Here’s the recipe for Primeval… Take the ethnic cleansing insanity of Darfour, add a press crew and a giant crocodile, mix well.
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And funny enough, it wasn’t bad. It wasn’t the most original monster movie I’ve seen, but it had a good number of startles, some great one liners, and an interesting political message.
The story starts with the death of a forensic anthropologist unearthing mass graves in Burundi. When she moves from one mass grave to what she thinks is another, she stumbles onto a sleeping monster, Gustave – the giant crocodile.
From there, the American press sends a group to Africa to find and capture Gustave. Tim (Dominic Purcell) is a news producer told by his boss to go with his cameraman, Steven (Orlando Jones), with a reporter Aviva (Brooke Langton). They head to Africa to find Gustave. Unfortunately, he lives in the water near a constested border.
In Africa, they meet Crocodile-hunter-ish Matt Collins (Gideon Emery) and their guide Jacob Krieg (Jurgen Prochnow). Hilarity ensues as they track down the monster, make new friends, and get embroiled in a political mess with a local warlord.
Actor-wise, this wasn’t bad either. Orlando Jones had a great mix of both serious lines and funny ones. Dominic Purcell was his typical sarcastic/macho self. Brooke Langton was the emotional heart of the film, who turned tough when she needed to. And Jurgen Prochnow showed that he can still be a badass in his 60s!
The big crocodile was actually quite decent as far as special-effects go. I think there were some issues with perspective (it looked really huge in the water, but when chasing Orlando Jones towards the end of the film, it shrunk a bit). Maybe that was deliberate, and maybe it wasn’t.
All things being unequal, I have to admit I enjoyed the movie. Orlando Jones had all the great lines and the monster was somewhat believable, which is strange in a monster movie.
I’ll give this 2.5 out of 4. It was fun for a modern monster movie!
p.s. Pick up this movie at Amazon: