Primeval

Rated R 2007

It's more than a little deceptive to sell a film as a serial-killer thriller when the "murderer" in question is in fact a giant crocodile; even more so when the croc barely gets 10 minutes of screen time, while its supporting cast makes hopeless attempts at character development. Dominic Purcell, who's like Jason Statham without the charisma, plays a disgraced reporter traveling to Africa alongside nature documentarian Aviva (Brooke Langton, who's like Eva Mendes without the hotness), Funny Black Guy cameraman Steve (Orlando Jones, who deserves better), and Steve Irwiny animal guy Matthew Collins (Gideon Emery, dullsville). There, they learn that life in Africa is hard, especially with those warlords and oversized reptiles picking on everyone. With a little camp, this could have been fun (see: Lake Placid, Anaconda), but director Michael Katleman (see: episodes of Gilmore Girls, Tru Calling) doesn't play it that way, and even Jurgen Prochnow's crazed Ahab wannabe is unfortunately understated. Plus, despite an R rating, all the kills are glossed over in high-speed shaky-cam.

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