Jurassic Attack/Rise of the Dinosaurs (2013)

REVIEW BY: Jeffrey Long


Company: Little Dragon Productions

Runtime: 83 mins

Format: Imported DVD

Plot: While returning from a military mission, a helicopter crash lands a commando unit in a dense, remote tropical jungle - a lost world populated by dinosaurs. Now they must find a way out of this isolated valley before becoming prey for the prehistoric predators.

Review: Continuing on with my week of dinosaur movie reviews, leading up to the release of Asylum's Age of the Dinosaurs, starting with Area 407 and followed by The Dinosaur Project, we now hit the recently-released Jurassic Attack, also known now as Rise of the Dinosaurs (see below). However, by recently-released I mean everywhere in the world except America. That's right, this movie came out back in February pretty much all over the world, except for us here in Canada and the U.S.. For whatever reason we still don't have it on our shelves at all. At this point, the closest we're going to get in the near future is a showing of it on the SyFy Channel (This weekend on May 11th, the very last Saturday Night Original Movie before SyFy's totally idiotic change in moving Original Movies from Saturdays to flippin' Thursdays), and it will be under the changed name of Rise of the Dinosaurs. Why on God's green earth SyFy changed the awesome Jurassic Attack to the boring and bland Rise of the Dinosaurs I'll never know. SyFy has a penchant in recent years for renaming excellently-titled movies to horribly bland titles, and I guess this is just another victim of that. When we do manage to eventually get it on a home video format (If at all – I've been waiting a year now for Arachnoquake and still no word yet of that one hitting over here either), hopefully it'll be under the original title and not SyFy's terrible one.

Title-drama aside, I actually thoroughly enjoyed this ride. Not without some large clunker points, that's for sure, but overall I enjoyed more then I didn't about this one. Right off the bat we have a pretty good B-Movie cast line-up – We have Gary Stretch, who I've been a rather large fan of since Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus, Corin Nemec from quite a few of these kinds of movies but most recently Dragon Wasps, and Vernon Wells who has been in countless things but I personally know (and enjoy) him most from Power Rangers Time Force where he played the main big bad boss villain Ransik. Upon hearing that these three would be in the movie together, I was really looking forward to them interacting with one another, especially Gary Stretch and Corin Nemec since those two generally tend to play the same kind of character and it would have been really fun to see them butting heads. Unfortunately, I didn't really get that. I did get butting of heads, and it was indeed between two of these actors, but not the two I was looking forward to. Corin Nemec plays some kind of military general that stays back in home base and barks orders over the radio to his team, led by Gary Stretch, while they are out in the field. Vernon Wells plays some kind of higher-up from him and those two butt heads the entire way as Vernon Wells' character just wants to bomb the entire location of jungle where our main team was last seen before all communications went down (to prevent the main villain from escaping with plans for a deadly WMD), but Corin Nemec is the one that keeps delaying and biding more time because he trusts his team will come through on top. Actually, with him staying at home base, he's never even in a scene with Gary Stretch, much less as any interactions with him, so that was pretty disappointing. Corin Nemec is known mostly for being in these kinds of movies, so I'm not sure why they regulated him to the kind of cameo role that's usually offered to actual famous well-established actors just to get their name on the posters.


Those three are also really the only good actors in the bunch, and sadly two of them have nothing to do by stand around in a small dimly-lit room and bark back at one another, but at least Gary Stretch is out in the thick of the action, and he rocks it every step of the way (hell, there's one scene where the dude stands his ground with his assault rifle and brings down a charging Tyrannosaurus pretty much all on his own without even flinching). Sadly, everyone else here is pretty bad in the acting department, but some of them have other attributes to at least even things out a bit. For instance, both of the female characters are pretty hot so while their acting may not be the greatest, at least they're really good eye candy (and it really is not long until the soldier one takes off her military jacket and goes the rest of the movie in a tank top), another of the characters is someone that has been trapped in this lost world for years so he's gone a tad bit looney and while he's playing his more crazier moments he does so in at least an entertaining way and those moments are some of the highlight moments of the movie. Most everyone else is just cannon fodder characters for the dinosaurs anyway, and don't have a whole lot of lines so their acting can be excused. 

The one that I found the worst though, with really no redeemable qualities, was the main bad guy – he was bad to the point of being eye-rollingly annoying and the one true weak point of the movie, in terms of the actors. It also doesn't help that, as I've mentioned in many previous reviews, I hate having a human villain in a killer animal movie as I feel it takes time, and the threat, away from what people are actually watching the movie for – the killer animals in question, but some times I can forgive it if the actor is at least fun to watch or the role is somewhat important, but neither is the case here. He plays a terrorist warlord from some South American country or another that has kidnapped the world's hottest bio-chemist (seriously, I am totally in the wrong career field if that's what the average bio-chemist looks like), and a military team is sent into the jungle to rescue her, with Plan B being capturing this warlord, which they do both of, and even after their escape helicopter is shot down by this guy's men and they crash in the thick of the lost world this movie takes place in, the warlord guy doesn't really do much but stay in their custody, following them around, and uttering threats and laughing at them. That's about it. He wasn't needed, IMO, and they could have easily still had the movie happen exactly as it does, without him. Have him get killed in the opening firefight in the jungle, but a couple of his troops still survive (as they do in the movie as-is) and shoot down the heroes' evacuating helicopter (as they still do) and the rest plays out exactly as it does, just without that character and laughably-bad actor. 

I really do not understand the need that so many of the makers of these movies feel to put in human villains. Trust me, people are not watching a movie called Jurassic Attack to see American soldiers chasing after a terrorist warlord, no, they're watching a movie called Jurassic Attack for one reason – American soldiers going up against rampaging hungry dinosaurs. This whole human villain sub-plot just takes time away from that and was totally not needed, especially with an actor as bad as that one in the role.


In a lesser movie, even more time would have been spent with the human villain at the center of attention then we already have here, and hardly any time would be spent with the main creatures of the movie (such as with Dragon Wasps – don't even get me started on that one). Luckily, we still have plenty of dinosaur action in this one, and it's all pretty fun and entertaining scenes. We have quite a few Raptor attacks, both by singular creatures as well as entire packs of them, we have two or three Tyrannosaur attacks and chase scenes, and we even have someone getting impaled on the horns of a charging Triceratops, and all of that is on top of some nice calm scenes of herbivore dinosaurs just grazing or sleeping around as well – if you like dinosaur action, this movie has tons of it, and it's all paced within the rest of the movie very well. Actually, watching this movie shortly after The Dinosaur Project almost makes up for that movie not having any T. Rexes, since this movie has not only a Rex, but a full pack of them that roam an area that's dubbed 'Death Valley'. There were such a wide variety of chase scenes and man vs dino action moments in this, it really did remind me of old B-Movie type stories I used to write as a kid, among which were some killer dinosaur ones that were very similar to this, and there were quite a few moments in Jurassic Attack that really did bring me back to my own stories and it just put a gigantic smile on my face, especially in regards to some of the Raptor attacks.

What did not put a smile on my face however, were many of the effects. The CGI models themselves of the dinosaurs were actually very well designed and rendered and some of the best-looking creature CGI models I've seen in a movie like this. However, the downside to them is that they really did not work at all in-motion; they moved and walked very unnaturally and stilted, and they interacted with the physical environments and the real humans very badly, especially in the scenes where they're killing people. Along those lines, the gun shot effects were beyond terrible, when used on both people and dinosaurs alike that are being shot up. The movie overall is quite a bit of fun, but these CGI interactions were just so terrible, you can't help but instantly be brought out of all the fun like a speeding car slamming on the breaks.


At the end of the day Jurassic Attack, aka Rise of the Dinosaurs, may be very far from perfect, what with the annoying human villain, mostly-terrible acting, and really badly-integrated CGI effects, but good lord it's still a hell of a lot of fun for those who just wanna see a mindless army soldiers vs dinosaurs in a lost jungle popcorn B-movie, of which this movie has PLENTY of entertaining scenes of, many of which remind me quite fondly of my own similar stories from my childhood. Did they make sense? Hell no, but they were filled with tons of fun mindless dinosaur carnage scenes, and this one follows suit perfectly. You want to see people get ripped apart from a pack of Raptors? This has it. You want to see someone get impaled on the horns of an angry Triceratops? This one has it. You want to see a Rex get its head blown off by an RPG? Yeah, this has that too.

Also surprisingly, the movie does not end with the 'lost world' being blown to smithereens like you so often see in these movies, which means there's good sequel potential there if they ever decide to go that route, which personally I hope they do. Despite all its faults, I still had a field day with this, and I hope I get to one day have a field day with Jurassic Attack 2 if the creators so deem it.

7/10 rooms in the Psych Ward


UPDATE: You can now hear me discuss this movie as a Guest Host on the Saturday B-Movie Reel podcast.



Comments

  1. Thrilling flick! This movie is intense. Great acting and directing, interesting characters and a compelling story! Scary and realistic special effects only add to the allure of this film. My only complaint is that it's not in 3D!

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  2. This looks like crap... but *my* kind of crap!

    Great review! Thank you!

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  3. I actually just watched it and rather enjoyed it myself. Of course it had problems but that is why their called B-Movies. I would watch a sequel as well.

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  4. I'm watching the movie now. its Ok. The graphics are not so great and I just seen one of the guys who got killed by the dino walk across the scene in the back ground. if you are dead... you should walk behind the camera not in front of it while filming a scene. : ) the movie however is pretty entertaining.

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  5. Its on DVD in North America now I just bought it today

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  6. One of the worse B-movie with dinosaurs i've seen so far :-/ Nothing special in this one, it's very casual and there is nothing "so bad it's good" or particularly fun... I've seen it a long time ago after having seen ton of those movies, so maybe I should rewatch it now that i've made a little "dino B-Movies break"...

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