What? No T-Rex?
Directed by: Sid Bennett
*Mild spoilers ahead*
It's rare for me to review a movie outside of a timeline of selected films made by one director or containing a recurring actor, but I just had to post this. We've been under a storm of found footage films for quite a while thanks to a particular horror genre piece of media. To continue this new trend of low budget production, yet another newcomer joins the ranks, but it doesn't contain a shred of ghosts or slashers, but Dinosaurs. Yes indeed, you have read correctly: D-I-N-O-S-A-U-R-S.
A group of explorers have received reports of a new Lochness monster being seen in the Congo gaining the name Mokele Mbembe. The British Cryptozoological Society (try saying that three times) embark on said journey to discover and confirm Mokele Mbembe as a lost dinosaur thought to have been extinct over 65 million years ago. If there is a Lochness out there, it will without a doubt be a surviving dinosaur. Ask Ted Danson, he'll agree with me. On the expedition, a stowaway, Luke, son of the head explorer who was recently expelled from his institute for posting on the Internet a video of his professor crossdressing, joins an ill fated adventure into the vast unexplored rivers of Africa.
The Dinosaur Project has it's predictable moments and it's surprising moments. Granted, it's a far better execution than that horrid Are 407 fiasco my eyes had to endure. The CGI is on the level of Walking with Dinosaurs, but shows that expert Sid Bennett ,in this computer generated journey has treated it with enough care as much as with the development of the protagonist and the story. Kids can watch it. I'm sure they've seen enough discovery channel specials and BBC America editions of these extinct titans to know that humans are mice compared to them. It also has familiar ground, with Luke, being the youngest and a stowaway with an undeniable interest in his father's work with the once in a lifetime chance of discovering a live dinosaur.
A convention that I am glad to a certain degree that the creators broke was the possible love interest in this movie. There is this young blonde girl whom you expect will end being hitched in the journey for Luke, but ends up getting killed in the first quarter of the movie without mercy, even if you can't see it. Call me a monster, but it was about time the young starlet in this genre suffers the same fate. A second surprise is Luke befriending a baby carnivore which turns out to be a better mans' best friend than man's' best friend.
Like any other discovery driven movie, there is always happiness, darkness, sadness, fear and the number one of all, greed. There's always that one person in a group who can't help but want to claim it all. Also, The Dinosaur Project serves best as a way to promote the technology or more specifically, the HD cameras utilized to film this production. The GoPro camera used heavily here and I can only assume it was part of the goal for the movie. Least we know they can survive a jurassic adventure. My only disappointment is the lack of a T-Rex cameo.
Overall, The Dinosaur Project is yet another surprise hit for me in the found footage genre and also in the B-movie category. Call me the minority support for it. I will end by saying that having said all, nothing competes with Jurassic Park. Period.
Written by: Bawnian©-Dexeus.