The Lost World: Jurassic Park | Chicago Reader

The Lost World: Jurassic Park

I guess all that matters is that you buy the dinosaurs in this digitally glorified monster movie. Jeff Goldblum, having miraculously survived the prequel, evades more really big, fast, and hungry animals with Julianne Moore, who wants to study them, Pete Postlethwaite, who wants to hunt them, and lots of other people—so there will be plenty of dinosaur fodder before getting to the big names. I don't know why digital technology is so tempting to big-budget filmmakers. Digital beasts always seem to move wrong—somehow too slow and too fast at the same time, their bodies undulating in a way that's nothing like a living thing. And what you might perceive here as the pinnacle of visual simulation could seem as hokey in the near future as old stop-motion animation seems now. The in-jokes, one-note characters, and clunky story aren't quite reflexive enough to counterbalance the expectation of realism set up by the high-tech visuals; maybe the tension between what looks convincing and what feels phony was better acknowledged in Jurassic Park, a ridiculously earnest family-values fable that almost demonstrated some awareness of its own kitschiness. Steven Spielberg directs a screenplay by David Koepp based on Michael Crichton's novel. 134 min.

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