Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
I decided to do The Asylum's 'Age of Dinosaurs' a real solid.  Before I settled in to watch this movie, as I'm am cleaning off my backlog of unseen or long ago seen Sci-Fi Channel originals, I watched the Sci-Fi original 'Raptor Island'.  'Raptor Island' could very well be the worst dinosaur movie ever made, with the theory being that 'Age of Dinosaurs' following on the heels of 'Raptor Island' would only make 'Age of Dinosaurs' that much better.  I now realize that this theory of mine is flawed.  Now don't misunderstand me as 'Age of Dinosaurs' is another galaxy better than 'Raptor Island', but watching a mediocre movie after watching a terrible movie doesn't make the mediocre movie better.  It's still mediocre.  At best.  Lesson learned. 

Here's an Idea… Let's make some dinosaurs!  The wheelchair bound handi-capable CEO of Geneti-Sharp, Justin Wilekelew (Ronny Cox)… his last name sounded something similar to that… has an Earth shattering idea.  Since his company can regenerate skin on burn victims by using a single cell, what if we amped up this tech and regenerated things that have been dead like forever.  Like dinosaurs.  I mean think of the amazing uses for dinosaurs today!  Mind you I'm paraphrasing Mr. CEO here, but during his big unveil at some downtown Los Angeles auditorium he mentioned we could have dinosaurs at Children's parties!  That's what he said!  That is, undoubtedly, the dumbest idea to ever come out of a fake CEO's mouth like ever.

So my man has his big unveil with dinosaurs locked behind super glass.  The same glass used to keep the space shuttle together, so everybody is safe.  However, and while I can't guarantee this since I've never actually been really close to a space shuttle, but I don't think they are made of glass.  Oh snap, the dinos have broken out of the super space shuttle glass and are eating everybody. 
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This brings us to our film's principles, laid off firefighter Gabe Jacobs (Treat Williams) and his broad hipped, bratty teenage daughter Jade (Jillian Rose Reed).  They happen to be at this event as Jade's uncle Leo (Max Aria) got them tickets since Jade liked dinosaurs when she was six.  I know right?  Who knew liking dinosaurs when you were six would put your life in danger as twenty-something seventeen year old?

At this point 'Age of Dinosaurs' turns into a low budget version of Jurassic Park's I and II, with a doomed CEO trying to live with his awful decision making and dinosaurs running and flying amok through a major metropolitan area causing a ruckus.  And at the center of all of this mayhem, at all times, is Gabe and his baby girl Jade since these dinosaurs seemed genetically predisposed to chasing auburn haired teenagers with wide hips.  Seriously, in a city of ten million plus, these dinosaurs only seem to want to eat Jade. 

But it gets worse.  I know, right?  Apparently our CEO has a holding tank chock full of hundreds of about to hatch dinosaurs, and damn if we haven't lost power.  It's all about to go straight to hell, and considering these dino's are generally bulletproof and in some cases rocket proof, the age of dinosaurs could be upon us and the age of Man could be coming to an end.  That is if dinosaurs weren't so damned stupid.  I mean Man is kind of stupid in this movie too, but the dinosaurs are dumber.

Hats off to Asylum director Joseph J. Lawson and his movie Age of Dinosaurs.  We call him 'Asylum Director' because for some reason, at least for the most part, Asylum film directors generally aren't allowed to direct normal movies.  But Mr. Lawson's 'Age of Dinosaurs' is the third movie he's directed under The Asylum banner and none his movies, including 'Nazi's at the Center of the Earth' and 'Age of Hobbits' has made me want to resume my pastime of self-mutilation.  Bravo!

Does this mean that 'Age of Dinosaurs' is a good movie?  Of course it doesn't silly!  That's crazy talk!  Pretty much the very existence of the narrative leading to why dinosaurs are eating the majority of Los Angeles makes it suspect off the bat, but I'll have you know that 'Age of Dinosaurs' survives that wacky premise, and while it never elevates to being a good movie, at least it is entertaining for the most part.

You see, unlike that putrid 'Raptor Island', at least this is a movie about dinosaurs where the dinosaurs didn't look like total ass.  Sometimes they looked fantastic, sometimes their movements were a little moonwalky, and when the horde got released during the end, it looked pretty clear that the rendering budget couldn't cover that kind of dinosaur action, but having dinosaurs that look like dinosaurs is pretty key to your movie about dinosaurs being somewhat successful.

The performances were pretty decent, Treat Williams handling the existence of rampaging dinosaurs with the coolness of the Fonz at a high school dance, with most of the heavy stuff placed on the shoulders of Jillian Rose Reed who had to do most of the running, screaming and emoting, and the young lady handled it well.  Special shout out to actor Andray Johnson, if for no other reason than the brother looked cool as the beleaguered captain trying to make the best out of an impossible situation.

Is the movie stupid?  Why yes it is.  Modern video cameras have great lenses which can get outstanding shots of what's happening on the ground, from a helicopter, from a distance.  So when a reporter says… 'let's get a closer shot', the helicopter pilot doesn't have to listen to her.  Is a sonic whistle really a good enough of a deterrent to stop a dinosaur from eating you?  I don't think so.  Why do people in dinosaur movies insist on sacrificing themselves so their loved ones can live?  You know… I'll stay and slow it up… you guys get out of here!  That never works.  Why come a dinosaur can bust through a steel door, but is totally baffled when faced with a chain link fence?  Why come a dinosaur can run straight through a barrage of 12-gage blasts to the grill, but yet is easily taken out by 2x4 swat to the head?  There are more questions, but we must close out.

Sure, 'Age of Dinosaurs' may not be art, as if we know what that is, but it is a reasonably competent ripoff of various scenes of  Jurassic Park, and one we didn't mind sitting through.
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