Dino December #6: The Jurassic Games (2018)

If there are laws in genre cinema, one might be that every kind of movie can be made worse, better, or both by including dinosaurs. Even if it can’t, somewill randomly mix dinosaurs with any other subject, so the “dinosaur singularity” will happen, regardless.

Basketball with dinosaurs. Coming of age stories with or about dinosaurs. The decadence of men and its social constructs, with goofy dinosaurs in office suits and vests. Dinosaurs with other dinosaurs. Dinosaurs with guns, or dinosaurs that are also guns. The sky and the abyss stretch open wide forever, and the dino universe expands.

So you can bet your bippy people will just take popular concepts and or series, and mix them with dinosaurs. In this case it’s The Hunger Games style of “teen battle royale narrative” but dinosaurs are also involved, because we actually didn’t do this specific blend of trash cinema yet.

And it wouldn’t be a mockbuster (a fairly late one, the last Hunger Games film released in 2015) if the whole “X Meets Y” formula didn’t require the movie to distance itself enough from the actual movies it knocks off, in terms of plot. So it’s about 10 death row convicts that have to compete in a virtual reality game, facing each other and dinosaurs. Gon Freecs is not there. And there are no basset hounds to be fed, which isn’t a flaw in itself, but it’s disappointing.

The “Hunger Games” thing is because we have a lady in hit, so we can put here on the cover… some cover art for the movie. I think, no one uses a bow here, and …i haven’t really seen the movies about Heidi’s friend or whatever, aside from some snippets on TV and some jokes, i don’t really know how much it tries to emulate The Hunger Games films, but even so, it fits into the fairly populated genre of “battle royale” (and “battle royale-like”, if you will) movies with livestreaming of the bloodsport event, the players having exploding collars, ec.

Nothing really new, but you don’t buy or watch a movie called The Jurassic Games really expecting originality, you often don’t even get that from bigger budgeted or better movies, if we really must go there.

Also, it’s NOT another Asylum joint, but from High Octane Pictures, another company specialized in producing and distributuing low budget genre movies, behind stuff that’s totally not trying to profit off more popular movies, for example Curse Of The Nun, Inferno: Skyscraper Escape, American Hunt, Crisis Outline (couldn’t use a thesaurus for a “Countdown” synonym there?) etc.

While you can tell some of the scenes are clearly downsized to to fit the budget (like the maze where they aren’t trasported to a giant maze, but just play a touch-screen mini-game and use it to free themselves the chain, we never see the entire maze) they did a decent-to-good job with the monetary limitations, the dinosaurs look fairly good all things considered, especially the raptors, the other dinosaurs’ CG quality is more in line to what i realistically expected, but they are not overused. You also mine fields stages, and other dangers like venomous man-eating plants and even sabretooth tigers, which is nice. More surprising, at the very end the special effects drop noticeably in quality, with really bad muzzleflashs (even The Asylum does them better, usually) and a really crappy slow-mo effect, i know there are just 2 minutes left, but come on, really?

Characters are nothing special, the usual gaggle and variety you get with this type of premise, but they are not too shabby, all things considered, and enjoyable. Acting is alright, of course mostly unknown actors, my only complaint is that some of the performances are notaceably worst than others, i’m not director, nor an actor, but in some instances… maybe another take wouldn’t have hurt.

Overall, this is a fun one i could actually recommend watching with friends you want to keep, it’s not long or padded, it’s fairly satisfying, and i mean, it also has people fighting raptors with chains used as nunchucks by “asian man”, who also punches the dinos into monitors, what else do you REALLY want from The Jurassic Games?

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