This Is the One Great Part of ‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park’
The Lost World: Jurassic Park is not a good movie. It might be Steven Spielberg’s worst movie, depending on how you feel about 1941and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It’s a pale imitation of its successor, with a dopey story, dopier characters (“Hey my shirt is drenched in infant T. Rex blood, and I know they can track scents incredibly well because I’m a brilliant paleontologist, but I’m just going to keep wearing it anyway!”), inferior special effects, none of the sense of wonder that made Jurassic Park a generational touchstone. It’s not even as good as Jurassic Park III (and Jurassic Park III ain’t exactly Jurassic Park 1 either).
As generally cruddy as The Lost World is, it does contain one aspect that is indisputably and unequivocally awesome. It’s not any of its dinosaurs or dialogue; it’s an Easter egg that’s clearly visible in one shot in the entire film.
The scene: A wayward Tyrannosaurus Rex’s rampage through downtown San Diego. Hunting for its stolen infant, the T-Rex sniffs out and slams into an MTS bus. The driver loses control of the vehicle which slams into the front of a Blockbuster Video.
(I should pause here to explain that Blockbuster Video was this place where people used to rent movies before the Internet and Netflix. Ask your parents about it.)
In the brief moment before the bus careens through the Blockbuster, a couple of movie posters are visible. There’s one for Jack and the Behnstalks starring Robin Williams (presumably a very surreal sequel to his kid-in-an-adult-body comedy Jack, released the year before) and one for Tom Hanks in something called Tsunami Sunrise. The best, though, is one for King Lear starring, of all people, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
A little gentle ribbing at Arnold Schwarzenegger is cute; Schwarzenegger himself made fun of the idea of his starring in a Shakespeare adaptation in 1993’s Last Action Hero, where a daydreaming child imagines his version of Hamlet. (“To be, or not to be... not to be.” <GIGANTIC EXPLOSION>) What really puts this Easter egg over the top, though, is that this isn’t just some phony looking mock-up of a movie poster (like, say, the one for Tsunami Sunrise, where Tom Hanks’ head looks like it was pasted onto a pro surfer’s body. For some reason, Spielberg went the extra mile and got Drew Struzan, legendary movie poster illustrator and painter, to create the Schwarzenegger King Lear.
And it is insanely cool.