Primeval

"Bad"

Primeval Review


If there was ever a film that was so awful it practically begged for the resurrection of the cult TV show Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (or MST3K), where geeks made fun of films while watching them, it's Primeval. Not only is this killer croc flop not frightening, it's insultingly stupid. The plot is a flimsy mishmash of every nature-run-amok and adventure-in-Africa film of the past 50 years, and there are sequences that feel so old -- so moth-eaten -- that I expected a man in a gorilla suit to appear and carry off the leading (white) lady.

So, this killer crocodile, with the absurd handle of Gustave, is munching on Africans in war-torn Burundi. And he's like super hungry. Given that he can live to 100 years and eats hundreds of people a year, the croc's a one-lizard population safeguard. Unfortunately for the villagers who live in fear of this monster, there's another Gustave in the bush: Little Gustave, a nasty decapitating warlord. (His name is a great example of Hollywood slap-your-forehead allegory.) When an American news network sends in a television crew to film the capture of the croc, they run afoul of both the cold-blooded river beast and the hot-tempered warlord. Hysterics ensue.

Sounds ridiculous. Sure is. Here's how I imagine the first production meeting for Primeval must have gone:

Writers: So, I've got a great idea for an Anaconda rip-off but instead of a giant badly computer generated snake we've got a cheap looking computer generated crocodile. Problem is we only have about 30 minutes of actual croc plot.

Producer: Hmmmm. What do you propose?

Writers: That Blood Diamond flick seems like it'll make some good money, why don't we just throw in an hour of subplot about civil war in Burundi?

Producer: Why not?

And that's exactly what Primeval feels like -- a schizoid combo of two completely unrelated films, neither of which are done well. The cast is uniformly wretched -- Dominic Purcell is the grizzled stud, Brooke Langton the journalist with a heart of gold, Orlando Jones the wise-cracking black guy, Jürgen Prochnow the... well, it's Jürgen Prochnow, and Gideon Emry as a Crocodile Hunter spoof (bad timing!) -- and they seem to have no idea exactly what movie they are in. If they're not running from the big Gustave across a savannah (yeah, a savannah) then they're debating the role of journalism in covering African strife. You'd think it would be easy to generate some excitement from scenes of a giant croc tearing someone in half but this film doesn't even get that right.

Primeval is being advertised as the true story of the most terrifying serial killer in history. And while the real Gustave may have racked up 300 odd kills, this film is surely an even bigger, badder killer -- of brain cells.

Faster than a speeding crocodile.



Primeval

Facts and Figures

In Theaters: Friday 12th January 2007

Box Office USA: $10.4M

Box Office Worldwide: $10.6M

Distributed by: Buena Vista Pictures

Production compaines: Hollywood Pictures, Pariah, Sarah James Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 19%
Fresh: 10 Rotten: 43

IMDB: 4.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Michael Katleman

Producer:

Starring: as Tim Manfrey, as Aviva Masters, as Steven Johnson, as Jacob Krieg, Gideon Emery as Mathew Collins, Gabriel Malema as Jojo, Linda Mpondo as Gold Tooth, Lehlohonolo Makoko as Beanpole, Dumisani Mbebe as Harry, Eddy 'Big Eddy' Bekombo as Ato, Chris April as Captain, Lika Berning as Rachel (as Lika van den Bergh)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.