Primeval follows the African adventures of a disgraced TV reporter played by Dominic Purcell (Prison Break), who treks to the Dark Continent with hopes of launching a career comeback on the scaly back of Gustave, a 20-foot crocodile with 300 human kills on his resume. Their difficult task turns insurmountable when they walk into the bull’s-eye of a local dictator. Primeval’s Gustave (the croc) is CGI, but Purcell gets up close and personal with a topnotch human cast, including Orlando Jones (Drumline) as his wiseacre cameraman, fellow newsie Brooke Langton (The Benchwarmers) and as an ill-tempered local tour guide, the well-known Jurgen Prochnow (Da Vinci Code, Das Boot).
Primeval Main Cast List
Lika Van Den Bergh
... Tim Manfrey
... Aviva Masters
... Steven Johnson
... Jacob Krieg
... Mathew Collins
When Primeval was coming to theatres, it was billed as being about the most prolific serial killer in history. What the marketing neglected to mention was that the "serial killer" was a crocodile, which led to the marketing campaign completely backfiring on the film. Now the film has come to DVD with the crocodile clearly depicted on the cover.
As we screened the DVD, we felt as though the filmmakers couldn't decide what kind of film they wanted to make which made the film somewhat awkward. The film was marketed as a horror film and there were elements that played to that: the ominous music, the dread and the bits of excessive gore. Elsewhere, the film was more of an action film with the characters on the hunt and not consumed by fear. On top of that, there were threads of political intrigue moving in and out of the film since it was set on the border of Rwanda and Burundi where there is a long history of civil and tribal conflicts.
We'll start with efforts to make it a horror film, of which there ends up being very little. There is needless (and unrealistic amounts of) blood and gore and a few scenes of that formulaic tension and unseen terror. Unfortunately, there are too many other distracting moments that sap the tension that's the signature of a good horror film. The majority of the film struggles between action and political as the news team goes on the hunt for the crocodile only to find themselves in the middle of the political conflict. We assume that the political aspects were the "message" of the film. Unfortunately, the political threads are reduced to plot devices as the figures involved are depicted as one-dimensional thugs.
The film is very formulaic, predictable but functional. The acting is more than adequate (no Paris Hilton to be found), but the actors aren't given a whole lot to work with. Even so, the film is entertaining, but like most popcorn movies, it's easily forgotten once it's over.
The DVD doesn't have many extras. There is a "croc-umentary" that is mostly about the film's CG giant crocodile. There are three deleted scenes which have commentary by the director in place of the actual dialogue so they add little. Also includes is a feature length audio commentary from the director.
Primeval DVD Extras:
- "Croc-umentary: Bringing Gustave to Life": Behind-The-Scenes featurette
(Audio Commentaries by Director Michael Katleman and Visual Effects Supervisor Paul Linden)
-3 Deleted Scenes
-Optional Feature Length Audio Commentary by Director Michael Katleman
and Visual Effects Supervisor Paul Linden Buy Primeval DVD Now!