The Dinosaur Project REVIEW

The Dinosaur Project.

Release Date: 10 August 2012 (also released on DVD/Blu-ray on 27 August)
12A | 83 minutes
Distributor: StudioCanal
Director: Sid Bennett
Cast:Richard Dillane, Matt Kane, Peter Brooke

Picture one of those daft TV movies you find on Syfy with names like Mega-squid cs Tyrannopiranha, ramp up the production values (but only a little) and toss in some surprisingly decent CGI. You’re left with The Dinosaur Project, which still reeks of a low budget and a poor script but has just enough charm to be worth a look – particularly if you have kids who like watching giant reptiles eating people.

The film follows a team of explorers who travel to the Congo to see if rumours of a Nessie-style creature could be true: one helicopter crash later, they encounter a lost kingdom of dinosaurs. Then things turn predictably bloody…

Richard Dillane, as their leader, is basically Sam Neill from Jurassic Park with a bit more of a grump on, while his teenage son and a jealous co-worker are just there to hit all the cliché buttons. A few unexpected twists that mark it out as interesting (the running order of the deaths isn’t quite what you’d expect, for example) and the dinos are a cut above most films of this nature – particularly one little cutie who’s basically dino-Lassie. Admirably, the vast majority of the action is shot on location, with some white-water rafting to spice up the scenes with no reptiles in.

Despite the plus points, though, it’s still a cheesy, childish adventure which tries very hard not to be the TV movie it actually is.

Jayne Nelson

Read an interview with Sid Bennett, director of The Dinosaur Project.
Watch the Dinosaur Project trailer
Watch a Dinosaur Project clip.
Read more of our film reviews.