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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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Best series! The more you watch the more you are hooked! Fun and clever! Great character development.Published 6 days ago by M deSoto
Overall a good movie with pretty good effects but i didnt understand some of the story.Published 15 days ago by Ariana
This movie lacked GORE and deathly scenes. I hate a movie that leaves it to your imagination. Look if my imagination thought up these things I would not be renting movies like... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Route66Review
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