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|Index||14 reviews in total|
Finally Conan Doyle's masterpiece is re-made (and without the help of
made-up lizards). This film starts off very promisingly indeed, is
to the text in the original novel. But before long things start to go
downhill. Roxton is nowhere to be seen and the number of people who end
stranded in the lost world is far too large. The film seems more
in political correctness than drama. Challenger, though well acted, is
nothing like the fiery character he was envisaged as by Conan Doyle. In
fact everything seems to be very cosy and twee. The dinosaurs are the
biggest disappointment of all. Apart from one okay scene by a lake, the
giant reptiles are rubbery and lifeless, the T-Rex seemingly rooted to the
spot and only visible from the chest upwards. The creatures are also few
and far between and there's no sense of awe and wonder about
If you want to see a decent adaptation of Conan Doyle's work then watch the silent 1925 version. Even in these days of CGI and other such effects the first adaptation remains the best.
This version of The Lost World is not as good as the 1925 or 1960
but it is still quite enjoyable.
What few dinosaurs appear look rather rubbery. Give me stop-motion any day. The theme music to this movie is excellent, as is the acting with great performances from David Warner (Titanic, The Omen) and John Rhys-Davies (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade).
I rather enjoyed this movie, despite the cheap looking dinosaurs.
Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
There isn't anything to add regarding most of the production values or plot summaries that hasn't been addressed earlier.What impressed me was our hero,the bold Professor George Edward Challenger- an outstanding portrayal by an outstanding character actor.The original character,as conceived by Doyle,is truly larger than life.Bold,brave,arrogant,brilliant,insightful,virile,unscrupulous when attaining his goals,humorous,and reckless,and resourceful.John Rhys-Davies epitomizes this character without a flaw.(Brian Blessed is the only other actor I can imagine pulling it off,but the portrayal would have had a gleefully sadistic element not in keeping.And Warner is a worthy foil-arch,pompous,equally arrogant and ereudite,yet possessing the same high level of scholarly integrity and brilliance.Watch this,not as great art(I don't think they ever intended it as such,but as a lot of fun.
There is something rather endearing about this cheapie production, there is
no sex or nudity and any violence or gore
is muted, it's obviously made for the family audience.Although low budget
it's rather a pleasant looking production.
The acting by the leads is good but some of the natives look as though they would be more at home on urban streets or in a disco than in a jungle, however Nathania Stanford as Malu has a cheeky grin and looks pretty good in a sarong.
The monsters are hokey with no attempt to hide the fact that they are puppets (Jurassic Park this ain't), usually they are more cute than frightening.
All in all not badly done within it's limits.
A painless adventure in which John Rhys-Davies (enjoyable to watch),
David Warner (ditto) and a supporting cast whose acting is best
described as sincere travel to Africa in search of the titular land,
where prehistoric life still exists in rubber form.
The initial half-hour has enough authentic-sounding dialogue to conjure up a Conan-Doyle flavour, but once the movie gets to Africa it all becomes somewhat unconvincing. The huge trek consists of a two week journey down a river and a climb over a rock, which does raise the question of how the lost world has stayed lost all this time. Then after a couple of days everyone goes home.
I dunno, it's all right. I could sit through it again if I had to.
Well acted and truer to the book than most versions, this film keeps
you interested as long as you are not concerned about the dinos. John
Rys Davies and Warner are very good as usual. The rest of the cast are
virtual unknowns even today, so you are not seeing seminal performances
by current well known actors.
As far as the dinos, think Dr. Who back in the Jon Pertwee era. Some scenes aren't bad but generally we're talking rubber dinos that look like rubber dinos. As in Who, the story outweighs the special effects. (Current Who TV has great special effects of course.) still, as I said, some scenes are better than others.
Notwithstanding them, the film is worth a look.
I love Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original book and the 1925 silent film
classic. I even have a soft spot for the 1960 Irwin Allen film; despite
the lackluster effects, it had colorful cinematography and an appealing
The 1992 adaptation does not compare favorably to what came before in almost every single way. The first film of "The Lost World" is 90 years old and yet it still has impressive visuals; the magnificent stop-motion showed us full-body shots of the dinosaurs in full motion. Due to budget restrictions, the 1960 film ended up using lizards with various added appendages to pass off as dinosaurs.
As low as that was, the effects in the 1992 film are atrocious in their own right: we never see full-body shots of the dinosaurs. What we *do* see are low-budget puppet heads with very minimal articulation in movement. These are perhaps suitable for a kid's dinosaur exhibit at a museum, but do not work as the only effect employed to make us believe these animals are real. In 1992, CGI was in its infancy and "Jurassic Park" hadn't even come out yet. Still, some stop-motion or at the very least men in suits would have been preferred over such limited footage.
The whole movie feels cheap despite Zimbabwe providing the "lost world" location. It only very loosely adapts the book, resulting in minimal dinosaur encounters and too much time spent dealing with "rival African tribes" which I am almost certain are there because the effects budget was too low. The original film successfully convinces us it is set on a plateau, isolated from the rest of the world. This just feels like it's set in some place in Africa that you could probably easily drive to.
The best thing that can be said is the cast. For the most part, I liked everyone in the film. I give high marks especially to John Rhys-Davies as Professor Challenger, and David Warner as his rival Professor Summerlee. They perfectly capture how I feel Challenger and Summerlee should be portrayed, and are probably the biggest reason to see the film.
Caveat: I gave up after about an hour.
An interesting and entertaining beginning followed by poor acting, hoke dialog, and special effects that would have made Ed Wood cringe.
Our band of merry adventurers after 17 days paddling up an African river doesn't show the slightest signs of sun exposure or physical discomfort. They hike through dense jungles with the ease of people strolling through a city park. The movie's plot devices have such a contrived flavor that it is hard not to imagine the writer's moaning with discomfort as they created them.
Davies' performance was the only bright note for me, although I disagreed a bit with the folks that didn't like the kid. I thought he did a reasonable job, certainly compared to the rest of the cast who in their defense were provided with pretty bad material to work with.
I noticed a few people liked Warner's performance also. I wasn't enthused but it was serviceable and far from the worst in the movie, IMHO.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A two is rather generous for this, and it only gets that much because
of Davies and Warner. The plot is vaguely in line with the book, but
the acting is bad, the effects are laughable and the whole point of the
Lost World is that it's supposed to have dinosaurs in it. Dinosaurs, I
tell you! Not rubber feet and brief glimpses of rubber snouts.
Dinosaurs! And if you manage to sit through the entire film (which,
incidentally, doesn't actually have any dinosaurs in it), you have a
pathetically soppy ending involving Percy the Pteradon.
And where's Roxton? Oh no, he's been replaced with two women and a (shudder) stowaway child. And Malone's American for some reason, but that didn't bother me so much as the annoying child stowaway; and of course the fact that the film seemed to be lacking in something . . . Ah yes! Dinosaurs.
in all, the saving grace of the film is in seeing Davies and Warner act against one another in a state of petty rivalry. The sequel was better (I picked them both up on the same day so felt obliged to watch the second one). At least that one had some dinosaurs in it.
Based on an original story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (the same guy who
"Sherlock Holmes" novels so many years ago), this movie has a pretty good
plot but is hampered by a low budget and television censorship (or so it
would appear). I've never read the original novel, so I can't comment on
how close the film tracks to the original story. I've seen another
adaptation that glossed over some of the plotlines raised in this film,
between the two films that I've seen, this one probably follows the novel
Dr. Challenger is on an expedition in a jungle when one of his bearers tries to steal a map from him while he sleeps. Challenger suffers a leg wound in the struggle and ends up killing the bearer. The next day he is poised to climb an escarpment and spots a winged creature flying over the cliff's ledge but because of his wound he is unable to continue his expedition and is forced to turn back. Returning to England, he makes a speech to a British scholar's society about how he came upon a land where a dinosaur life form thought to be extinct - a pterodactyl, a bird-like dinosaur that either flew or glided -still exists(interestingly enough, this book was written before the discovery of the pcelocanth (a dinosaur fish) caught in a fisherman's net off Madagascar in the 50s or 60s).
Back in England, the scholars scoff Dr. Challenger and rebuke his claims. A newspaper reporter in search of a story and some adventure calls out to the scholars, stating that they should launch an expedition to prove Dr. Challenger's claims true or false. The scholars retort that perhaps if the Society were to fund an expedition that perhaps the reporter would like to join them, along with a young boy in the auditorium. There is, of course, much laughter until their offer is accepted by the reporter, the boy, and a female photographer who happens to be a wealthy supporter of women's rights and offers to fund the expense of the expedition. Money talks and the expedition is prepared, on the condition that Challenger remain in England, to avoid any complications to the leadership of Challenger's rival, Dr. Summerlee.
Once at the jungle station, Dr. Summerlee opens an envelope that is supposed to contain the map to the escarpment, but the paper inside is blank! Ta-daa, Dr. Challenger arrives with the map and joins the expedition. Also joining the expedition is the boy, who stowed away in the ship from England, and an attractive native girl ("Malu") who is to act as an interpreter for the group. The group gathers up some native bearers and proceed up the river into the jungle.
In my opinion, the movie spent too much time getting our heroes into the adventure. I can understand the need for character development and motivation, but it just seemed too tedious, particularly since all of the characters are stereotypical and there really isn't any development anyway. But, I suppose when the story was originally written, all of this was new to the viewers so it had to be explained.
Once in the jungle, our heroes climb the escarpment, only to find themselves stranded when the brother of the bearer Challenger had killed earlier comes along and cuts their climbing ropes. The group makes a camp, but must battle fierce native warriors who capture Challenger, Summerlee, the photographer, and the native bearers and are going to feed them to a tyrannosaurus rex by placing leaves around their necks and pushing them off a cliff into the t-rex's claws. The boy figures out how to save them by making a balloon out of a shirt and natural gas from some hot springs nearby and scaring the native warriors.
Later, the group finds a friendly tribe and one of the young girls of the village has a baby pterodactyl that's dying. Summerlee reasons that perhaps the leaves that the warriors had placed around their necks to feed the t-rex might be some sort of dinosaur food, so he collects some and revives the baby pterodactyl. Challenger and Summerlee congratulate each other -Summerlee congratulates Challenger on discovering living dinosaurs and Challenger congratulates Summerlee on figuring out how the dinosaurs survived extinction - and they become friends.
John Rhys-Davies has become the prototypical explorer/adventurer actor. He did an outstanding job in the Indiana Jones films, this film, a remake of "Ivanhoe", the "Shogun" miniseries, and he recently did the narration for "Empires of Mystery" Inca/Aztec/Maya exhibit at the Florida Internation Museum. In my opinion, he carries this film. The actress playing Malu has one of the best smiles I've seen on camera, right up there with Erik Estrada and Donnie Osmond, and looks like she belongs in a steamy jungle of Brazil. She has a pretty good body in that sarong, too. The dinosaur scenes are mediocre. The puppets aren't going to win any special effects awards and in this day of Computer Generated Images they almost look ridiculous, but they get the idea across. The fierce native warriors look pretty good - their white paint makes them look like skeletons and look suitably ferocious. I was surprised that the adventurers managed to stay in full dress, complete with vest, long pants, and long coat, while the natives dress in sarongs and loincloths. I would think that they would "go native" for comfort, if not for practicality. But, I suppose the standards of Doyle's time didn't allow for such freedom. You can go forth wreck indigenous species and interfere with other cultures, but you can't take off your shirt.
No skin, no foul language, no gore (in fact, the gunshot wound to the bearer has no blood at all), nothing terribly frightening. A good movie for the whole family. Fans of jungle films may enjoy it, but you'd probably get more entertainment out of a good "Tarzan" film.
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