Opened December 20, 2013
1 hr 27 min
PG | Creature Action and Peril and Mild Rude Humor
One thing that children love growing up especially boys are dinosaurs. The thought of these mighty creatures roaming the Earth millions of years ago is just fascinating. Being able to see them animated on the big screen is always a big thrill. But then when Walking with Dinosaurs came out, moviegoers were complaining about how the dinosaurs were talking in this movie and that the dialogue was pretty annoying. I thought to myself, it couldn't be that bad could it? With my final day off of the year, I took my family to see a matinee of the film, and yes, the dialogue and plot ruins what would have been otherwise awesome in terms of amazing CGIs of these prehistoric beasts.
The film begins with a short modern day clip wasting the talents of Karl Urban, as his nephew (Ricky) appears to be on drugs. How else would you explain a bird talking to him and taking him back in time to view what happened 70 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period? Most of the story is told through the bird, Alex (John Leguizamo) and the star of the film, Patchi (Justin Long). Patchi is a Pachyrhinosaurus, which to us novices looks something like the more well-known Triceratops but with smaller horns. We meet Patchi as the runt of his family and see his struggles through to adulthood.
What makes this movie not enjoyable for adults is the apparent struggles that the filmmakers have imagined up for our little Pachy. A struggle that apparently includes a teenage love angst. Sure none of us including the filmmakers were alive during those times to know if indeed they could have experience these things. But they seem to take a little too much liberty in making the dinosaurs into something less like BBC's informative approach and more like one of Disney's teenage comedies.
Overall, I would recommend waiting for this film on Netflix or catching a matinee of it. Despite my misgivings of the dialogue and plot, the incredible visuals are a good enough reason to attend to give you that dinosaur fix until Jurassic World in 2015. I did not watch the 3D version but some of the scenes looked like it would look very cool in 3D. I took my seven year old daughter to the film and some scenes in which the Omnivores/Carnivores like the Gorgosaurus were attacking were very frightening to her. I asked her after the film though if she enjoyed it and she said yes. The main reason of that being Patchi's bravery. So the film is better suited for a younger audience, but not this dinosaur of a critic.
As always thank you all for reading and wishing you a happy and wonderful new year!
Voiceovers for prehistoric creatures
John Leguizamo ... Alex
Justin Long ... Patchi
Tiya Sircar ... Juniper
Skyler Stone ... Scowler
Karl Urban ... Uncle Zack
Charlie Rowe ... Ricky
Angourie Rice ... Jade