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Review: THE JURASSIC GAMES (2018)

Some movies you go into hoping for the best but expecting the worst. Films with epic plots and artwork but lunch money budgets, for example. Usually, you end up getting what you expected. But every once in a while, you get what you hoped for. THE JURASSIC GAMES is one of those films.

As you can guess from the title, the plot is a mix of JURASSIC PARK, THE HUNGER GAMES and a dash of THE RUNNING MAN added for extra flavour. The Jurassic Games are the world’s most popular sporting event. Ten death row convicts pitted against each other, booby traps and dinosaurs in a virtual reality simulation. Die in the game, and you die in real life, the last survivor gets their freedom.

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This year the public favourite is Anthony Tucker (Adam Hampton, GREMLIN) who maintains his innocence even after being convicted of killing his wife. His children watch as he fights beasts, both human and reptilian. However, a band of rebels seeking to end the games may be a bigger threat than his opponents.

Writer/director Ryan Bellgardt (ARMY OF FRANKENSTEINS, GREMLIN) has put together a nifty script that keeps the action flowing at a fast pace. Be it human on human, human versus creature. There’s even some dinosaur on dinosaur action to keep things interesting.  THE JURASSIC GAMES avoids the dull talky stretches that plague a lot of low-budget genre films and doesn’t lose interest. Even the behind the scenes sequences manage to hold up thanks to the performance of Ryan Merriman (FINAL DESTINATION 3, PORTAL) as the game’s villainous host. Katie Burgess (GREMLIN) as the psychopathic Joy also stands out.

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The CGI used for the creatures is of variable quality, but is on the better end of the low-budget scale most of the time. That’s a good thing because there is a lot of it, with all manner of creatures turning up. A T-Rex and raptors, as well as a sabre tooth tiger, some very nasty bugs, and even winged critters all, make appearances.

While not a threat to the success of its big-budget inspiration, THE JURASSIC GAMES is a lot more entertaining than several of that franchise.

THE JURASSIC GAMES will be available on Digital 6/12 and DVD 7/3 from High Octane Films.

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