The Lost World: Jurassic Park 4K UHD Review

Not So Lost Now, Is It?

In the first act of The Lost World, rogue corporate mercenaries fly onto Site B, that hastily written plot device allowing this sequel to exist at all. Site B is a nature preserve of sorts. The dinosaurs survived and now they live natural lives. Humans though, they’ll ruin it. To know as much, as the corporate goons and trophy hunters begin taking innocent herbivores captive, the camera pans by the shocked faces of Lost World’s heroes, telling the audience to share in the shock.

That Spielberg even did a Jurassic Park sequel is a surprise, given his lack of sequels outside of Indiana Jones. How Lost World turned out, not so startling. When not following the exact path laid out by the original (awe-inspiring sighting, T-Rex attacks in the rain, raptor attack, T-Rex heroism), it’s engaging in conservationism. That’s admirable, if staged. Every villain is a risible archetype, and the capitalist at the top – Peter Ludlow (Arliss Howard) – is who John Hammond was in Michael Crichton’s original novel.

The heroes counter as expected. Jeff Goldblum returns as Ian Malcolm, joined by researcher Julianne Moore and Green Peace freelancer Vince Vaughn. They exhibit no character flaws. Gone is much of Malcolm’s smart cynicism. He’s soon cast into a savior role, protecting his daughter from dinosaurs and dangling on ropes as a trailer slides off a cliff around him. For all of Goldblum’s talent, a man of action stretches his screen presence.

it’s as if the script were apologizing for the gravity of events earlier

In the effort to tweak formula, Jurassic Park moves from a film of awe and fear to one of empathy and terror. There’s blood this time. One poor sucker is stepped on and continually trampled as the T-Rex runs forward. The prevailing sense though is how none of this is the dinosaur’s fault. They were brought into this world by mankind’s will and now mankind deals with those consequences.

The Lost World is an angrier film, lashing out at trophy hunters through a fine Pete Postlethwaite performance. Under Spielberg’s wing though, only the worst deserve a viscous fate. Everyone else gets away, no matter the circumstance. Postlethwaite leaves his post in mourning, and Malcolm’s daughter survives because of a preposterous gymnastics routine. Lost World, for all the posturing, ends cleanly and happily.

Bear in mind the anger is extinguished by the third act. Tacked on to the ending is a loopy, campy romp with a T-Rex loosed in San Diego. It’s a blast seeing the Rex crunch some suburban locations and inadvertently ruin a Blockbuster Video, yet it’s as if the script were apologizing for the gravity of events earlier. One guy is munched on while spewing some cartoon gurgling, Japanese men run from the creature in a mildly racist nod to Godzilla, and the Rex cleanly knocks over a 76 gas station globe. It’s hammy stuff. Lost World comes close, but never finds itself.

Video

After disappointing with the original Jurassic Park in 4K, Universal crafts a gorgeous, near perfect presentation for The Lost World. It’s clear from the opening moments this comes from a modern 4K scan, pinpoint sharp and lush in detail. Even Janusz Kaminski’s trademark – hazy cinematography – doesn’t diminish the clarity on display.

Beautiful grain structure invites fidelity. Jungle scenery pops from the screen. Pebbles near small water sources show off individually, not as a mass. Physical animatronics show their intricate detailing. From the baby Stegosaurus and T-Rex to the adult Rexes, every bit of reptile skin is evident, a testament to the quality of this transfer and the original sculptors.

Unlike with Jurassic Park, HDR effects perform to grand degree. Malcolm’s all-black wardrobe carries visible detail into the shadows. Given how much of Lost World is set at night, this is critical. Depth reaches for the tightest, densest blacks. Note a number of CG-imbued scenes crush (during the trailer assault in particular), a flaw inherent to the source.

Highlights bounce off those shadows with intensity, balancing the imagery and affording Lost World outstanding dimension. Kaminski’s use of light is hearty, gleaming onto characters and reflecting brightly. Both day and night benefit. Jungle leaves bounce light from their humidity-infused branches and the moon splashes nighttime scenery with a glaze. It’s great.

Finally, color: natural, pure, and bold. Accurate flesh tones pair well with the earth hues around them. Lush greenery has a home, and the variety in the palette offers stellar material to this UHD. A glint of blue seeps in under moonlight, bright and well fixated on the screen. It’s gorgeous.

Audio

Lost World jumps from DTS-HD to DTS:X with marvelous results. In the opening scene, compies screech and march around the soundstage, filtering in from all directions. Into a hangar, the busy scene pushes metalworking into the rears and stereos, panning around as the scenery changes. Once landing in the jungle, ambiance comes alive, and won’t leave for the rest of the runtime.

Key scenes swell with enormous bass and range. Lost World’s best audio sample comes during the trailer scene, flushing the mix with rain, sliding mud, slipping wheels, dinosaur roars, and more. It’s complex and superbly rendered. Precision pans and use of all surround channels excels in adding to the tension. Also, the raptor attack, the iconic screeches spreading into the stereos or rears, keeping their placement notable even when off-screen. Time hasn’t diminished the aural showmanship or fidelity.

Extras

The Blu-ray included inside the package contains the same Blu-ray release as before, transfer, extras, and all. Return to Jurassic Park continues with two Lost World making-of pieces, one generalizing the process, the other squarely focused on the effects and their evolution. It’s 45-minutes worth of stuff, and well produced. A selection of deleted scenes run a little over seven minutes, the first expanding on InGen’s financial state, quite enlightening and it could have saved some of the clumsy dialogue later.

The archival section plays host to four DVD features, including the funny Compie dance, an hour long making-of, short featurette, and a chat with Michael Crichton. The behind-the-scenes section rallies more DVD stuff, including ILM before-and-afters, production archives, and storyboards

  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras

Movie

The Lost World: Jurassic Park becomes entangled in a sequel formula and a battle for tone that never quite connects like the first.

Overall
3
Sending
User Review
0 (0 votes)

The 15 unaltered images below represent the Blu-ray. For an additional 32 Lost World screenshots, early access to all screens (plus the 12,000+ already in our library), exclusive 4K UHD reviews, and more, support us on Patreon.