'The Lost World: Jurassic Park' coming to Netflix

With the monster success of the first “Jurassic Park” movie, a sequel was inevitable. So Stephen Spielberg directed “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” based somewhat loosely on the second book about modern dinosaurs by Michael Crichton. Jeff Goldblum, as Ian Malcom, returned from the first movie along with a cast that included Julianne Moore as Malcom’s paleontologist girlfriend, and a brief appearance of Richard Attenborough as John Hammond, the owner of Jurassic Park.

The plot involved the discovery of another dinosaur breeding site on a second island off the South American coast. Hammond discovers that his nephew, who has seized control of the company, wants to capture the now free-roaming dinosaurs and bring them to the mainland. Hammond would like Malcom to go to the second island to stop the ill-conceived scheme. The idea is that Malcom’s team will make a documentary of the dinosaurs in their new habitat and will thus cause the world to demand that it be made into a nature preserve.

Malcom, understandably, is extremely reluctant to be anywhere near dinosaurs. However, when he finds out that his girlfriend, Dr. Sarah Harding, is already on the island studying the reptiles, he agrees to go.

Of course the task to stop the bringing of dinosaurs off the island and the saving of Dr. Harding from being eaten are just what Alfred Hitchcock called “the McGuffin,” the things that cause the characters to do what they do. In this case, as Malcom states in the movie, “Oh, yeah. Oooh, ahhh, that's how it always starts. Then later there's running and um, screaming.”

The “Oooh, ahh” moment is dispensed with pretty quickly when Malcom and company stumble upon Harding studying dinosaurs like Jane Goodall studied chimpanzees. The running and the screaming proceed soon after, with one stand-out scene of the hunters send by the nephew being chased through the elephant grass and being picked off one by one by velociraptors.

Vanessa Lee Chester appears as Kelly Curtis, the teenage daughter who resulted from one of Malcom’s failed relationships, who stows away on the expedition so that she can be a participant in all that running and screaming. She serves the role of cute kid who shows up in a lot of Spielberg genre films.

The film made a lot of money at the box office when it first came out, even though the critics were grouchy in their assessment. Even so, “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” is a fine couple of hours or so for the discerning Netflix subscriber to while away.