Something has survived. Allow me, if you will, to take you back... Back before feathery raptors, the Navy's arrival on Isla Sorna, dinosaur belly-ringtones, and the concept of a child living alone on a dinosaur infested island for weeks on end. Let me take you back to the film which remarkably and systematically built upon, and enhanced it's prequel before just as remarkably and systematically but inexplicably slashing it's own sorry larynx with "a six-inch retractable claw, like a razor, on the middle toe".
Disclaimer: As you read this review you will be tempted to scoff at the concept of JPII being a great film, as visions of gymnastic raptor fighting, Rex Francisco, Julianne Moore's awkward and contorted giggle grimaces, and the disgruntling frustration with the absence of some of the incredible scenes from the book. (I still often day dream of watching a human trapped in a spherical cage get rolled into the raptor's lair while the beasts relentlessly assault the steel bars). However, before you cast your stones I ask you to consider that maybe only a few rooms in the Lost World house were made of glass...
It is 4 years since the chaos on Isla Nublar, and we join a worn down Ian Malcom (Jeff Goldblum) who is no longer the "rock star chao-tician", but now resorts to half muttered satirical jabs at the world which now mocks him. The film begins with a great scene from the first book which explains to us that the presence of these dinosaurs can no longer be kept quiet by the Capitalist turned
For years I couldn't place this film. Did I love it? Did I hate it? Were my dino taste buds salivated by the slow introduction of cloned characters from compys to pachys, the herd of herbivores, slowly to the PAIR of Rex's and finally culminating with the introduction of the Raptor nearly 75 minutes into the film. Or was I bitter that Spielburg knocked my beloved dumbed-down raptor through a cabin wall by a teenage girl's uneven bars routine? Was my spine tingling from shouts of "Don't go into the long grass!", and Roland's epic quotes of "I've spent enough time in the company of death", and his mysterious "Fee"? Or do I spit in disgust at "There's a dinosaur in our backyard" and my favorite "Snake? Snake?! SNNNAAAAKKKEEEE!!!!" as he runs into a Tyrannosaur's open mouth.
I've finally centered my Chi on this my lifelong internal dino-debate, and I hope to know do the same for you. I cannot rate this film taking all its dichotomous elements into consideration. I have to separate the film into it's parts. I watched one film last night which contained a man being ripped apart by 30 compys, a triceratops demolishing hundres of thousands of dollars of technical equipment, motorcycles racing through a herd a beautifully created therapods of all shapes and sizes, Roland... an epic and likeable villain, Goldblum's never ending sarcastic quips, an amazing Stegosaur scene, a pair of adult Tyrannosaurs ripping a man in half and tossing him about like my sister's Rottweiler would do to YOUR FACE, Vince Vaughn being Vince Vaughn before you knew who Vince Vaughn was, and Raptors... oh raptors. I also watched a 2 star film last night which started about the point where the raptors forgot how to open doors and suddenly couldn't figure out how to break a glass window, feared the triple indie dismount, and ended with Godzilla with short arms. Once you can cut all the fat off this film and leave it at that you will enjoy the last remaining shining light of prehistoric film before JPIII and 10,000BC sent my poor childhood heros back to extinction.
Jurassic Park II. I loved it. I hated it. I'll watch it again tonight.
This film has been reviewed by FLANIGAN...CHRIS FLANIGAN (not shea, although it is posted under his name)