Smart and visually exciting. The Lost World is still by far the best JP sequel. Spielberg indulges in clichés, consciously embracing all that a sequel demanded—more dinosaurs, finding/creating loose ends, fiercer, darker—added to a very healthy amount of adventure and B-movie styled filmmaking and references. Just the T-Rex attack on the trailer is a better constructed action sequence than any in JP3 or JW.
Mercenaries hunting a field of prehistoric creatures. Our heroes tossed over the side of a muddy cliff by two angry dinos. A T-Rex set loose on San Diego. "Lost World" finds Spielberg at his most visually playful, and the meticulously crafted setpieces ensure the film is entertaining as an action movie. What's missing are the performances, the dialogue, and character interactions that made the original so memorable.
While it bears little resemblance to the novel on which it is based, and had the unfortunate task of following up on of Spielberg's most magical films, THE LOST WORLD is still a thrilling adventure in its own right. Sure the San Diego finale "jumps the shark" somewhat, but there's a lot to admire here. It's a darker, more intense film, but it stands on its own better than its given credit for.
You can always tell when Spielberg is pissed about how a film is turning out. As with "Temple of Doom," his confusion, apathy and anger towards revisiting the material is tangible -- it seems to compliment the darker, more sardonic atmosphere of the film.
While the first film's form was enslaved by a narcissistic compulsion to herald its own innovation, the sequel’s diminished grandeur allows for elliptical editing and playful POVs that signify a break from sci-fi obligations and an embracement of B-movie aesthetics and sensibilities. Terse panning and cutting in the tyrannosaurs' parental pining insinuates anthropomorphism without succumbing to pernicious bathos.