WHAT THE FILM?! “The Lost World: Jurassic Park”


What The Film?! is a new weekly column exclusive to Under The Gun Review that brings to light the plot holes Hollywood hoped you’d never notice. Written by comedy writer Dane Sager, this column shows no mercy to films that try and pull the proverbial wool over our eyes.

If you know a film with major plot holes that you feel needs to be exposed, tell us! Email utgjames@gmail.com with the subject “What The Film” and we’ll try to get your suggestion featured on the site.

I recently bought the Jurassic Park BluRay box set. Being such a huge fan of 1 and 3/4ths of these movies, it was an easy decision. I sat down and promptly put them in after 50 or 60 hours of Skyrim. The special effects still stand up and it has some of the best robots Hollywood has ever used. Picking on Jurassic Park is impossible. Picking on Jurassic Park III is too easy. You have to know how and when to choose your battles. I chose The Lost World: Jurassic Park.

Because Jurassic Park III had a less than stellar special effects budget. Rawr.

Jurassic Park was based on the novel of the same name by science fiction mastermind Michael Crichton (of Congo fame). It was about group of scientists who are sent to observe and sign off on an island theme park that had cloned Dinosaurs being its main attraction. The rights to the book were sold before he even finished the book. Universal Pictures (of Babe 2: Pig In The City fame) won the bidding war against other major studios and signed Steven Spielberg (of Crystal Skull fame) to direct.

“Now I am become death, the destroyer of childhoods”

Needless to say, things go awry and Dinosaurs start running amok. The movie was a landmark in special effects technology due to its use of Computer Generated Imagery that blew the faces the hell off of anyone who witnessed them. Jurassic Park was an overwhelming success causing studios, fans, and even Spielberg to pressure Crichton to write a sequel novel. Crichton had never written a sequel before and was against the idea at first. He upped the ante and ended up writing a sequel that had a better story, more action, more thrills, and made the wise decision to make the much more interesting character Ian Malcolm the protagonist.


Smarm, the new scent from Jeff Goldblum


So What Is It About?

Unfortunately, this book was completely ignored for the movie except for a handful of concepts, scenes, and character names. The book (and movie) reveals that there is a second island with cloned dinosaurs (who are busy being awesome and alive), a creative way to get around the whole “firebombing the island” ending of the book. In the movie sequel, a team of scientists go to the second island to observe the Dinosaurs in what could be described as the best episode of Planet Earth ever. Ian Malcolm, knowing the dangers of the island (he died in the first book), rushes in to attempt to convince the team to leave.

The team soon finds out that they are not alone on the island, as the company that built the theme park sent in their own team to capture as many dinosaurs as they can and open a Dinosaur zoo in San Diego. I can say with absolute confidence that if such a place existed, going to a Dinosaur zoo would well be worth the risk of being disemboweled. Another surprise on the island is found when they realize that Ian Malcolm’s teenage daughter stowaway’d her way onto the island, proving my long running theory that 1990s action movies and 1980s sitcoms can share plotlines.


“Wait, if you're here on the island than that means... UH OH”

Despite the strong environmental and naturalist themes, the evil corporation succeeds in taking dinosaurs off the island. They manage to transport to San Diego a live Tyrannosaurus Rex cub (baby? kid? Pup? bieber? Is a baby Rex a bieber?) by helicopter and a full grown Tyrannosaurus Rex by boat. However, the boat is unable to come to a stop and it ends up destroying the pier that it was initially going to dock at. Those present at the crash search the boat to try to find out what went wrong and in the process, they accidentally manage to release the fully grown and fully pissed off Rex to the unsuspecting public of San Diego.


Oh damn it, someone spilled Speed 2 on my Jurassic Park

Once the Rex is on the loose in southern California, the plot shifts gears into holycrapwehavetostopthis mode and doesn’t stop till the movie ends. I used to have a major problem with this ending before I realized it was a reference to King Kong, but now I have a problem with it because they never tell you why the ship crashed. Yes, they do show the destroyed remains of the ship’s crew all over the bridge of the ship, but the bridge wasn’t in anyway damaged and the Rex was still in the hold. There is no way that it could have been the Rex.

Producers of the franchise have gone on the record to say that it was the Spinosaurus from Jurassic Park III, saying that since you saw it swimming in Jurassic Park III, it could have gotten on board, killed everyone, and swam back to the island. This answer doesn’t work either considering that a Spinosaurus is larger than a Tyrannosaurus, so it is still unable to get inside the bridge. Plus if it killed everyone while close enough to the island to swim back, is the ship sophisticated enough to take itself to the exact dock it was meant to dock at, but not sophisticated enough to know to stop? Producers, you can’t have a plot hole in one movie retconned into making sense in the next one. This isn’t The Matrix where they explained that Neo could destroy the sentinels with is mind in the real world in the next movie because… Wait.


What the hell, Matrix?

Dane is looking for Hopkins Green Frog. You can follow him on Twitter or Tumblr! PS. I’ll find my frog, who took my frog, who found my frog.

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  • This is amazing. I couldn’t agree more this film (and even the first) depart from both books SO BADLY they should have had different names… Nice review! -Craig

  • Thank you! I remember when Jurassic Park 3 was coming out, there was a rumor it was going to be based on The Lost World (except for real this time) which would be awesome. Thank you for reading!

  • Jason404

    It COULD NOT have been Spinosaurus in TLW… It would have destroyed the boat, there by releasing the Tyrannosaurus Rex an causing an all out battle there. 

    (Even though i think JP3 is 100000X worse then TLW an left the franchise on permanent life support) Thank you Jack Horner an Joe Johnston for that anyways. ”rolls eyes” 

    It was written in that Raptor’s got on the boat an killed the crew an both Raptors an T-Rex both got lose in San Diego. I don’t remember if it was time or budget possibly even both that caused them to scratch that out, but it’s just a giant plot-hole.

    Spinosaurus wasn’t in TLW an i personally think making him the new bad boy in JP3 was even more stupid…. That’s my personal opinion. 

    I still enjoy The Lost World, even with it’s flaws an plot-holes sure it could have been better but it was a fun ride.. I love the ”King Kong an Godzilla” reference in the San Diego scene.. Personally that was my favorite part of the film.

    Ranking the Jurassic park films

    Jurassic park – 9.0/10.0

    The Lost World – 6.5/10.0

    Jurassic park 3 – 1.0/10.0   A terrible useless film

    Jurassic park 4 – As confirmed by Spielberg recently will either restore faith or permanently leave this franchise in extinction. 

  • Grace

    I was going to say, before the commenter above got there first, that there’s some deleted scene out there or at least an excision from the script detailing raptors getting on board and eating everyone. Again, their miraculous evaporation into thin air thereafter is pretty unsettling. Still love this movie, though the sharp decline in Malcolm’s wise-ass remarks is irritating.

  • Grace

    Or rather, the commenter below.