Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 1997. Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, Digital Image Associates. Screenplay by David Koepp, based on the novel by Michael Crichton. Cinematography by Janusz Kaminski. Produced by Gerald R. Molen, Colin Wilson. Music by John Williams. Production Design by Rick Carter. Costume Design by Sue Moore. Film Editing by Michael Kahn. Academy Awards 1997.
Inferior sequel to 1993’s blockbuster hit Jurassic Park that beefs up the dinosaur scenes but skimps you on the character development and the sense of wonder that made the first one so exciting. It’s been four years since the disaster on the original island, and billionaire eccentric Richard Attenborough has sent a team of researchers to an island near the first one where the dinosaurs were actually engineered. The plan is to monitor their life and habitat since they were abandoned by the scientists who made them. Jeff Goldblum returns to put a stop to any mad idea about going anywhere near the place, but when he finds out that his scientist-photographer girlfriend (Julianne Moore) has already left to begin her work early, he declares the mission one of rescue instead of research and heads up the team on their journey. Now they must contend with even more giant monsters than originally seen last time around, plus some corporate blood-suckers intent on transporting the animals back to mainland USA for exhibition. Steven Spielberg directs with a complete lack of devotion to the project, most likely because he was preparing Amistad and Saving Private Ryan while he was making it, and so while the proceedings here are fun (the Godzilla-ripoff ending being a particular point of ludicrous joy), it’s never all that involving. Moore comes off the best of the bunch (because, let’s face it, she’s just the best period), and a great score by John Williams helps too.