Sometimes knowing and expecting what a film is, makes it a tad more enjoyable, and hence The Jurassic Games, a campy B-movie, the filmmakers know it too, and never excels past that standpoint, yet strives to entertain. While it hints clearly from other sci-fi flicks, Wedlock (1991) which starred Rutger Hauer or Fortress (1992) from director Stuart Gordon and of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s classic The Running Man (1987) it ventures more for a low budgeted sci-fi adventure movie. Director Ryan Bellgardt (Gremlin (2017)) who co-wrote it with Galen Christy earning him his first writing credit although as a producer he has quite notable films such as Skybound (2017) to another one in post-production called Winterskin. This film comes from production companies High Octane Pictures, receiving distribution through Uncork’d Entertainment.
It’s after the year 2040, allowing the viewer to understand the time placement in society, and where The Jurassic Games occurs, in America the lust for more reality television hitting the peak for incorporating violence and death. The game places ten Death Row inmates against each other and is conducted through VR simulators operated by a crew of techs and broadcasters all generated by computer action. Basically, anyone who dies VR format dies in reality by lethal injection automatically, once more a filmmaker taking new technology and creating new horrors. The Host (Ryan Merriman (Backwoods ) appears in the game with very cool mask and portrays a sleazy host while assisted by Perrey Reeves a sinister producer of the games. This all helps to establish the basis for the game, before getting to the action, not a film that argues the civility of the matters or morals. As they try to survive some working together and others independently they face triceratopses and brontosauruses (herbivores, maybe to step the humans otherwise an oops error, and a saber-toothed tiger. Of course, the common velociraptor actually a group of them appear in a dreadful game maze, and a bug munching scene that echoes back to The Mummy (1999), finally three T-Rexes appear in the finale. While the script doesn’t leave much to the actors, as the fight, fear sequences come often notable roles portrayed by Katie Burgess, Erika Daly, and Adam Hampton. One needs to mention that the story involves a man, eating plants too, a nice variation, often missing from these movies, noting that everything can kill and will do so to survive.
As mentioned, the maze, will easily deliver laughter as it looks like a defunct laser-tag layout, very comical, though starts with a nod to Saw, it quickly dissolves into anything positive. A few of the characters fall into the standard flimsy one-dimensional creations often found in these movies, such as a redneck, wasn’t needed, the viewers get it that the individuals in fact are sinister killers. The CGI works well giving the beasts plenty of action not too shabby giving the close-ups of their stained teeth and ferrous attributes, creatures are surprisingly well done. The overall pace of the movie flies by quickly, no lengthy delays and pauses, again no need for that in the film.
Does it hitch a ride on the Jurassic Park/World franchise? No, not really, it doesn’t try or even attempt to copy from that vehicle rather it delivers plenty of energy and b-movie style though missing the T&A. The Jurassic Games gives a cheap but fun at times cheesy entertainment to the viewers, more closely associated The Running Man, that dino power action. Lastly, if the tagline sounds familiar, it’s similar to that in Gladiator (2000) between Maximus and Proximo, states “Win the crowd, win your freedom.”
Tagline: Win the games. Win your freedom.
IMDb Rating: 3.7/10
Baron’s Rating: 3.5/10