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Lost World, The (1998)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Lost World, The (1998) This movie has a great start, with an adventurer and his guide attacked by these really nasty, batlike lizards, which devour them like airborne piranhas. The guide is slaughtered and the adventurer is fatally wounded. But before he dies he tells his friend, Professor Challenger, about his discovery of a 'Lost World' and makes him promise to go there and tell the world about his amazing discovery. Challenger promptly goes back to England and manages to get independent financing for a trip to Mongolia (where the movie takes place). Along for the ride is a rival naturalist, the daughter of the adventurer who was killed, a news reporter, and a colleague from the University who is out to disprove Challenger's theory of living dinos. On the way to this lost world they encounter bad weather and eventually a tribe of Neanderthals, who look remarkably like Klingons. They eventually come to a plateau, construct a large helium balloon with the equipment they brought, and sail up and over to the Lost World. Before you can say 'predictable' some large pterodactyls attack them and the balloon plummits to the tropical forest below. The next forty minutes or so are filled with a lot of exposition about a lost tribe who had built a city and enslaved the Neanderthals and lots of talk about the environment and extinction, which is completely out of place and anachronistic in this period piece film. People seventy years ago weren't 'PC'! I kept on waiting for the dinosaurs, which are few and far between. Although they can't compete with the dinosaurs of another LOST WORLD, the filmmakers did come up with a cool idea. Because these dinosaur species have survived these past seventy million years they continued to evolve. For example, the brontosaurus they encounter has armor to protect its body and the T-rex has much longer forearms so it can grab and swat at people.One by one these cliched characters meet their ends in some surprisingly violent and bloody deaths that don't seem to match the tone of the rest of the movie. My biggest problem with this movie version is that Professor Challenger isn't going on this adventure for himself but for his slain friend, which diminishes his drive. And when he whines about what a mess he's gotten everyone in he becomes just as weak as the other characters, who you really don't care about. The only excitement they give to the movie is when they're ripped to shreds by the T-Rex! Challenger and the woman (a blonde, of course) escape, leaving behind the news reporter who they thought dead. When the two survivors reach civilization they make the announcement that they did not discover a lost world after all.
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