PreCommentary: This sequel to Jurassic Park was advertised with the booming insistence that "Something Has Survived," a billing probably drummed up when the assumption was that those vials dropped in the mud in the 1993 film would spawn more dinosaurs. Otherwise, it doesn't really apply. Also, Jurassic Park is not the "lost world," and Crichton never acknowledges Doyle, so aspects of the big conception here are sloppy and irresponsible.

Notes: Universal Pictures presents an Amblin Entertainment Production. 129 min.
Ian Malcolm: Jeff Goldblum
Sarah Harding: Julianne Moore
John Hammond: Richard Attenborough
Pete Postlethwaite, Arliss Howard, Vince Vaughn, Vanessa Lee Chester

Director: Steven Spielberg
Screenplay: David Koepp
Special Effects: Stan Winston

Summary: On an Isla Sorna beach a wealthy family picnics. Mom's concern for the girl who wanders off emerges as "What about snakes?" Bratso sees a very small dinosaur: "What are you? A little bird or something?" She is soon surrounded and screams. Parents run to her and Mom screams.

Cut from Mom's mouth to Ian Malcolm yawning (having to look at Goldblum is the true horror) and waiting for the subway. He ignores a passenger who knows him from tv and arrives at John Hammond's mansion. After a brief reunion with the brats from Jurassic Park, he has a run-in with Hammond's nephew Ludlow who now runs the InGen corporation. Hammond explains that the dinosaurs to have been exhibited at Jurassic Park were actually bred on nearby Isla Sorna and these have fluorished in the last four years despite a genetically engineered vitamin deficiency. An observation team must document these dinos to justify preservation before InGen tries to exploit them to avoid bankruptcy. "It's only a matter of time before this lost world is found and pillaged." The inclusion of girlfriend and paleontologist Sarah Harding forces Malcolm to go. After an encounter with his daughter, he joins photographer Nick Van Owen and technician Eddie Carr to land on the island the locals call "Five Deaths."

Although her backpack is found rather ragged, Sarah is fine studying stegasaurs. The other men are awestruck, but Malcolm sneers, "Oo ah, that's how it starts, but later there's running and screaming." He asks them, "What did you think you were going to see?" Nick: "Big iguanas." Sarah pets a young stegasaur and starts a stampede, but her goal she explains is to change the perception of dinosaurs as "vicious lizards" to that of "nurturing parents." Malcolm's daughter has stowed away and is revealed trashing the trailer, ostensibly trying to make dinner. Malcolm wants everyone to leave.

InGen invades ahead of schedule, capturing dinosaurs and led by Roland, whose goal is to bag a male T-rex for himself. Nick announces that he is Hammond's back-up plan and turns out to be a member of EarthFirst, sabotaging InGen and their San Diego Zoo plan by releasing the captured dinosaurs which then wreak havoc on the camp. Nick brings a young tyrannosaur with a broken leg to the trailer and Sarah sets the leg. Eddie, Malcolm, and his daughter ride a contraption into the trees, but Malcolm runs back. The parent tyrannosaurs come looking for the young one, and peer into the trailer. Sarah returns the young one, and the three leave, but the parents come back and nearly knock the trailer off a cliff. From his car, Eddie tries pulling it back, but the tyrannosaurs eat him. The trailer falls and crashes below, but the three remain hanging from a rope and climb up, met by the InGen team.

They decide to trek to the communications center on the island's interior. One slimeball off the path is devoured by small dinosaurs. At night, a T-rex visits the camp, smelling the young one's blood on Sarah's jacket. The camp panics and people are killed, one stuck to the bottom of the T-rex's foot. One InGen paleontologist panics when a snake goes down his shirt and runs out of the cave and into the T-rex's mouth.

Other men are slaughtered by velociraptors in the tall grass but Nick radios for help. These dinos harass Malcolm, Sarah, and the kid, until one raptor is kicked by the kid's gymnastic display. While two velociraptors turn on one another, the four humans board a helicopter and see below that InGen has captured a T-rex.

In San Diego, a ship plows into the harbor. The entire crew is dead, and the T-rex bursts out of the cargo hold. Its infant is in another InGen facility and Malcolm and Sarah race to retrieve it. Meanwhile the T-rex wanders into suburbia, drinks from a pool, scares a family who all deserve to die, but eats just their dog. Soon the city panics and even groups of Japanese are seen running in the streets amid car wrecks and other chaos. The dinosaur chases Malcolm and Sarah who have the young dinosaur in their car towards the docks. Ludlow follows also, to retrieve the infant. When the two jump into the water on the other side of the ship, Ludlow returns to find the infant in the cargo hold. The parent T-rex arrives, traps Ludlow, and gives him to the infant to learn how to kill its own food.

Sarah shoots a narcotic and the dinosaurs are captured in the cargo hold to be shipped back to the island. In the last scene, Malcolm and Sarah are asleep while Malcolm's daughter watches CNN with John Hammond saying, "These creatures require our absence, not our help. Step aside; life will find a way." We see final shots of the island and pterodons.

Commentary: With short-attention-span chapters, Crichton had already designed his book to read like a screenplay, but Hollywood put it through more meat-grinding so although this film is visually effective, the excess baggage being trimmed to slightly over two hours makes it seem choppy and muddled. My adrenaline is growing immuned to manipulation.

Finally a movie has the sense to bring back the right kind of dinosaur to civilation (unlike the 1925 Lost World). But San Diego? No landmarks are defiled and there's very little investment in these scenes. It's supposed to be a laugh that the T-rex ate the dog and that the chain and doghouse are hanging from its teeth, but the brat if not this entire San Diego family should have died. Spielberg needs to kill kids. Lord knows, they always deserve it; they're always obnoxious.