Surprisingly, Primeval isn't nearly as big of a croc as all that might lead one to expect. Inspired by a legendarily lethal lizard (reportedly measuring 20 feet and weighing 2,000 pounds in real life) that has killed hundreds of humans along the Rusizi River near Lake Tanganyika, veteran TV director Michael Katleman has crafted a perfectly serviceable — and scary — B-movie.
With his shirtfronts gaping almost as wide as Gustave's jaws, Dominic Purcell (TV's Prison Break ) leads the expedition as Tim Manfrey, the network news producer who'd rather be muckraking back in the United States than raking through the mucky backwaters of Burundi. Along for the ride are Brooke Langton ( The Benchwarmers ) as Aviva Masters, the too-beautiful-to-be-taken-seriously reporter, and Orlando Jones ( House of D ) as Steven Johnson, the wisecracking cameraman. (Noting how the killing of a foreign forensic anthropologist inspired their assignment, he jokes that Gustave is like O.J. Simpson: “He messed up when he killed that white woman.”)
Once in Burundi, the crew discovers that they aren't any safer on dry land than along the riverbank. There's a Gustave stalking them there, as well — a ruthless rural warlord who'll stop at nothing to retrieve film footage that shows him executing a rival. The situation becomes so desperate that Steven begins to radically rethink his stance on the slave trade. “Anything you gotta to do to get the f--k out of Africa is okay with me,” he proclaims.
patrons won't be anywhere near as desperate to escape the theaters where this thriller is playing.
Distributor: Buena Vista
Cast: Dominic Purcell, Brooke Langton, Orlando Jones, Jurgen Prochnow, Gideon Emery, Gabriel Malema and Dumisani Mbebe
Director: Michael Katleman
Screenwriters: John D. Brancato & Michael Ferris
Producer: Gavin Polone
Genre: Horror thriller
Rating: R for strong graphic violence, brutality, terror and language
Running time: 93 min.
Release date: January 12, 2007