Australian Council on Children and the Media

Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World

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Not recommended under 10, PG to 12 (Violence; Disturbing themes and scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World
  • a review of Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 27 July 2011.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not recommended due to violence and disturbing themes and scenes
Children aged 10-12 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and disturbing themes and scenes

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Medium level violence
Length 129 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The Lost World (1997), again directed by Steven Spielberg, continues the story of the first Jurassic Park film.  Following the failure of his Jurassic Park venture, billionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) has had a string of financial problems. Recently, his company, InGen was taken over by his unscrupulous nephew, Peter Ludlow (Arliss Howard).  Now, Ludlow plans to turn around the company’s losses by establishing a new version of the extinct-species park in San Diego.  He intends to populate this tourist attraction with some of the stock remaining on the formerly secret dinosaur-cloning site, Isla Sorna.  To this end, Ludlow has employed a large group of renegade hunters such as Roland Tembo (Pete Postlethwaite), Dieter Stark (Peter Stormare), and Ajay Sidhu (Harvey Jason) to track down, capture and transport dinosaurs such as the tyrannosaurus back to California.

Hammond seeks to circumvent Ludlow’s scheme by prematurely disclosing and publicising the existence of the secret dinosaur-breeding ground and its amazing creatures. With this in mind, Hammond sends a small team of experts to the island to document the species living there. This group includes photographer and environmentalist Nick Van Owen (Vince Vaughan), field equipment expert, Eddie Carr (Richard Schiff), behavioural palaeontologist Dr. Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore) and her somewhat estranged boyfriend, chaos mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum).  Following his almost fatal experiences at the first Jurassic Park, Malcolm is initially opposed to the plan.  However, he reluctantly agrees to become involved after learning that Harding has been recruited, and is already on the island.  Against his wishes, Malcolm’s daughter, Kelly (Vanessa Lee Chester) also travels to the island.

As expected, things go horribly wrong for both groups, who find that they must work together in order to survive.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Violence in the natural world; family breakdown; human interference with nature.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is repeated violence between dinosaurs and humans in this movie, such as when:

  • A young girl is surrounded (and presumably eaten) by dozens of iguana-sized dinosaurs
  • Sarah is chased by three tyrannosauruses; Eddie takes aim to shoot them with a tranquilliser rifle
  • Several unnamed men surround and seek to capture a small dinosaur, which eludes them, head-butts a jeep, and then chases some of them
  • A dinosaur is snared and wrestled to the ground by several unnamed men
  • Several dinosaurs of various sizes crash through Peter Ludlow’s camp site, destroying tents and vehicles and chasing his workers
  • Two tyrannosauruses surround and menace Malcolm, Harding and Van Owen in their portable cabin, eventually pushing it over a steep cliff.   The team are forced to make a perilous escape from the cliff side
  • Stark is surrounded and attacked by a group of iguana-sized dinosaurs, which rip pieces of flesh from his back, arms and face.  A few minutes later, they attack again and presumably eat him alive (his death is not shown)
  • Dozens of Ludlow’s workers are chased through the jungle by dinosaurs of various sizes; one man is crushed to death when a tyrannosaurus steps on him. During the chase, workers fire several tranquilliser darts into the dinosaurs
  • A tyrannosaurus attacks and eats a man (his death occurs off-camera)
  • Harding, Malcolm and his daughter are chased and cornered by velociraptors, which bound over vehicles and rip through the walls of buildings to get to them.  Some of the velociraptors become distracted and begin tearing shreds off each other
  • Ludlow is cornered and then eaten alive by a baby tyrannosaurus. Malcolm and Sarah then fire tranquilliser darts into the creature.

 

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are several scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including:

  • A rampaging tyrannosaurus chases screaming people throughout central Los Angeles.  During the chase, it menaces people in their homes, attacks cars and buses and terrifies their occupants;
  • A number of other scenes include frightening close-up shots of dinosaurs’ sharp teeth, drooling mouths, reptilian eyes and razor-like claws.  Accompanying sound effects heighten the scariness of such visual elements, by the inclusion of dinosaurs’ approaching footsteps through the undergrowth, their roars, snarls, chewing noises, and their victims’ screams

 

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • An injured baby tyrannosaurus is chained to a stake in the ground and used as a means to lure an adult tyrannosaurus.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • Harding, Malcolm and his daughter must hide from a pack of savage velociraptors, which growl and lunge wildly at them;
  • A waterfall becomes red with blood after a vicious dinosaur attack; and
  • A number of scenes portray the terror felt by various characters, through close-up shots of their fearful faces, and the sound of their frightened screams.

 

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

There are no further scenes in this movie that may scare or disturb children over the age of thirteen.

Product placement

None of concern.

Sexual references

None of concern.

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern.

Use of substances

None of concern.

Coarse language

There is some mild coarse, threatening, and derogatory language in this film, including:

  • Damn it
  • For God’s sake
  • What the hell is she going?
  • Shit
  •  Screw that
  •  Bastard
  •  Son of a bitch

 

In a nutshell

The Lost World:  Jurassic Park is a violent science fiction adventure.  This film contains more overt violence than the first in the series, which relied upon the development of an underlying, implicit sense of menace rather than explicitly gruesome scenes.  For this reason, The Lost World appears less concerned with promoting any kind of meaningful message than providing an effective, action-packed piece of escapism.  Due to the almost gratuitous number of scary, violent scenes, this movie is not appropriate for young children.

One value in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with older children is that of working together.

This movie does not provide any significant opportunities for parents to discuss attitudes and behaviours with their children.

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