From the director of Silent Night, Zombie Night, and Terror Birds (also editor for many films, including Sand Sharks, obviously), we have yet another dino flick where Los Angeles is attacked by dinosaurs… not a single giant dinosaur, because people that write the synopses for these movie (on Wikipedia and/or IMDB, depends) don’t actually watch them most of the time, or they do watch them drunk and try to piece together the plot later, because there isn’t a T-rex (or equivalent) rampaging alone through LA. Yes, the DVD cover has it, but that’s false advertising.
In this occasion the dinos didn’t arrive via a Stargate-style time portal, but were created in a lab and escaped a secret facility manned by a shadowy government squad, and due to an incident they bring an armored van (containing 3 Monolophosauruses, in the same genus as the T-Rex but acting as this movie’s raptors equivalent) inside a nearby prison, where they just brought a serial killer… and a trio of college girls temporarly detained (having been busted the night before at an obnoxious party). As the dinosaurs break free and kill most guards and soldiers, the girls and the serial killer and are now forced to escape deeper into the prison, bedgrudgingly having to cooperate.
It’s another one of these dinosaur movies that managed to get a bit more funding than usual (since it’s co-produced by Studio Canal + – once again – and Little Dragon Productions), and it definitely looks better than most of these flicks, the CG for the dinosaurs is bettern than usual, there’s soome actual care to the CG models (especially the teeth), but it still low budget, so the dinosaur either walk like chicken or move with the power of skipping many in-between animations. Not good, and the screenwriter uses some uncommon types of dinosaurs but still has the characters say “T-Rex” when there’s not even the shadow of on, but yes, better effects for the “dinos” than the usual fare, and overall production values are higher than most movies of this ilk.
The characters are mostly unlikeable and douchy as you would expect (dinosaurs need to eat, too), so much the only exceptions are the poor, lovable drunkards that really should be at the docks (especially the who looks like a retired nordic fisherman)… and the serial killer. XD Yeah, of course he shows his true colours at the end, but he still manages to be the most level headed and rational character of the bunch, as the trained special unit soldier (played by Robert LaSardo) randomly waste bullets and don’t bring the big guns despite knowing there’s something inside the van able to bite metal.
And Ray Wise forgetting that electrical panel explode when fed hundred of bullets, but then again, he is in the movie for more than i would expect, and he puts in a bit more effort than a movie like this calls for, but then again, a couple years before he was in Big Ass Spider, and he’s reliable as ever. Kevin Gage as the serial killer delivers the best performance here, but the casting is a notch above the usual, you can actually recognize more than the 2 top billed actors.
Slightly above average dino flick by Sean Cain (here writing, directing and producing), Jurassic City isn’t that great, the plot is the usual B-movie salad, the dinosaurs happen because we want them (so don’t dare ask where they come from or why), but adding the prison setting to the mix helps to spice things up and keeping it entertaining, dumb but more than just “technically watchable”, the narrative keeps thing going with a decent pacing, so you actually might enjoy the action, even the still crappy (not as crappy as usual, but still not good) CG dinosaurs chomping at people, instead of just tolerating what’s happening on screen.
Kinda decent, better than most of these, might be actually worth a watch for dino entusiaths without big expectations for a direct-to-dvd dinosaur movie you can see on Amazon Prime Video or other streaming services.