Review: Primeval


From what I’ve read across the internet there appears to be some confusion about who (or should I say, what) the killer is in this movie. Let me clarify, the killer in this movie is a big computer generated crocodile called ‘Gustave’.

As with most creature movies, I sat down with J to watch this movie expecting it to be a load of shit. From the opening scenes things were already looking up, the budget was reasonable high and the camera work looked professional; still I wasn’t getting too excited just yet, anaconda was quite a high budget and that was quite terrible. Once identified that the killer was in fact a giant crocodile with a taste for flesh and from the quite brutal and intense, but not very revealing (in terms of blood and gore) first scene I was thinking that this film could easily go either way.

In terms of story it’s the usual. A person of importance gets eaten in an exotic location, people go in to kill/capture the animal, and they all get eaten. As ‘Primeval’ is set in Africa this film chooses to expand on a secondary storyline involving civil war and a crime lord named ‘Little Gustave’ who is terrorising the villagers and whose cronies are constantly threatening the safety of the team sent in to capture the beast. This additional story line is both a positive and negative aspect of the film. Usually in creature movies the parts in between creature attacks are usually really boring, mindless babble from a fodder cast, in this film the secondary storyline means that such scenes at least hold some interest as the story develops and there are some decent action scenes shown when the militia are shooting at various members of the cast. The negative side to this storyline is that there are some periods of the film which don’t really involve the crocodile at all leaving the film feeling a little disjointed at times.

But, on the whole, the film moves along at a decent pace only slowing to a crawl in a couple of places.
I will say at this point that the film isn’t actually all that bad. Its saving graces come in the form of the cast and of the quality of the creature animation.

The acting in this film is not bad at all, amongst the cast is Dominic Purcell (most recognisable from both prison break and Blade Trinity) and Orlando Jones, both of who play their roles well; Dominic as the tough guy leader and Orlando as the token comic black guy. For the most part the dialog is pretty good and, as real as its going to get, the story is delivered fairly convincingly.

As I have said, this film appears to have been made with a decent budget and it was nice to see that a decent amount of effort had been put into the creature design. Whilst it’s clearly fake the creature looks pretty cool and the animation as it chases and chombles people on both land and water gives the scenes a really stylish look. The death scenes, whilst not really gory, are pretty gruesome, usually involving a bit of dismemberment and a nice slosh of blood as the creature bites down.

Overall this film isn’t that bad. If you enjoy creature movies then I can’t see you being too disappointed with this one, however, if you don’t I doubt its going to convert you to being a fan of the genre. For me, a person that don’t really give a shit either way, it was better than I thought and was good enough to fill the 90minutes. That pretty sums it up; average. It’s not fantastic but it’s by no means as bad as many films in the ‘creature’ genre.

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