The Lost World (TV Movie 2001) Poster

(2001 TV Movie)

User Reviews

Review this title
33 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
10/10
A feel good story that you will not want to end.
elbcw2 February 2005
A real tale of adventure. Pure Boys Own stuff, marauding dinosaurs, restless natives, all the things an excitement seeker requires, plus a lovely romantic side story or two.

The cast are excellent, just check out their reactions to the dinosaurs (that are are wonderful mixture of CGI and animatronics). The scenery (New Zealand) is beautiful and so colourful you can almost feel it and taste it.

This sort of thing is not everybody's cup of tea, but for those of us with a little imagination and the spirit of adventure it is sure to hit the mark.

Wonderful!
27 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Decent adaptation
Matthew972175 March 2004
This was easily the best version of The Lost World ever made, leaving all of the others trailing in the dust. Though the story was changed, the essence of the original story was strong throughout the movie. But they did have scenes from the book that were not shown in any of the other movies that I have seen (all but the black and white version), like when Malone climbs the tree to get a look at the layout of the plateau, and his encounter with the ape/men during it. They also had the chase scene involving Malone and the Carnivore (in this case, it was an Allosaur), though they changed the time and reason for that occurrance, and they added Agnes Clooney (Elaine Cassidy), a character that never existed in the book. The Movie had a great cast, Including Bob Hoskins and Peter Faulke, but some of the humor in the beginning was very cliche, and so was some of the cinematography, but being a made for TV movie, that is to be expected. All in all, I would have to say that this was a very decent adaptation of the novel.
24 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Brilliant adventure from the BBC
Severecci27 December 2001
This is a superb TVM based on the story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A fine cast support the absorbing story line. The special effects are as magnificent as in ‘Walking With Beasts' - but are not overplayed - they are simply a part of the story. Brilliant, and well worth watching.
23 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Dinosaur Delight
Lechuguilla6 September 2005
At a London lecture, an eccentric professor (Bob Hoskins) encounters skepticism when he claims to have discovered a land of living prehistoric creatures. To prove his point, he heads an expedition to the Amazon region of South America. Here, the group of explorers finds ape-men, dinosaurs, prehistoric birds, and other exotic creatures.

The source novel by Arthur Conan Doyle led to the original 1925 silent film. Several remakes followed. This 2001 remake is worth watching, especially for the excellent visual and special effects, and for the cinematography. The CGI effects make the dinosaurs and birds look genuine. And the overall story is reasonably entertaining, though it does drag on for a tad too long.

The filmmakers are attentive to detail in both production design and costumes. The acting is acceptable. Dialogue is variable; uninspired at times; charming at other times. And I liked the pointed sarcasm directed at the snobbery of the academic mindset. The film's ending is unexpected and quite satisfying.

My main complaint is the film's tendency to expand into epic-dom. The plot goes on and on and on, and the cast eventually swells to what seems like thousands. I could have done without the ape-men, who seem slightly hokey, and who distract from the dinosaurs and birds.

Overall, "The Lost World" (2001) is well worth a look, especially for kids, but also for adults who enjoy exploration and high adventure.
17 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Now THAT was an adventure
nex-32 May 2002
i just finished watching this two-parter on channel 2, Australian TV, and WOW! that was exhilarating from start to finish. the characters are introduced and fleshed out in their own time throughout part one (rather than rushing thru introductions like a lot of movies) and i really came to care for every single one of them, from the derided & laughed at Professor Challenger who first proposed the expedition (Bob Hoskins) to the arrogant world-wise hunter Lord Roxton (Tom Ward), and the ever-so-cute white-girl-growing-up-in-a-jungle-world Agnes (Elaine Cassidy).

it was interesting to see how each of the characters imposed their own set of values on each situation they encountered; from the theatre where all the other scientists poo-pooed Professor Challenger's theories and proposed expedition, to the flesh-hungry ape-men who surprised me with their compassion and ingenuity when the (t-rex?) stormed the village.

two hours and forty minutes was enough time to tell the tale, but left me wanting for much more due to the superior story-telling skill of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

i intend on buying the DVD as soon as i can, and i fully recommend this story to anyone with a passion for prehistoric adventure overlaid with modern (well, early 20th century modern) values.
15 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Balances Characters and Adventure Well
jcurbaniak9 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The bad news is this the seventh incarnation of this title. It was produced in 1925, 1960, 1992, 1998, 1999, 2001 and as a TV series from 1999-2002. Whew!!! The good news is that of all the versions I have seen this one is easily the best. Looks like they finally got it right! This 2 DVD A&E Miniseries of 200 minutes manages to both tell a good human story and a great adventure. Certainly this is a balance not easy to achieve as too many action films either become boring talk fests or FX extravaganzas with little story to carry them forward. This is not the case here I believe.

The cast of Bob Hoskins, James Fox, Tom Ward, Matthew Rhys, Elaine Cassidy, and Peter Falk are all excellent and fit their roles well.

The first half builds the tension and creates the characters in fine detail as we meet the irascible and exuberant Professor Challenger (Hoskins), the skeptical and stodgy Professor Summerlee (Fox), bold adventurer / hunter Lord Roxton (Ward), fledgling ambitious newspaper reporter Edward Malone (Rhys), naive beautiful jungle orphan Agnes Cluny, and her adoptive religious zealot uncle Rev. Theo Kerr (Falk).

The pacing is just right as we finally arrive at the mysterious plateau and the Rev. Kerr proves not as friendly as he first appeared. At this point the adventure side really gains momentum.

As we meet our first dinosaur in the second half, the special effects are second to none, melding both CGI and animatronics seamlessly. They were done by the same team as the well known "Walking With Dinosaurs" series so that should not be a surprise.

Filmed in New Zealand, the scenery is simply gorgeous. There are some genuinely suspenseful moments and a few surprises too. There is even a love triangle that is eventually resolved.

All the loose ends are nicely tied up at the end of film.

If the film has any serious flaws it is that the resident Indians are just too finely dressed for being on an isolated plateau and the ape-men we encounter just seem hokey. It's hard to shake the feeling that you are seeing actors in monkey suits.

The DVD extras are top notch and an entire 2nd DVD disk is devoted to "The Making Of The Lost World" and a superb documentary "Dinosaur Secrets Revealed" that traces both the history of paleontology and its interesting interaction with Hollywood. In retrospect, Hollywood was often more correct in its dinosaur portrayals than the academics thought at the time.

The film never loses the human story but the adventure is well maintained in addition. If you like dinosaurs and/or adventure films don't pass this up. I believe you will be pleasantly surprised and entertained.
11 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
What? Another adaptation of The Lost World!
BaronBl00d29 December 2002
Yep! The producers of this film just felt that the story of a group of British explorers wandering through the jungles of South America in search of a hidden plateau riddled with prehistoric monsters had not been tackled enough or not tackled with any degree of accuracy. Despite having been made into film and television fare since 1925 numerous times, the folks at A & E wanted to remake Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novel. They wanted to try and create a definitive version of his classic tale. They did do a pretty good job. Sure, one can see the major differences between the book and the film. There are not many, but there are some major ones(the addition of a female character). Yet,despite these changes, the film remains very faithful in spirit to the novel. The characters are central to the story not the dinosaurs. The acting is quite good with Bob Hoskins doing a fine job as Professor Challenger. Edward Fox gives a first-rate performance as Professor Summerlee, bring wit, humour, and even some pathos to his role. Peter Falk is also fine in his role, a role which brings to light the everlasting fight between religion and science to the forefront of the film. The special effects are pretty good and the story is plotted with action, suspense, and wonderful dialogue. But what I liked more than anything about this film was the fact that the producers refused to pander to the less literate and articulate members of the audience. They did not sacrifice characterization for action and special effects all the time. They did not abandon having viewers use their minds and think about the inherent problems of science and religion when they collide. For this I thank them and hope that others take their lead and remember that not all viewers are between the ages of 10 and 25. A fine adaptation and a ripping good yarn!
14 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
A pleasant surprise
chris-72628 December 2001
Basically the Walking with Dinosaurs effects team working with BBC Drama.

I may have been full of the Christmas spirit(s) but this seemed to be the best BBC drama I've seen for a while and as far as I know quite faithful to the book. Characters more engaging than the animals (unheard of movies like this) and here's hoping Hoskins as Prof Challenger returns soon.
13 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Good show but watch out for misleading copy.
enubrius6 November 2002
The DVD of the miniseries brings it into better focus, minus commercial interruptions, and it is definitely one of the better adaptations of this old warhorse. But beware the DVD copy! It claims the movie runs 200 minutes. It doesn't (160 mins.). It claims to be an "exclusive widescreen version" (1:78 to 1). It isn't. It's full screen. The second disc claims 125 minutes of material. Actually it's less than 120 with a 90 minute documentary and a 20 minute "behind the scenes feature. Nevertheless, what you DO get is quite enjoyable. One wonders why they had to promise so much more.
7 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
What an adventure into the world of dinosaurs!
Petey-109 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
The year is 1911.Professor Challenger has learned that there is a plateau in the Amazon jungle where the dinosaurs are still alive and well.He goes to the London Museum of Natural History with a shot prehistoric Ptetosaur.The lecturer, professor Summerlee is most skeptical about the whole story, as are many others.There will be an expedition and Summmerlee agrees to come along.John Roxton, a noted hunter and ladies' man volunteers for the trip.And so does Daily Gazette Journalist Edward Malone, who wants to look like a hero in his girl Gladys' eyes.On the way they meet Reverend Theo Kerr and his niece Agnes Cluny.Roxton starts flirting with the girl, and eventually Edward and Agnes start noticing each other.She leaves with the group to see the dinosaurs.The Reverend doesn't like the idea of her leaving, but eventually he's there with them.But he doesn't want to follow them all the way to the place that's not part of God's kingdom.Finally they find the place and are all in a great danger surrounded by all those dinosaurs.There are also some ape-men, and the Indians they find want to get rid of all those creatures.Roxton falls for the patriarch's daughter and marries her.He gets stabbed by an ape and the others leave thinking he is dead.When they get back to civilization, they decide not to tell about the lost world.The Lost World (2001) is directed by Stuart Orme.It's based on the Arthur Conan Doyle novel.This is a BBC program consisting of two 75-minute episodes.I found those episodes on a DVD in the library and enjoyed watching them very much.Bob Hoskins is terrific as Prof. George Challenger.James Fox is marvelous as Prof.Leo Summerlee.Tom Ward does very fine job as Lord Kohn Phillip Roxton.Matthew Rhys is great as Malone.Elaine Cassidy is wonderful as Agnes.It's truly a joy to see Peter Falk playing the Reverend.Robert Hardy is magnicifent as Prof. Illingworth.Nicole Whippy is very good as the Indian girl Maree.And so is Joanna Page as Gladys.This is some great fun for those who are interested in dinosaurs.And those creatures look fantastic, the effects were created by the same team that had just completed Walking with Dinosaurs (1999).The filming took place actually in New Zealand.The Lost World offers an interesting religion vs. science debate, God vs. Darwin.You feel a little shocked when the man of religion, Falk's Theo Kerr knocks off the log so they wouldn't be able to return.It's most exiting when Edward and Malone escape the Allosaur and the big beast falls into a pit after them and is killed on two wooden spikes.And it looks amazing the sequence where the ape-men, who are in a wooden cage, call two Allosaurs to the village that cause a great damage.There's also a good zeal of humor involved.Take the sequence where Summerlee captures the huge moth while the Pteranodon catches their barbecue.The baby Iguanon Malone names Figaro is like straight from a Disney picture! Step into the world of dinosaurs and you will have an adventure you will never forget!
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
simply perfect and amazing
TheUnknown837-126 December 2007
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 1912 adventure novel, "The Lost World" has been seen regularly on the screen since it was first made into a popular, still effective silent movie with early Willis O'Brien stop-motion effects in 1925. Several other versions, inferior ones, have appeared ever since then. Television series have also come and gone. I have not read Doyle's novel, but seen many of the film versions and some episodes of a television series adapted from it. And out of them all, I have to say that 2001's version, directed by Stuart Orme, is by far the best one of them all.

Orme's "The Lost World" is a very engaging, absorbing, and above all entertaining adaptation of the novel. Perfectly cast, wonderfully-written, tense in action and mystery, and aware of how to play its running time. The film clocks at close to three hours in length, and yet it does not slow down. It is one of those rare long films that you actually want to keep on going. I myself when I finished watching it for the first time kept wishing it was another half-hour or a full hour longer, because it was such a compelling piece of art.

The movie is perfectly cast with a wide variety of European actors, appropriate considering the film at first starts off in the Old World. Instead of just casting accented Americans, the filmmakers played it off wisely and therefore, the performances are far more authentistic and convincing. Bob Hoskins was superb as the notorious scientist George Challenger, who wants to prove the existence of this Lost World where dinosaurs still live into the present day. The character of Professor Summerlee has been improved since the 1925 version, so that the character is more developed and understood as a result of a fine performance by James Fox and a well-written script by Adrian Hodges. Matthew Rhys was very good as Ed Malone and bears a close physical resemblance to Lloyd Hughes, who played Malone in the 1925 version. For some reason, I think that's crucial for the character. John Roxton is performed very well by Tom Ward and a great new addition to the cast is Agnes Cluny, who was not in the original novel. It almost seems routine to include a female character into the story. Here, the addition is portrayed by a young and talented Elaine Cassidy. Agnes still has the adventurous spirit that previous female additions have, but she doesn't turn out as annoying as some have.

The story was very, very well-written by Adrian Hodges. Every element in the film is wonderfully done. It doesn't just jump from one main point to another and skip the commonly insignificant details in between. Because, here, the insignificant details are significant. It spends the first hour developing our cast and continues to do so throughout. They aren't actors in makeup and costumes, they are real. That's the whole idea of acting. And for once, it really pays off well. Not unexpected, there is a love subplot. Only, it is very powerful and necessary to the storyline. It plays strongly without getting overworked or sappy. And above all, is a necessary addition to the development of the characters.

The special effects of the film are a real treat. The dinosaurs were done by the same people who did the graphics and props for the hit television miniseries "Walking With Dinosaurs". And you can see there is a resemblance between these two films in terms of the dinosaurs. They look, move, and sound magnificent. Some of the most convincing CGI dinosaurs I've seen in years. The blend of graphics and live-action props are smooth and well-planned to give a sense of reality. And even more so, a sense of majesty that we ourselves feel along with the characters when they first view these magnificent animals in awe, which they inevitably will as they have and will continue to do in years to come.

To summarize it all up, I have to say that 2001's version of "The Lost World" is a true masterpiece and the finest film adaptation of the popular story yet. I was amazed when I first saw it and continue to be amazed to this day. I love it even more every time I view it. I almost wish the film had been made for theaters, because it surely would have been at least a critical, if not also a commercial success for its perfect and innovating style. Audiences will be riveted and absorbed by its powerful storyline and effective action sequences. And appropriately, we are also drawn into the characters. This is a rare combination for a made-for-TV movie like this. I highly recommend it.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Extremely entertaining...
blteigen14 October 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Warning: Major Spoilers

One of the best miniseries I have ever sat down to watch. And as a fan of the book, I was glad to see that though liberties were taken, the changes turned out to be very nice. At first I was annoyed by the addition of a girl to journey along with the guys, but the actress portrayed the character of Agnes so vividly that it was hard to argue with including her. All the characters were pretty much as I had pictured them. I especially like Edward Malone. Matthew Rhys definitely shows how well his character matures during the ordeal, and how at the end, he realizes that he never could have loved a ditsy, high-strung society girl like Gladys, and ends up with his true love, Agnes, instead. Of course, the movie isn't an entire love story. There are ethical questions covered, such as the ape men and the natives, and their places in nature upon the plateau, and so forth. The ape men, although they had silly costumes, were shown in a weird, animal/human light. The scenes in which they bury their young, or save Malone from the dinosaurs shed light on their human side, but that graphic description of them cutting up and eating the Indian warrior raw leaned more to their animal side. This movie deserves a 8 out of 10.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Pure Class
siwhen27 December 2001
Usually when these TV specials happen they are either too arty for thier own good or just plain boring! This however is none of them, Using the classic Conan-Doyle story this oozes panache from start to finish. All the cast are superb in thier roles, although Bob Hoskins accent is a little strained at times. The direction is first class as well. If you get chance see it.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Successful adaptation of Conan Doyle classic (Warning: minor spoilers)
ilja-26 January 2002
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this TV two-parter this Christmas, and I think it is one of the best adaptations of this story sofar. In fact, it isn't all that faithful to Conan Doyle's original book about the cantankerous professor Challenger and his expedition to a plateau in the Brazilian rainforest where dinosaurs allegedly still roam.

First of all, several attributes of Conan Doyle have been toned down somewhat for modern consumption. This is most noticeable in the band's treatment of the 'ape-men': where the novel characters happily assisted in the slaughter of these 'pithecantropine' creatures, in this adaptation it is exactly their wish to save them that nearly leads to their destruction. Also, Bob Hoskins' Challenger is a much more normal and therefore likeable character than the professor in the book. An important addition has been made in the form of Peter Falk's creationist missionary, which takes the place of the mischievous natives in exiling the expedition on the plateau. Far from detracting, this actually tightens the plot considerably, although the expedition members are, in all truth, a tad slow on the uptake.

A final addition is that of Agnes Cluny in what seems to be a legacy of the 1925 film adaptation. Again, this addition is a useful one, since it explains how the expedition members are able to communicate with the indians atop the plateau.

Having said this, the film is very much loyal to Conan Doyle in spirit: it is giving an accurate portrayal of late Victorian mentality, and it basically remains an adventure romp. Conan Doyle's novel is somewhat unspecific as to the expedition's activities once on the plateau, and this adaptation makes good use by inserting some interesting scenes. The CGI sometimes comes straight out of the BBC series -Walking with Dinosaurs-; take, for instance, the Diplodocuses, the Iguanodon, and Allosauruses. Most of the time this works quite well, sometimes it doesn't, and the protagonists look like they're watching a bluescreen (which I presume they were). Still, a very good adaptation, which is in many respects better than its written original.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Entertaining British-style telling of the Arthur Conan Doyle story...
Doylenf8 October 2002
I watched this as a two-parter on A&E over the last two nights. Interestingly, the first part which is largely an exploration of the main characters is more interesting than the second part where the dinosaurs actually appear. Not that the special effects aren't convincing--they're superb. And the final scene, where the explorers return to London where Professor Challenger (Bob Hoskins) is about to reveal his prize possession, is one of the highlights of the film. But the buildup of tension is nicely done in the first part, as well as the introduction of the interesting characters.

All of the performances are first rate with two standouts--Matthew Rhys and Elaine Cassidy who supply the main love interest. These fresh-faced newcomers make their roles entirely believable. Seasoned actor James Fox is excellent as the skeptical Professor Leo Summerlee, especially when reacting to the blustery remarks and behavior of the overly enthusiastic Challenger. Peter Falk seems to have a grand time hamming it up as Rev. Kerr who is vehemently opposed to Darwin's theory of evolution and pulls a surprising stunt on the explorers.

All of this is done in a handsomely produced, tasteful manner (except for one brief scene of cannibalism which is too intense). It has the feel of a well produced British film, one that approaches the style of a Merchant Ivory production at times.

All technical aspects are fine and the costumes and settings enrich the story. Well worth watching, it maintains a good pace even though its running time is lengthy. The location photography in New Zealand is stunning.
7 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Amazingly good adaptation
Monstrel13 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I usually hate the adaptations of classic titles (with some exceptions like "Lord Of The Rings"), but this one was amazingly good. The storyline of Arthur Conan Doyle was perfectly preserved with the majority of details. Even the adaptations brought with this movie, they kinda add to the original storyline without breaking it. There are some alternative moments, but they do not break the novel story too.

This movie is considered "boring" by many fans of classic Hollywood-style titles, but this is a strong point of this movie. The feelings, love stories, all that things are well developed. There is plenty of action and very good CGI special effects, but they are not exaggerated, they fit into the style of Victorian England and the style of original novel. Sure, there are some boring moments, but they seem boring mostly because you already know what the book is about, and the mystery does not touch you a lot.

The only character that would need improvement to match the Arthur Conan Doyle's novel is Prof. Challenger (played by Bob Hoskins). Hoskins is not bad here, it is just his character is not so bright, emotional and well-developed as the book's character. On the contrary, Lord Roxton's character is amazing. He is indeed the leading character in the movie, to the contrary of the book. Other characters are just very good, including the convincing dinosaurs.

I gave this movie 9, but not 10, because I give 10 to my most favorite movies only. And also because of Prof. Challenger's underdeveloped character. But this is a very good novel adaptation in all regards. Way to go, BBC!
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
A great little series.
seppo-sihvo12 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I have this thing on DVD and, got to say, it surely goes right up there with the first Jurassic Park as one of the most well made dinosaur romps. The CGI, even though not perfect, does it's job the way it should in presenting the dinosaurs of the plateau in flesh and bone. But, just as many other people here have mentioned, it also concerns about character chemistry and their relationships, which, in my opinion, was done with honor. The characters hold so many different personalities that you can easily tell that this is more than just a simple action film. It works, unlike many other movies made in Hollywood. It takes itself seriously. It contains drama. In fact, the scene of Hoskins' character having his flashback and realizing what hes about to jeopardize made me cry. Seriously. Films can rarely do that to me these days.

All in all, if you're a fan of original works, dramatic story, and prehistoric creatures you will enjoy this. I give it 9 stars out of 10.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
it was great to see the adaptation of one of my favorite novels on the screen
william_blake4 April 2002
the lost world. ahh. what a fascinating idea. what a wonderful book by sir arthur conan doyle. and a great movie. this movie was not that great if you think only in american (big effects, lots of death and explosions but no blood or ethics, bad actors and an overdose on patriotism and heroism), it was great if you think like the rest of the world. a movie must have certain magic that captures you along with the journey, to the lost world. none of the horrible jurassic park movies ever could do that. the cast is absolutely great, especially the older cast, and the sceneries are wonderful and the character development especially nicely done. the tribe of the ape people is very fascinating although the costuming could have been better. all and all i love european movies and for a european movie this is actually quite big budget, and a decent version of the classic.
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
A great movie with a great cast great for viewing
Chu_Mck12 November 2002
I really did like this movie very much.As an actor , I hope to act in a movie as wonderful as what this movie was. The Lost World is the kind of movie I like to watch every few weeks with out ever getting tired of seeing it. The cast was great and they had the right stuff to make the movie work. I hope to see this movie again soon on TV so I can tell my friends to be sure to see it. Thanks for a great movie with a great cast.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Surprisingly entertaining BBC adaptation of the classic novel
Leofwine_draca18 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
An amiable, refreshingly old-fashioned feeling miniseries of the classic Conan Doyle, which has already been filmed so many times in the past that, to be frank, we don't really need yet another adaptation. The reason for this production's existence? The BBC's special effects wizards, who created the dinosaurs for the critically acclaimed WALKING WITH DINOSAURS documentary television series and its less-than-well-received sequel, WALKING WITH BEASTS. Obviously some head honcho at the BBC decided that he had a winning formula on his hand when mixing the dinosaur creations with a handful of well-known actors and filming an exotic adventure yarn. The result is watchable enough, but by no means a classic.

The film has more than its fair share of flaws, so it's a surprise that it succeeds in spite of this. Firstly, Doyle's story has been updated to these oh-so-boring P.C. times, with the addition of a female character to the exploring group. Secondly, an unwanted sub-plot of romance rears its ugly head towards the end of the movie, perhaps to appeal to middle-aged housewives or some other majority group who may have been watching. It certainly wasn't in the original novel and isn't needed today. Thirdly, in Doyle's story, the group comprised of four characters. Here, it's been updated to six, with the addition of the female cast member and also an American actor (here it's Peter Falk) to appeal to the overseas audience.

Finally, the special effects. It's probably just me but I'm still not happy with the CGI work, which just doesn't seem convincing despite the animators' best efforts to the contrary. Although shadows are added to the dinosaurs, you never get the sense that they're really in the picture like in some bigger-budgeted production like JURASSIC PARK. They were genuinely impressive; these cheaper cousins are not so, merely adequate. This detracts a little from the action sequences, although a final battle between the native village and two large carnivores is well-staged and invariably exciting. The series threatens to become a little silly with the introduction of a tribe of painted natives and a gang of hairy ape-men, but then comes the most surprising moment in the entire production; a shot in which a human being is attacked and cannibalised by said ape-men! Yes, gut-wrenching gore (albeit briefly shown) is present in a day time BBC miniseries. What is the world coming do? Did all viewers go out and eat their neighbours as a result of this? In the old days of the video nasties such cannibalistic feasts were often cut, so it's a pleasing reminder of how much times have changed.

Bob Hoskins takes the leading role of Professor Challenger and puts in a fittingly shouty, over-the-top performance to suit the role of the gruff yet intrepid explorer. In comparison, James Fox is fine as the bookish, literate (not to mention boring) professor, and the presence of an unneeded but welcome Peter Falk as a crazy preacher man makes things more interesting. Ironically, it is with the younger characters that the movie falls flat. Elaine Cassidy is a plain and uninteresting love interest, and Matthew Rhys an unlikeable wimp. As for Tom Ward, he's passable as the heroic Roxton, but still looks a little young for his years of experience, despite the presence of a moustache.

THE LOST WORLD is surprisingly watchable for a BBC production and the familiar faces in the supporting cast (including Robert Hardy, Tim Healy, and Tessa Peake-Jones) are a welcome addition to the production, recalling the old days in which famous faces used to pop up in cameo appearances all the time. Although the dumbing-down is inevitable, it's not as bad as I feared and I found this to be quite entertaining and worthwhile, if not as good as some of the previous adaptations of the story.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Well made adaptation of Conan Doyle's classic
Andy-2966 March 2007
A very well made TV adaptation of Conan Doyle's 1912 classic. The plot (of the movie as well as the book) has Professor Challenger (Bob Hoskins) leading an expedition to an isolated region of the Amazon, where it is believed prehistoric creatures have survived. Conan Doyle had based his book on the travels to the isolated Roraima region (the border zone between Brazil, Venezuela and Guyana where flat top mountains named tepuis predominate) by explorer Everard Im Thurn. This miniseries was shot in New Zealand (standing in for the Amazon), and the movie deviates from the book in only a minor questions: having a female character in the expedition (played by the fine Irish actress Elaine Cassidy), and, more controversially, a different ending. But the movie is very well made and very exciting.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Thank god for Futureworld.
dan_gale29 December 2001
Thank god for Futureworld. It was the earliest example of computer generated imagery in movies. From that spawned Tron (oh whoopee) and the stained-glass knight in Young Sherlock Holmes, then the living water in The Abyss, then T2, and the rest is history. Without Futureworld, the recent BBC adaptation of The Lost World would probably have featured dressed-up lizards like the 1960 version (which was truly diabolical). But instead the creatures have been brought to life beleivably. I am not dismissing the 1925 film version, but time has rendered the effects in that film a little out of tune with most of today's audience's patients (I still like it a lot, but I'm very patient and boring). But, and THIS is the reason I'm writing this article, the effects were not the sole reason for the film being made! Are you listening Hollywood? There is a damn good storyline beneath all the CGI. There are very good characters, people you care about, people you cry for, laugh with, come away fancying (Elaine Cassidy has left her mark with me...).

So thank you, BBC, for making this film, it's much better than the previous much touted overblown fantasy's you've been associated with recently (Gormanghast, for example). This is terrific; frightening, suspensful, emotional, gripping and at times quite, quite gross! But above all it's entertaining. And that's what really counts. Easily 9/10.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
great british series
claire51-228 December 2001
An Edwardian Professor and a team go to South America where they think that dinosaurs live. The Lost World BBC tv series is great its like Jurassic park but a little better with good graphics the people who made walking with dinosaurs and walking with beasts did this excellent series and used them.. I think Peter Falk was great and Bob Hoskins. I especially liked the part where a young man went right up to a baby dinosaur and offered it a leaf plant. For tv series made over two hours cut into two parts it was very interesting and some parts have you jumping a bit with no warning of whats to come so if you haven't seen this great British tv series do if you like Jurassic park then you will like this one.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
A lot better than its Hollywood big brother.
CSe7en26 December 2001
When I saw Jurassic Park: Lost World I was very disappointed, when I saw the BBC's Lost World I was perplexed and satisfied. I saw it as a two parter on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. It starts of slow building up the characters into complex characters and not just 1 dimensional characters. The actors are good Peter Faulk, Matthew Rhys and a fine performance by Bob Hoskins. The film examines the lost world the characters find themselves in and the world outside which makes this world so special. I had a feeling at the start of the film that none of the british cast was going to die, which is true. But at no time in this film did you feel that any of the characters are invincable and in the clear. At the start you feel that the characters are annoying and boring, but then you realise that they are from britain in the 17th century these are probably a close projection to what Arthur Conan Doyle wanted. Its fascinating the way the characters change every step away they take from the civilised world. A geeky bookworm (Matthew Rhys)who turns out to be hero, a woman who wears trousers and break nails who turns out to be a beautiful princess. There are fascinating scenes, the ritual slaughter by the ape-men of one of the natives, the ape-men in a cage burying there dead baby in the sand trying to reach for a flower which is out of its grasp. There is also ethical questions asked when the natives find the last group of ape-men, Roxbury (English Hunter) and the natives sworn enemies of the ape-men are going to execute the apes one by one only to be disturbed half-way through. Bob Hoskins saves the ape men coming between the guns and spears, but later in the world we find that the ape-men nearly bring about the destruction of the natives village latter because they were not destroyed earlier. The scientists involvement in this small Lost World has disturbed a natural order, which allows the world to survive. While the scientists are in this world they can never truly examine a Lost World. My only questioning was over the special effects, they look cheap the dinosaurs look like clones of each other and I only counted four different species. But with a budget 1/10 of its Hollywood big brother, its value for its money.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
A Real Cracker!
de_niro_200128 December 2001
This must be the definitive version of Conan Doyle's story. The first version in the 1920's was I suppose the first dino-epic and the effects by Willis O'Brien of King Kong fame were the best around at the time but the animated puppet dinosaurs in that version bear about as much likeness to real dinosaurs as Wallace and Gromit do to a real man and dog. The pet shop lizards with horns and fins glued on in the 1960 version are abominable. Bad special effects, once a BBC hallmark like political impartiality (look at Dr Who, Rentaghost and The Goodies) are now a thing of the past. The BBC has used its expertise in recreating dinosaurs for the series Walking With Dinosaurs to create an adaptation that Conan Doyle would be proud of. Because they look so lifelike the dinosaurs carry a lot more menace that the jerky animated puppets of earlier dino-epics. This version certainly has a lot more suspense in it. The acting is also very good. There's no stilted acting like in Doug McClure's rubber dinosaur films of the 1970s. Although I think Brian Blessed might have been a more suitable choice for the role of Professor Challenger Bob Hoskins does well. The characters of Theo and Agnes are not in the original book but they could easily have sprung from Conan Doyle's imagination. There are too many marvellous scenes to list here but the attack by the allosaurs on the indian village is tremendous and the view of the escaped pterosaur flying over England's green and pleasant land is a very good closing scene. To sum up, a marvellous and unsurpassable production.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed