The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) (part 3 of 5)

In the camp, Peter is teleconferencing with some people in what looks like a courtroom (the dreaded Capitalist Meeting Room), explaining his plans for the dinosaurs. These plans include such evil terms as “limited partners”, “expansion costs”, and “prospectus”. Then he proposes setting up a new Jurassic Park in San Diego, because people already associate the city with animal attractions like the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, and “the San Diego Chargers”. Now this joke is simply DOA, plain and simple.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) (part 3 of 5)

Eeeeee-vil teleconferencing.

Intercut with the conference is Nick and Sarah, sneaking around and freeing the dinosaurs from their cages without having to deal with any kind of guards. In fact, even Nick’s bolt cutters prove to be almost unnecessary because most of the cages are held closed with simple slip bolts [!!].

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Peter continues talking, revealing that John Hammond himself originally wanted the park to be built in San Diego, but then he found out about Isla Nublar. Therefore, a structure to house the dinosaurs has already been built in San Diego. This bit of exposition accomplished, the dinosaurs suddenly begin to wreak havoc, crashing through tents and flipping over jeeps. I guess Nick and Sarah are okay with some innocent hunters getting killed here and there because they’re the film’s heroes and can’t be held responsible for anything.

One jeep explodes and flies right into the tree where Roland and Ajay are sitting, but they jump out in time. This means that, despite warning Peter about camping on a game trail, Roland was planning to lure the T-Rex right outside the camp, making it T-Rex territory. In the very next shot, Nick runs up to the baby T-Rex, sees that its leg is broken, and frees it. The way this is edited, it looks like Roland and Ajay would have a clear view of this, but apparently they really skedaddled once that flaming jeep came their way. The scene ends with Roland rebuking Dieter, although it’s really Roland’s fault for leaving this guy in charge in the first place.

Nick comes out of a river [?] carrying the baby T-Rex and finds Sarah. She tells him that he’s insane for doing this, but he just stuffs it in the back seat of their jeep and tells her to drive. Sarah’s only response is, “Ian’s not gonna like this!” but she doesn’t do anything about it like, say, take the dinosaur back out.

Roland finds a broken lock on the Triceratops cage and realizes that there’s someone else on the island (although for all he knows, maybe one of his hunters had second thoughts). For little apparent reason other than it looks “cool”, he throws the lock into some flames.

Meanwhile, Ian is having further adventures with the radio in the trailer. This time he can’t even figure out to look for the right frequency until Kelly hands him the codebook. Was it really necessary to make Ian such a doofus with machinery? Even with the codebook, he can only get in touch with a woman who’s pretty mad at someone named Enrique. Ah, nothing like an angry Hispanic woman for some laughs.

Nick and Sarah arrive, and even Ian does nothing to stop them from bringing the baby T-Rex inside the trailer so they can work on its leg. Sarah does some expositing about how if they don’t help it, a predator might pick it off before it’s a couple of weeks old. Kelly worries that its wails might attract some unwanted attention (strangely, she’s the only one to think of this) and wants to be taken somewhere “high”.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) (part 3 of 5)

“And you got these fucking claws and these fangs, man! And you’re looking at your claws and you’re looking at your fangs. And you’re thinking to yourself, you don’t know what to do, man!”

Well, she’s in luck, because Ian gets her to the “high hide”, where Eddie takes both of them up while Kelly cries that she shouldn’t have come. Gee, you think? While Nick and Sarah continue fiddling around in the trailer, Eddie tells Ian that the right frequency was written on the phone the whole time. Ian couldn’t even figure that out? Kelly continues freaking out, and Ian lets her know that the plants will hide them, although they are still at a very convenient biting height.

A Tyrannosaurus roar gets Ian calling the trailer, but Nick and Sarah are too busy with the baby T-Rex to answer it. He tries to calm down Kelly by repeating a dumb line he said earlier about her being his “queen, goddess, inspiration”. Then he slides down a rope, but doesn’t squeeze on it at all, resulting in his dropping like a stone. This doesn’t seem to injure him at all, and doesn’t even affect his leg injury, which remains a strictly Informed Attribute™.

Nick, who is suddenly chewing some gum, is told by Sarah to “spit”. She gets all upset when he takes this literally. Why didn’t she just say she wanted his gum? Anyway, she uses the gum to seal up a cast on the leg of the baby T-Rex, yadda yadda yadda. Ian comes in, and right at that moment, the adult T-Rex shows up.

The T-Rex tosses a jeep over the cliff that the trailer is parked right on the edge of (bad move). (Hey, here’s a little Freudian moment, when I first typed the previous two words, it came out “bad movie”.) In response, they all look out the wrong window for a while, then turn around and find themselves surrounded. Now, the idea of being trapped between two T-Rexes is pretty scary, but this bit really does go on too long. Sarah finally takes the baby outside, and to do so, she actually steps out of the trailer and stands there for a while. The group predator expert, ladies and gentlemen.

Something Sarah says about parental instincts seems to trigger a memory of Ian’s, although we never find out what. Suddenly, the adult T-Rex flips the trailer upside down and begins pushing it over the cliff. Last time I checked, T-Rexes were not this brazenly sadistic. (A couple windows break during this, and they appear to be made out of regular glass, rather than government-required safety glass.) Half of the trailer is being pushed over the side of the cliff, and both Nick and Ian feel the need to scream, “Hang on to something!” Finally, half of the trailer drops, but is held up by the other half which is still on top of the cliff.

It’s a bit of a movie rule that characters can hang by their hands for an indefinite amount of time, but apparently this only applies to men, because Sarah immediately drops. Rather fortunately, there’s a big pane of glass at the back of the trailer that she falls onto. This is also not safety glass, because it begins cracking. Sarah responds to this by rising to her hands, thus centering her weight on two small points [!]. Then she reaches for something, putting all her weight on one point [!!!]. How did she survive out here on her own, again?

The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) (part 3 of 5)

“See? And you laughed when I said I wanted a bay window in my RV.”

The satellite phone drops through the glass, shattering it, but luckily Ian is holding Sarah up by her backpack, so she doesn’t fall. The momentum of Sarah’s fall doesn’t rip both of them out of the trailer however, which is because of a little-known corollary to the “hands” rule. I did like this part, however, because this turn of events means we won’t be getting any more lame satellite phone jokes.

Eddie climbs down from the “high hide” and starts running around. He leaves his gun inside the jeep, even though the T-Rexes could still be nearby. We pan down from a useless “vehicle status” indicator as Eddie climbs inside the trailer to see if everyone’s okay. Ian tells him to get some rope, and Eddie asks if they need anything else. Here we get more of Spielberg’s irritating ability to beat a moderately amusing joke to death when Ian says, “Yeah, three double cheeseburgers with everything!” Not laugh-out-loud funny, but adequate. Then Nick says, “No onions on mine!” and Sarah chimes in with, “And an apple turnover!” Not funny at all now.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) (part 3 of 5)

Hey, it’s a “Half Your Car Is Hanging Over A Cliff” detector! I need one of those!

Eddie gets some rope from the jeep, but still leaves his gun behind. He ties the rope to a stump and threads it down, and Ian has to ask him if he tied it to anything. Yeah, a mechanical genius would never figure that part out. The other half of the trailer starts slipping, and the rope breaks free of the stump. All three of our heroes fall, but manage to grab onto the bottom of the trailer in the nick of time. Even more amazingly, the rope also stops falling [?]. Eddie decides to stop the trailer from slipping by attaching his jeep’s winch to it. Yeah, that ought to do the trick.

He reties the rope to the stump, then sees that the trailers are still slipping. So he gets in his jeep and puts it in reverse. This vehicle must really be souped up, because it actually stops the two huge trailers from slipping any further. The jeep even starts hydroplaning on the mud, but this only seems to help because somehow it begins to pull the trailers backwards [!!!]. Sarah, still being the woman who can’t hang by her hands, falls from the rope and knocks the others off. However, they all grab hold of the rope again right near the bottom.

Suddenly the T-Rexes come back, surrounding Eddie. He takes quite a while before reaching for his big gun, but even when he does, he can’t aim it because the sight is caught on a net. So Eddie, the one person here who had nothing to do with bringing the baby T-Rex to the trailer or keeping it there becomes the one person that pays for it. And it’s a grisly death, too, with him being grabbed by the leg, flipped around, and torn in half like taffy (minus any blood, though). Eddie’s jeep slides forward, and the trailers fall over the cliff, miraculously passing around our heroes perfectly (Even the jeep fails to hit them). As they climb back up, a hand reaches out to help them. It turns out to be Roland and the hunters, so I guess someone’s got some ‘splaining to do.

Ryan Lohner

Ryan lives in Sparta, New Jersey, a quaint little burg without much for kids to do except go to the movies. Thus began a lifelong love affair, as even back then he grew to love examining why a film worked, or didn't. He is a member of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society, and currently studying for a Master's Degree in Library and Information Science. His hobbies include running, piano, and annoying people with that damn lowercase forum user name.

Multi-Part Article: The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)

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