Dinotasia Review

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Trailer
  • Dinotasia film still

Score

Exclusively for all those people who thought the BBC’s Walking With Dinosaurs was 'too edgy’.

It's hard to imagine that anything other than a desperate, 11th-hour salvage operation on aborted Discovery Channel educational series Dinosaur Revolution lays behind the bizarre cinematic release of this well-meaning but listless compendium of unconnected prehistoric CG dino-vignettes that is as sure to bore children as it is to bemuse adults.

Before you stop reading, it might be time to mention that this whole bizarre affair is narrated with disengaged lustiness by Werner Herzog. He bangs on about "oceans of time" and "rivers of life". It is a voiceover that not only sounds like it has come from another planet, but which imbues proceedings with the undue Bavarian gravitas familiar to Herzog’s own, far-superior docs, Cave of Forgotten Dreams and Encounters at the End of the World (both of which were produced by co-director Erik Nelson).

The resulting film plays out as if Herzog has lost a gambling bet and has been roped in to voice a mid-'90s PC pre-visualisation of the 'We Are Stardust' section of Terrence Malik’s The Tree of Life.

Despite the initially dreadful computer graphics, these overly anthropomorphised and largely bloodless cameos of dinosaur life eventually build into a begrudgingly agreeable journal of the Jurassic experience.

Abetted by a totally over the top score which appears to have been left over from the Tim Burton-directed Batman films, we’re treated to a dubious, comically intense sequence of a Pterodactyl matriarch kicking her young out of the nest, a swampful of twelve-foot frogs sucking the bones out of some luckless proto-turkeys, and an adventurous Diplodocus getting wazzed up on magic mushrooms.

But none of this can mask the humdrum graphics, the lack of direction and the obvious cut 'n' paste nature of the production.

Anticipation

A compendium of shoddy CGI cutaways from a cancelled Discovery Channel documentary series? Hmm…

1

Enjoyment

Exclusively for all those people who thought the BBC’s Walking With Dinosaurs was 'too edgy’.

2

In Retrospect

Tired, dull, directionless and with only the barest flicker of charm, it’s forgotten even as the credits roll.

1
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