Dino Dicember #29: Extinction: Jurassic Predators (2014)

I often joke or belittle the alternative titles these movie get for home video releases, but this time i feel the “Jurassic Predators” subtitle helps, since now people are gonna think more of the 2018 Netflix produced movie, not this 2014 release also titled “Extinction”. Then again, you might find this one under the other alternative title of “Jurassic Island”.

And while looking at the premise, i had to do a double take, like, didn’t i already review a movie with a nearly identical plot? And i kinda did, since it’s basically The Lost Dinosaurs/The Dinosaur Project, with a research team led by a professor or academic figure going into a jungle to protect endangered and vulnerable species, but after some kerfuffle the guides run away, the group eventually stumbles upon dinosaurs, and has to survive the unexpected peril.

It just happens the jungle is in the Amazon (instead of the Congo), and that they went to care for endagered species instead of trying to find a cryptid. I could point out how they also found dinosaurs into an Amazon jungle in Jurassic Attack, but in this case it’s just a common clichè. I just imagined this to be a simple coincidence, given how many dinosaurs movies are out there, at some point some of them just happen as a byproduct of oversaturation more than direct, voluntary exploitation.

Or so i thought, but my first guess was right, this is also filmed in mockumentary style, with the movie intro explained as footage found on a disc, and it came out 2 years after The Lost Dinosaurs. As hard as it is to believe i don’t like throwing around the word “rip-off”…. i really find it hard to believe the crew and production staff wasn’t aware of that other movie in some capacity. Maybe they just weren’t.

That said, i’m not outraged, it’s just sad you can’t make a somewhat original take on dinosaurs films, and have it stay that way, even if it’s an obscure movie not even the most entrenched genre fans know about. Than again, i guess it’s fair game, if people are shameless enough to still straight out steal lines from the decades old Jurassic Park or the first Jaws, we can have two found footage dinosaurs mockumentaries, why not?

But sadly, this is definitely the lesser one. Sure, the enviromentalist angle is nice, but it’s cackhanded, and this one has all the issues commonly found in crappy found footage movies. Lot of padding, the forced existence of why this is all filmed like this, boring dialogue and characters that range from insipid to annoying, especially the cameraman himself is an irritating, nosey pillock, not shy of filming himself doing gibberish or speaking so low about something i can’t make out through the fairly thick british accents everyone has. Not surprising, since this is a UK production, but still…

Yeah, it’s one of those where nothing really happens, where you have to wait 1 hour to even see some glimpse of the dinosaurs, and you really don’t care about these people at all, so it’s mostly the usual cinema gruel of a guy running around a forest in POV for minutes, very little action or anything show in any detail due to the editing, so it’s quite boring, and for some reason this one is the longer one, clocking at 100 minutes, while it could have easily done away with 10 or 20 minutes of footage. Acting isn’t even that bad, but the script and dialogue don’t help in that regard.

So it’s kinda frustrating that when you get to properly see the dinosaurs… they look really good, they’re mostly physical props but regardless the dinosaurs feel quite real and have a presence, which i didn’t really expect from a movie like this. Even if it picks up a bit in the last 30 minutes, it’s still really hard to care at all even there, and it doesn’t make up for the slog of the rest of the movie, it really doesn’t. This isn’t even a case of it being complete cynical garbage, it’s just so boring all the way through it’s hard to recommend, but i would do so… after watching The Lost Dinosaurs, so you can see a way better execution of the concept, and appreciate what that movie does right.

You can see them setting up a sequel into the credits sequence.. kinda. I wouldn’t hold my breath for it, but you never know, WAY crappier movies have received sequels many decades later, and it might be worth trying. It usually is.

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