There was no way, no matter how much Spielberg flounce was imbued in this sprightly sequel, that it was going to be as good as the original. It isn't. By a long shot. But even two thirds of the way toward Jurassic Park is about a third better than your average buster of blocks.
For the first half-hour, the movie is pretty crummy. Even Spielberg appears bored with the script's lame setup, its quick evocation of the first movie and its wan establishment of human villains and heroes. Like any 50-year-old adolescent, he can't wait for the dinosaurs. And when he gets to them, the movie ceases to bear any relationship to conceits of narrative and becomes a sheer adrenalin spike to the brain stem.
The Lost World is a smoother, scarier ride than its predecessor, with twice as many dinosaurs twice as well designed eating twice as many people...But he's not particularly playful with his terrors here, and that's a disappointment coming from a filmmaker who can mix scares and laughs the way no one else ever has.
Stephen HoldenThe New York Times
Where the original film was a cut-and-dried Pop-Art-flavored allegory pitting scientific hubris against the unpredictable, ungovernable forces of nature, the sequel is an all-stops-pulled, edge-of-your-seat adventure film whose messages are not so neatly packaged.
It would be imprecise to say that the thrill is gone, because The Lost World recovers from its turgid opening and comes to life, or does so in spasms.
Manohla DargisL.A. Weekly
Although the digital dinos look great, especially the clumsy stegosaurs, Spielberg and screenwriter David Koepp have failed to absorb the single most important lesson from the movies they've looted: If your people aren't interesting, at least make your monsters memorable.