The Jurassic Games (2018)
Directed by: Ryan Bellgardt | 86 minutes | science fiction thriller | Actors: Ryan Merriman, Perrey Reeves, Adam Hampton, Katie Burgess, Erika Daly, Dylan Cox, Sidney Flack, Gary Frazier, Cate Jones, Raychelle McDonald, Abby Miner, Alex Payne, Lucas Ross, Tiger Sheu, Lance West, Luke Wyckoff
Whoever thinks at ‘The Jurassic Games’: “hey, I’ve seen that before”… that could be right. The film unashamedly steals the premise of ‘The Running Man’ with Arnold Schwarzenegger, topped with a rich blend of ‘The Hunger Games’ and the ‘Jurassic Park’ / ‘Jurassic World’ movies and capped off with other well-known movie clichés – the unjustified convict who simply wants to return to his family, to name just one example. The cross between ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘Jurassic World’ is not an invention of this reviewer, but something that is simply mentioned on the DVD cover itself.
For direct-to-DVD feed, ‘The Jurassic Games’ is actually quite a fun movie, although you wouldn’t expect that based on the lazy writing. Better stolen than badly conceived is the motto of the filmmakers and although the film is not a “good” film, it is quite entertaining in itself with moderate to reasonable – and nothing more than that – special effects. Everything about the film screams “B-movie”, the budget, the acting and the sloppy coat rack story, but director Ryan Bellgardt keeps the momentum going and some of the action scenes are quite successful.
In the near future, live entertainment has taken on a whole new meaning for a group of ten criminals who will be executed. They are all linked to a virtual reality machine and thus dropped “in” a TV program. The manic host The Host (Ryan Merriman) of the big TV hit “The Jurassic Games” explains to them the rules of the game: they have to survive in the digital world – if they die there, they become in the real world. world killed. Only one can win and the prize is released. But before that, the participants will have to take on Pterodatyls, Tyrannosaurs and Velociraptors, among others. To prevent them from taking too long on a level, all participants have a band around their neck that can explode.
At the center is Anthony Tucker (Adam Hampton) who – of course – did not commit the murder where he is on death row. He wants to prove his innocence and just return to his family, which can follow everything on TV. He also soon makes a human enemy in contestant Joy (Katie Burgess), who gets to play a deranged individual willing to kill anyone. Behind the scenes there are also the necessary machinations around producer Savannah Black (Perry Reeves) and the far-reaching ideas of The Host. The other participants are templates of characters and all recognizable clichés – so that you don’t have to think too long.
Those who do not expect too much will certainly not be disappointed. There are, of course, thousands of better movies to spend your precious free time on, but ‘The Jurassic Games’ is nice fun to watch over the weekend with some friends.