I don’t know what it was with late 2010s and the small resurgence of “dinosaurs in space” movies, but yes, that off handed comment i made when reviewing Jurassic Galaxy wasn’t for naught, that movie had a “buddy” of sorts, released a year later as… Alien Expedition?
It’s amazing how that was actually the original title, which was quickly changed in most releases because dinosaurs bring all the boys to the yard, after all. “Jurassic” is a palatable adjective, it is.
Seriously, how the hell do you make a low budget sci-fi movie about dinosaur planets and NOT put a dinosaur relevant word in the title? You want people to eventually watch your movie, right?
Even more amazing is that the two movies also share the “dual brothers directors”… just pulling your leg, it’s a guy that just happens to be named Wallace Brothers, and only having made a single film before this one, David And Goliath from 2016, never heard of it before myself.
Since this is also his last movie to date and it has an IMBD average score under the 3 out of 10, i’m willing to guess he’s not exactly planning or caring to make another film.
Just a hunch.
The plot it’s actually nothing special, just the usual sci-fi humdrum affair of people floating on a deep space ship on a mission to find a planet suitable for colonization, eventually stumbling unto one that looks like a good fit, and so a team of humans and “synthetics” robots is despatched to see what resources this planet holds, do some recon, but guess what, the planet is full of dinosaurs, the most hostile kind of lifeform you can find on random planets in space.
I keep telling you, Dino Crisis 3 had more influence than people want to give it credit for. Which isn’t good, even for Dino Crisis 3 itself. Poor bastard.
Gotta love how they accidentally rip off that famous “bedside window scene” from GITS 1995, and immediatly too, but i wanna stress it’s most likely not intentional, despite sharing a lot of similarities, as it’s about a female character waking up in bed with the same haircut and blank expression as Motoko Kusanagi, a character that also happens to be a cyborg…..but it’s followed by people fucking like a cheap b-movie (which this ultimately is) over okay-ish synthwave music.
Intended or not, reminding me of a way better movie 1 minute in…. not good, and i doubt i’m the first to notice the similarities. Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s me.
Going off that tangent, i can say this about Alien/Jurassic Expedition: for a cheap direct to video/streaming b-movie, it looks way better than Jurassic Galaxy, and it does have actually a convincing sci-fi presentation and cinematography, you can actually buy that they’re in a spaceship, even thought the CG for the spaceships and dinosaurs will always swiftly remember you this is still a cheap b-movie made on a low budget.
But the illusion isn’t fundamentally – and/or constantly -broken by the movie itself looking too cheap, so there’s that.
Shame the movie it’s still mostly boring shlock with insipid stock characters, bad writing, and a slow pace, as not much really happens until the dinosaurs show up, aside from the expected ensemble of cheap cliches, stuff like the “dino-sand worm we totally didn’t ripped off of Dune”, or the never explained “alien abduction via glowing sphere and off-screen ship”. Especially the latter, i have no clue what the hell was that about, since it’s never addressed and the movie also does the “people getting insane by staying on the planet” thing that Jurassic Galaxy did, though this time it leads the affected to suicide and it’s better explained as an effect of being bitten by the dinosaurs.
Speaking of which, you won’t see any of those until the 45 minutes mark, and they’re passable for this kind of movie, they do actually feel like “space dinosaurs” instead of old Earth ones, but i feel they made them capable of using “optical camouflage” also to save on the animation budget.
Jurassic Expedition it’s not good and i really don’t recommend it unless you wanna see them all, but i can say it’s better than Jurassic Galaxy in every regard, this one it’s definitely more engaging overall and way more presentable, but they’re both pretty similar in being quite drawn out and often very boring, with also similarly “abrupt” endings that cut just before a final showdown.
Ironically the best character in this thing is the cyborg woman that’s supposed to be way more robot than human, and in the last act you wonder why they didn’t just had her as the protagonist, instead of so-n-so generic hotheaded commander with token trauma. I’m not even joking, and it’s not a plus, since she’s not the actual protagonist until the very end. Ops?
Again, it’s relatively “not as bad” as some other dinosaurs movies i’ve reviewed, but it’s a slog to see all the way through until the last act, so even as just a way to kill 90 minutes it’s hard to recommend it.