The Jurassic Games Movie Review
Written by Ryan Holloway
Released by Uncork’d Entertainment
Directed by Ryan Bellgardt
Written by Ryan Bellgardt and Galen Christy
2018, 86 minutes, Rated R
Released on June 12th, 2018
Ryan Merriman as The Host
Perrey Reeves as Savannah
Katie Burgess as Joy
Adam Hampton as Anthony Tucker
Dylan Cox as The Wasp
Erika Daly as Laura
Cate Jones as Stephanie
You know roughly what you’re in for, right? A high-concept, low-budget affair with below average special effects, actors that you might recognise from that commercial you once saw and a plot so preposterous that it could be an episode of Black Mirror if it weren’t so damn silly.
The Jurassic Games is every bit as daft and throwaway as you’d expect, but somehow despite its obvious pitfalls (see the first paragraph) it manages something rather unexpected, an almost irritating ability to keep you watching until the very end. How does it achieve this? Well...
Put simply, it’s fun, and really owns its own silliness, helping it to somehow raise its scaly head above the bushes and attack you when you least expected it.
So here’s the pitch... It’s the near future, and the most watched show on television is The Running Man...oh no sorry, The Jurassic Games, where 10 death row convicts are forced to compete in a virtual reality game show that pits them against each other, but more importantly... dinosaurs!
Only one contestant can survive and win their freedom; if you die in the game, you die in real life, so the stakes are pretty high!
The Jurassic Games gets right into very quickly, we meet Tucker (Adam Hampton), a man whose trial has been closely followed by the media. He gets the death penalty for killing his wife even though everything points to him being innocent.
His kids, a teenage girl and boy are interviewed before the show airs to really add some emotional gravitas to the situation and it almost works but for the ventriloquist dummy-style acting by the son; seriously, its hard to be that bad, but hey, no matter, we’re off.
The host of the show (Ryan Merriman) is a detestable little shit but is watchable and shows up in the game to explain just how big a pile of dinosaur doo-doo the contestants are up to their necks in.
Working closely with The Host is Savannah, played by probably the film’s most recognizable face, Perrey Reeves (Old School), who looks after the show’s PR and has to put the public’s mind to rest over a protest group called ‘The Cavemen’, who are threatening to bring the immoral show to an end.
There are four stages of the game. Stage 1 is a safe zone; Stage 2 is a maze with raptors in it! Amazing. Stage 3 is a minefield... and stage 4, well... spoilers, sweetie.
The raptors show up in stage 1, so that’s the build up ruined, but it is at least quite fun; the effects are a little better than you’d expect, which is a bonus and somehow the film has caught you in its talons.
Tucker is present enough to make a decent hero, but the rest of the cast is just T. Rex fodder, although Joy (Burgess) has the sharpest claws of them all and is fun to watch.
In one of the better parts of the film we discover what each contestant is on death row for and this makes for a fun montage of evil deeds.
All in all, The Jurassic Games is dumb, but has enough fun moments to make it memorable, whether it be a martial arts expert taking on a pack of raptors, (The Raid with raptors, now that’s a concept!), or a trio of T. Rex involved in a pretty awesome dust-up.
When a sabre-toothed tiger turns up, the film shows it's being pretty relaxed about the whole Jurassic part of the concept, but it’s a cool moment nonetheless.
Watch it for a laugh, but when it comes to the creators of The Jurassic Games remember that, as someone from another dinosaur movie once said, "They were so preoccupied with whether they could they didn’t stop to think if they should."