against firing their weapons and instead watched as the two drove away to put their plan into action.
During this time, the adult had found his way into downtown San Diego, where he terrified everybody he encountered. The T. rex tested his surroundings in various ways including biting traffic lights and smashing a bus into a Blockbuster Video. From here, the adult chased a group of people, including a group of Japanese men, and succeeded in killing one unlucky man. Coming up on the scene, Harding shook the infant awake, until it made a low groan. The adult took notice and stormed towards the couple. Driving off back to the ship, the Tyrannosaurus was only held up once as he was surrounded by San Diego Police and Animal Control. However, the brigade quickly retreated at a single angry bellow from the Tyrannosaurus buck.
Once continuing his chase of Malcolm and Harding, the two found that they were cut off from the waterfront by a row of warehouses. Deciding there might not be a way through, Malcolm drove straight into one of the warehouses before he and Harding abandoned their vehicle with the infant in arm. The adult in pursuit, Harding and Malcolm finally reached the InGen Waterfront Complex. However, the two passed Ludlow, who has given the SDPD the order to shoot the adult T. rex, but leave the infant alive. Chasing after Malcolm and Harding, demanding they hand over the infant Tyrannosaurus, Ludlow followed them aboard the Venture where Harding and Malcolm jumped ship sans the infant. Hearing the infant’s call emanating from the cargo hold, Ludlow descended inside only to unwittingly be followed in by the adult. Grabbing for the growling infant, Ludlow realized only too late that he had been trapped and futilely tried to escape. The adult grabbed Ludlow and gently returned him to the floor where he watched his infant pounce and kill the man.
Above deck, the San Diego Police helicopters had surrounded the open cargo hold. Preparing to open fire, it was only in the nick of time that Harding shot the adult Tyrannosaurus with a single tranquilizer dart and Malcolm was able to get the cargo hold doors closed and secured. Following the rampage of the Tyrannosaurus, the world was now aware of the existence of InGen’s dinosaurs. The Tyrannosaurus, both adult and infant, were returned to Isla Sorna accompanied by an ever increasing escort of naval vessels surrounding the cargo ship. John Hammond then proclaimed his interest in working with the Costa Rican Department of Biological Preserves and US State Department to establish a set of rules and guidelines for the preservation and isolation of Isla Sorna from outside interference.
-Stegosaurus stenops “gigas”
–Edmontosaurus annectens (skull only)
–Apatosaurus excelsus (skeleton only)
–Dilophosaurus “venenifer” (computer screen only)
Jeff Goldblum – Dr. Ian Malcolm, the chaotician returns for a second helping of pain on an island infested with dinosaurs.
Julianne Moore – Dr. Sarah Harding, behavioral paleontologist and girlfriend to Ian Malcolm. She’s, uh, tenacious.
Vince Vaughn – Nick Van Owen, the supposed hero who turns villain. Between him and Sarah Harding, the two cause most of the human drama.
Richard Schiff – The pudgy doughy guy that sacrifices himself so that others may live. Killed by the Tyrannosaurus in a disproportionate death.
Vanessa Lee Chester – Kelly, Malcolm’s African-American daughter. Often disliked because of some 5-second roundhouse kick.
Arliss Howard – Peter Ludlow, greedy corporate dirtbag of this ’90s eco-flick. Nephew to John Hammond. Killed by the male Tyrannosaurus in a well deserved death.
Pete Postlethwaite – Honorable and noble Roland Tembo, the bad guy turned hero.
Peter Stormare – Dieter Stark, the jerkwad that likes to torture little animals. Probably a psychopath. Gets eaten by Compies.
Jason Harvey – Ajay Sidhu, Roland’s best friend and long time hunting partner. Between he and Roland, they were a firing squad. Dies a really sad death, even sadder in the script. Eaten by Velociraptors.
Lord Richard Attenborough – Dr. John Hammond, the main catalyst of the films as the founder of InGen and Jurassic Park. Was supposed to die at the end, but got saved by the writers. Also awarded some kind of doctorate at some time.
After the success of the first movie, Steven Spielberg knew he wanted to do a sequel. He, along with many fans, were able to persuade writer Michael Crichton to do something he never done before or since: pen a sequel. Spielberg, getting his sequel wish, denied the advancement of the animated television series in an effort to make his sequel. Spielberg came up with the basic framework from which both he and Crichton would work with: hunters v. gatherers. There would be one team trying to poach the dinosaurs for financial gain, and another trying to stop them while doing research on the dinosaurs. In 1995, Crichton published his sequel, The Lost World.
Initially, Spielberg envisioned a very grand idea for the sequel to Jurassic Park. It included many more characters and a larger special effects shots than what went into the final film. These included an additional paleontologist to team gatherers, more scenes involving the Tyrannosaurus rex, a action sequence involving Pteranodons chasing hang gliders, and an extended Village scene. However, the script was rather dry, and David Koepp was brought on the do rewrites, giving us what we got in the final film, a more straightforward story line, less characters, and less action. This decision came rather late into preproduction, however, and construction was already underway on a large Worker Village set. Spielberg, making the decision to switch from an extended Village chase to a King Kong esque ending involving the T. rex loose in San Diego, telephoned the construction site telling to finish only what they had already built.
Principal photography began in September of 1996, in the Redwoods of northern California, around Orick. The first scenes filmed were those in Fern Canyon, where Dieter Stark’s death was filmed and overnight stretches of the island trek were filmed. The crew dotted around the area, filming, including at Ceremonial Rock (parts of the Isla Sorna Game trail), a private ranch in Fieldbrook, Ca (also used in the Isla Sorna game trail), Wedding Rock (Hammond’s team’s camp), and Big Tree Wayside (numerous scenes). Later in the autumn, the cast and crew travelled to Kipu Kai ranch, Kauai, to film the opening, ending, and several trek shots for the film. Filming wrapped up in November with the Worker Village chase being the final scene filmed. Post production went smoothly, being wrapped up by spring of 1997, and allowing the trailer to premiere in Spring of that year.
Like the first Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park had an impressive merchandising campaign. Kenner was once again contracted to produce a very successful toy line, which won a best sellers award for that year. The toys were once again in a unique 5 inch scale, and the largest Jurassic Park toy of all time had come out of this toy line: the Kenner Bull T. rex, Also created were rubber hand puppets of various scale, plush toys, remote controlled dinosaurs and vehicles, school supplies, posters, food endorsement, matchbox car playsets, and a menagerie of small items such as lenticular disks, Koosh balls, and book tie-ins. Also created was a Junior Novelization, and comics, for the younger viewers. Also tying into the film was the new Jurassic Park: The Ride, which, despite being mostly based on the first film, was heavily promoted on two different The Lost World themed websites.
Release and Reception
Released in time for memorial day weekend, May 23, 1997, the film garnered a huge opening weekend box office, breaking several records at the time. Unfortunately, critical reception was not as favorable. Most found the character dull, and the plot contrived. Some also mentioned the film’s darker tone, brought to screen by cinematographer Janusz Kaminsky, was ill befitting of the franchise. Pining for the majesty of the first movie, even acclaimed critic Roger Ebert asked where the awe had gone. Years later, the film has gained a cult following with the fandom, although the film still has mixed love from the general audience. With a 6.5/10 stars on IMDb and a 51% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the film is still very blighted critically.