Sunday, 27 October 2013
DVD REVIEW: THE DINOSAUR PROJECT (2012)
I stumbled across a reasonable review of this little movie on a website and, being a sucker for dinosaurs (something boys never really grow out of) and finding it quite cheap on Amazon (with a bunch of poor reviews) decided to give it a shot.
Basic premise: a bunch of cryptozoologists go to the Congo (played by South Africa) to find m'kole m'bembe (a legendary river beast they believe is a dinosaur). Everything goes to pot: their copter crashes, they can't signal for help, and m'kole m'bemebe is real and so are a lot of other evolved dinosaurs. It's also one of those found footage films, a technique I normally dislike intensely. Don't expect much gore as it's a 12 rating putting it on a level with Marvel superhero movies.
The big surprise is that this low budget movie is actually not bad at all. At 80 minutes (including credits) it doesn't over stay its welcome and does what it sets out to do rather well. The found footage scenario actually works, though I suspect it was really used to avoid expensive scenes -watch out for the dinocam. The evolved dinosaurs -which are mainly limited to bat-like flying reptiles which seem to be the dominant carnivore in the area, a bunch of small but not aggressive little carnivores and the river beast itself -are well done.
It's decently acted by a largely British cast of unknowns. The young actor playing the 15 year old stowaway son of the expedition's leader is good as the character could have been annoying (and he is at first) but ultimately proves very resourceful. I did cringe a little when the teenager actually befriends a small dinosaur which eats out of his hand and then throws up over him but this has a good pay-off near the end. With the actual found footage being shown pulled from the river at the start you think you know what's going to happen then but it pulls off a neat surprise.
Add in a decent and interesting making of which shows how skillful the film-makers were and makes you appreciate the movie even more and you have a nice little family film (albeit not for the younger ones). Not exactly an undiscovered gem but it definitely sparkles.