Not the Steven Spielberg blockbuster, this Lost World is a splendid 2001 BBC TV dramatization of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous adventure story. Bob Hoskins makes an unusually genial Professor Challenger, far less of a bully than Doyle's character, but his slightly stereotyped companions are nicely filled out by a solid cast. James Fox is Challenger's more timid but still covertly adventurous rival, Tom Ward is the mustachioed big-game hunter who faces an allosaur with an elephant gun, and Matthew Rhys plays the tagalong reporter hoping to impress his faithless fiancée.
As usual, the adaptation adds a woman--orphaned jungle girl Elaine Cassidy--to the expedition, and an interesting villain (religious fanatic Peter Falk) beefs up the travelogue by marooning Challenger's gang on the South American plateau where dinosaurs, cavemen, and Indians coexist eventfully. The Walking with Dinosaurs-style effects work well for the TV frame, but the real success is in integrating the adventuring with subtle eco-awareness, complex character interplay, and the reliable wonder of soaring pteranodons and carnosaur attacks. --Kim Newman
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Please excuse the double plus reference as I could not think of a good adjective. Not being a Latin student I can also end my sentences in prepositions. I purposely did not go into much detail as to the story as I wanted to unfold as you're watching it. Speaking about unfolding, if you have a evolution phobia parts of the story may be a little distracting or disturbing. Have to confess that instead of seeing the DVD's I've only seen this twice on television so I'm not sure what I might've missed, however watching this BBC presentation before reading any of the reviews allowed me to be surprised to see the late Peter Falk.
I found the conclusion decision as to whether one should reveal the escarpment findings to the general public and have it overwhelmed and destroyed or give up wealth and fame by denying it exists is an intriguing question. What would you have done?
The synopsis of the story involves protagonist, Dr. Challenger, heading an expedition back to a secret plateau in the Amazon, known only by the unknown cartographer who had created the map Challenger used. Challenger is played, believably, by Bob Hoskins, and his foil, Professor Summerlee is played by James Fox, whose character begins rather two-dimensionally but ends fully fleshed out.
The movie's only real weakness is in its videoing for everything shot comes in as crystal-clear as any television production, lacking the obvious visual depth of some of the better motion-pictures. However, I would not let this detract you from viewing this product as what it lacks here is more than made up for in its exposition, acting and special-effects. There are some very good dinosaur scenes involving attacks and escapes.
Finally, the performance concludes with some heroics on the parts of all main characters, as The Lost World is protected from the ravages of an equally monstrous British society; all too willing to bring about its destruction for the sake of curiosity and profit.
Pros: Good look to the story; great effects. Good cast.
Cons: One of many unfaithful adaptations of the book, NOT widescreen, and certainly the writers had a malicious agenda (as opposed to a simple erroneous worldview). Also, the ape-scat scene was pretty nasty.
THE STORY is 'basically' the same. Well, at first I was worried looking at the cover -- six people apparently looking at the dinosaurs. Six? Yes, the film, based on Conan Doyle's 1912 novel, added TWO extra characters to the original expedition team (misunderstood genius Prof. Challenger, natural-born cynic Prof. Summerlee, newsreporter Edward Malone, adventure-loving hunter Lord Roxton), which are about to reveal the secret of the plateau in the Amazon, and to prove that dinosaurs are still living there.
THE NEW CHARACTERS are one zealous priest and his niece, played by Peter Falk and Elaine Cassidy respectively. They join in Professor Challenger (Bob Hoskins) and his team in the jungle, only to complicate the situation -- deadly dinosaurs, the more dangerous apemen (or the Missing Link) and the "Indians" (so they say).
The addition, in fact, works for the better, getting rid of the annoying elements in the original book, like the patronizing way Doyle treated the natives in the book. And other changes done to the story are justified, but some might find the different tone in the ending (or the modernized answer to Challenger's expedition) slightly anti-climax, compared with the slient version, or Spielberg's "Lost World."
SPECIAL EFFECTS are first-rate, with the convincing images of dinosaurs walking in the jungle. The fierce fight between the humans and the allosaurs is the highlight of the film though some kids find it too horrible. (And parents should be warned that there is a suggested scene of cannibalism).Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This is the Ultimate 'Lost World' Dinosaur movie experience. Had this been released in the theaters it may have been just as big, if not bigger, than the Jurassic Park Lost World. Read morePublished on March 18 2003 by Gary Shultis Jr.
Quite watchable made-for-TV (A&E Network) adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's sci-fi adventure. Read morePublished on Nov. 25 2002 by D. Hartley
The word Widescreen is used to promote this two DVD set.It's all over the packaging as an exclusive feature of this edition. Read morePublished on Nov. 4 2002
Note: This DVD release is not in a widescreen format as advertised, regardless of what the packaging or Amazon.com listing indicates. Read morePublished on Nov. 3 2002 by Charles Prepolec
I'v never read the novel (plan to some day), but this is the only movie version that I actually enjoyed. The whole film was exellent. Read morePublished on Oct. 21 2002 by Craig Bard
The original novel is a fabulous romance -- by turns hilarious, mysterious, frightening and moving -- in which four Edwardian gentlemen travel into a prehistoric hell and... Read morePublished on Oct. 12 2002
The Lost World (2001) is high quality. I spent four hours over two days watching this on tv with all the commercials in between. Read morePublished on Oct. 9 2002 by Mr. T. Pace
If you didn't see this wonderful Lost World minseries A&E did, buy the DVD or video. Or do like I did-buy it after having seen it on A&E. Read morePublished on Oct. 7 2002 by Captain Hornblower
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