First of all, the alluring box art, showing a Tyrannosaurus Rex towering over an SUV with pterodactyls soaring overhead doesn’t appear in the film, and, although mentioned as a star in the write up on the back of the DVD case, Dallas Bryce Howard doesn’t actually appear anywhere in the film either. But the audacity of the publicity department’s misleading advertising aside (she’s not credited on the actual film) – the movie is actually not bad.
Jurassic Park or World, this ain’t. Think of it more as independent film director/screenwriter/editor Sean Cain’s Jurassic Lark. Inexplicably, there are dinosaurs on the loose in modern day Los Angeles, running wild and causing general havoc.
The story takes place in one night, with an impressive but brief final segment set the following morning. No explanation is given for the sudden unwelcome arrival of velociraptors among us, and the motley groups we follow during the film’s lean 85-minute running time seem to accept their appearance pretty easily and quickly.
The main setting is a prison, where a particularly unpleasant trio of teenaged sorority sisters are placed in a holding cell with a bunch of other miscreants, a couple of alcoholics and a hardened criminal – all of whom must somehow work together to escape the building, which is now the hunting ground for a pack of hungry raptors. Elsewhere, the military’s Special Ops unit are trying and failing to contain the situation.
The CGI effects are what you’d expect for a budget-conscious independent feature; varying in quality, but they serve their purpose in moving the story forward and Cain wisely doesn’t dwell on them, but rather plays to his strengths in directing a strong cast.
Over the years, Cain has managed to pull together a regular acting troupe in his features, and we see a few of his regulars here. Cult film and TV aficionados will no doubt enjoy the performances of Vernon Wells (Max Max 2, Inner Space, Commando) Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp) and Ray Wise (Twin Peaks).
Creative and fast-paced, it feels like there should be a sequel.
INFO: CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: SEAN CAIN / STARRING: RAY WISE, KEVIN GAGE, DANA MELANIE, SOFIA MATTSSON, KAYLA CARLYLE, VANESSA JOHNSON, JACK FORCINITO, VERNON WELLS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW