The 1992 iteration of The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, while an all right feature, is definitely one for the kids more than anything else. It is a simplistic take, recalling those adventure and jungle films of the 1930’s and serials like Flash Gordon – overacting, cheesy accents and characters that are more caricature than unique. It is not a terrible movie by any means, but it is almost painful to watch at times if over the age of maturity as the saccharine nature of it all is almost too much to bear.
Starring John Rhys-Davies as Professor George Edward Challenger, he is probably the best actor of the entire bunch, despite featuring the usually good David Warner and that is a bit of a shame as the film had some pretty good production values about it. Utterly terrible was Eric McCormack who could not act his way out of a box if his life depended on it. As time would soon tell, the man would finally come into his own years later and turn out to be a very good actor, but in this particular picture, McCormack was cringe-worthy. Making it just a bit worse was the fact that the movie would have the man narrating over various scenes, making the viewer’s ears bleed at the very sound of his voice. That being said, he does play once of the leading roles in the film and it is hard to escape his presence until eventually during the second half, he does manage to get a little more palatable, perhaps in part due to the action which picks up the further along it goes.
Actors aside, the only real reason to watch this film is to see the dinosaurs and despite being geared towards kids and not looking all that frightening – think Gamera/Godzilla and their enemies from the 1960’s, they fill that need and are quite charming. Though it would have been nice to see them look a little more realistic than the puppets they used, children will love how they play out on-screen and ultimately, so will those adults which give the film a try because despite all the bad present, the dinosaurs make it all worthwhile.
All in all, The Lost World ends up being a pleasant affair. It is not a film that will be talked about ever and was clearly tailored for the younger viewer which is not a bad thing, yet when needing to keep the kids entertained for a good hour and a half, this movie will suffice.
2.5 out of 5