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The journalist meet a few local villagers and hook up with a crocodile expert. However, their lives are threatened by much more than just a crocodile when the cameraman accidentally films men from a local warlord's army executing a tribal holy man and his family.
The crocodile does play an important part in this movie; but I felt that it became more of a movie about the Burundi civil war; its war lords; and a general statement about ravaged Africa as a whole. Some people, I have read, did not like this movie. I think its worth a try, I certainly enjoyed it.
By the way, Gustave (the killer crocodile) is indeed real. He lives in Burundi and may be the largest freshwater crocodile in the world. I Googled "Gustave crocodile in Africa" and got a BBC News link from a 2002 article. Interesting.
Laughingly based on a "true story," "Primeval" is a mediocre monster movie in which three American reporters, a trained crocodile expert and a surly German guide ("Das Boot"'s Jurgen Prochnow) travel through the wilds of Burundi to track down the legendary man-munching menace known to the local natives as "Gustave." In addition to the creature, the team has to contend with some vicious tribal leaders who are waging an intense civil war in the region.
Afflicted with a paltry budget, "Primeval" is marred by uneven acting, cheap-looking special effects and the all-too-common chauvinistic attitude that sees Africans as either malefactors intent on slaughtering their own people or incompetent victims just waiting for some knight-in-shining-armor Westerners to come riding in on their white horses to save them. In fact, so much time is devoted to the conflict between the Americans and the African warlords that it's quite easy to forget that the giant crocodile is in the movie at all. Actually, considering the rather unconvincing appearance of the creature on screen, that might, in fact, be the best thing that could have happened to the movie.
The story is about a news team that has been sent to Africa in order to cover a story on (and perhaps capture) the elusive beast. The movie briefly explains why a blood-thirsty crocodile is news (and even why it would be left up to journalists, a cameraman, and two wild animal experts to catch a critter that's been eating unsuspecting humans for decades), but the explanation is weak, at best.
Even weaker is the awkward melding of the croc plot with another story thread involving an African civil war that is propogated and prolonged by a blood-thirsty warlord named -- that's right -- Gustave. Is this a powerful political metaphor? Probably. Is it done well? Of course it isn't.
Populated by stock characters of the worst kind (although Orlando Jones manages to do some good things with his smart-aleck cameraman role), "Primeval" succumbs to ludicrousness (the characters, after a recent croc attack, decide that a rickety shack built IN the river is their best safe haven), pointlessness (the dull bonfire "bonding" scene where a tribal drum session is followed by the Westerners singing "Amazing Grace" off-key), and confusion (most of the croc attacks take place at night and are dizzyingly hard to follow). Tack on a hokey (albeit unfortunately true) message about American apathy toward African brutality, and you're left with a jury-rigged mess of a movie, a schizophrenic cinematic experience that tries to be viscerally scintillating as well as politically charged. If it had picked one or the other, it may have had at least a shred of consistency to give it pluck and cohesion. Instead, it's a mawkish blend of macabre and moralistic.
And it's not about a serial killer.
GUSTAVE is for real. He is a 23 ft. long, believed to weigh over a ton and believed to have devoured 300 people. The film can say that " it was inspired by true events" because the Giant Croc is still believed to have been sighted very recently. There is a National Geographic documentary about Gustave. Wounds made by bullets/arrows/machetes make Gustave easily identified.
In the movie, Tim Manfrey(Dominic Purcell, Prison Break) accompanied by a news reporter named Aviva( hottie Brooke Langton, The Replacements), Steven(Orlando Jones) and conservationist Matthew(Gideon Emery) is sent to Burundi to try to capture and make a documentary about the capture of the legendary croc.
Burundi is in the midst of a civil war when the team arrives, with much of the nation cowering in fear of a warlord nicknamed Little Gustave. "He got his name from the crocodile. It's hard to say whose blood is colder," says a town official.
The team aided by a local tracker, begins the hunt for Gustave while hoping not to run into the rebel militias. They encounter both the human Gustave and the reptilian version. That's where the film gets to reflect: Who is more murderous, The man or the Crocodile?
The director M. Katleman stated that JAWS inspired him while making this film, and it shows. It never gets close to that level of suspense, but PRIMEVAL is definitely a lot better than all the JAWS sequels/knock-offs. There are some immersive, tense moments notwithstanding.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love this movie - it's a strong B movie and packs some cool stuff. It's based on Gustav the legendary croc from Africa and most of it's probably exaggerated but still a good... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Cyclety68
A good crocodile movie based on a true story, I guess thats why I like it so much.Published 5 months ago by Edward Smith
1 VERY BAD NASTY ALLIGATOR WITH A VERY BAD ATTITUDE...KILLS EVERYBODY....LIKE HE IS ON A KILLING SPREE..A KILLING AND EATING EVERYTHING IN SIGHT..I ENJOYED IT. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Teddy Towe
decent story. cheesy special effects. not one of the greatest movies i have seen. but it has its momentsPublished 8 months ago by Falcon45
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