Story

The Lost World, again directed by Steven Spielberg, continues the story of the first Jurassic Park movie. Following the failure of his Jurassic Park venture, billionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) has had a string of financial problems. His company InGen has been taken over by his unscrupulous nephew, Peter Ludlow (Arliss Howard). Ludlow plans to turn around the company’s losses by establishing a new version of his uncle’s dinosaur park, but this time in San Diego. He intends to populate this tourist attraction with some of the stock remaining on the secret dinosaur-cloning site, Isla Sorna. Ludlow has employed a large group of renegade hunters such as Roland Tembo (Pete Postlethwaite), Dieter Stark (Peter Stormare) and Ajay Sidhu (Harvey Jason) to track down, capture and transport dinosaurs such as the tyrannosaurus back to California.

Hammond wants to get around Ludlow’s scheme by making public the existence of the secret dinosaur-cloning ground and its amazing creatures. So Hammond sends a small team of experts to the island to document the species living there. This group includes photographer and environmentalist Nick Van Owen (Vince Vaughan), field equipment expert Eddie Carr (Richard Schiff), behavioural palaeontologist Dr Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore) and her estranged boyfriend, chaos mathematician Dr Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum). Following his almost fatal experiences at the first Jurassic Park, Malcolm is initially opposed to the plan. But he reluctantly agrees to become involved after learning that Harding has been recruited and is already on the island. Against his wishes, Malcolm’s daughter Kelly (Vanessa Lee Chester) also travels to the island.

Things go horribly wrong for both the hunters and the scientists, who find they must work together to survive.

Themes

Violence in the natural world; family breakdown; human interference with nature

Violence

This movie shows repeated violence between dinosaurs and humans. For example:

  • Dozens of iguana-sized dinosaurs surround a young girl. It looks like they eat her.
  • Three tyrannosauruses chase Sarah. Eddie takes aim to shoot them with a tranquilliser rifle.
  • Several men surround and try to capture a small dinosaur. It gets away from them, head-butts a jeep, and then chases some of them.
  • Several men snare a dinosaur and wrestle it to the ground.
  • Several dinosaurs of different sizes crash through Peter Ludlow’s camp site, destroying tents and vehicles and chasing his workers.
  • Two tyrannosauruses surround and menace Malcolm, Harding and Van Owen in their portable cabin, eventually pushing it over a steep cliff. The team must make a perilous escape from the cliff side.
  • Iguana-sized dinosaurs surround and attack Stark. They rip pieces of flesh from his back, arms and face. A few minutes later, they attack again and eat him alive (we don’t see his death).
  • Dinosaurs of different sizes chase Ludlow’s workers through the jungle. One man is crushed to death when a tyrannosaurus steps on him. During the chase, workers fire several tranquilliser darts into the dinosaurs.
  • A tyrannosaurus attacks and eats a man (his death happens off camera).
  • Velociraptors chase Harding, Malcolm and his daughter. The dinosaurs bound over vehicles and rip through the walls of buildings to get to the humans. Some of the velociraptors get distracted and start tearing shreds off each other.
  • A baby tyrannosaurus eats Ludlow alive. Malcolm and Sarah fire tranquilliser darts into the creature.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie has several scenes that could scare or disturb children under five. For example:

  • A rampaging tyrannosaurus chases screaming people through central Los Angeles. During the chase, it menaces people in their homes, attacks cars and buses, and terrifies people.
  • Scenes show frightening close-up shots of sharp dinosaur teeth, drooling mouths, reptilian eyes and razor-like claws. Sound effects add to the scariness of these images. Sound effects include heavy footsteps through the undergrowth, roars, snarls, chewing noises and human screams. 

From 5-8

In addition to the violent scenes and scary visual images mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children in this age group. For example, an injured baby tyrannosaurus is chained to a stake in the ground and used as a way to lure an adult tyrannosaurus. 

From 8-13

In addition to the violent and scary scenes mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children in this age group. For example:

  • Harding, Malcolm and his daughter must hide from a pack of savage velociraptors, which growl and lunge wildly at them.
  • A waterfall becomes red with blood after a vicious dinosaur attack.
  • Many scenes show the terror felt by various characters, through close-up shots of their terrified faces and the sound of their frightened screams. 

Over 13

There are no other scenes in this movie that might scare or disturb children in this age group. 

Sexual references

There are no obvious sexual references in this movie. 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

There is no obvious substance use in this movie. 

Nudity and sexual activity

There are no obvious examples of nudity or sexual activity in this movie. 

Product placement

No products are openly displayed or used in this movie. 

Coarse language

This movie has some mild coarse and threatening language and put-downs. 

Ideas to discuss with your children

The Lost World is a violent science fiction adventure. It contains more overt violence than the first movie in the series, which relied on an underlying sense of menace rather than obviously gruesome scenes. As a result, The Lost World seems to be less concerned with sending a meaningful message than with offering an action-packed piece of escapism. Because it contains so many scary and violent scenes, this movie is not appropriate for young children.

One value in this movie that you could reinforce with older children is working together.

This movie doesn’t have any significant ideas or issues that you could discuss with your children. 

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