Primeval

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
Primeval Movie Poster Image
Grisly croc tale lacks any meaningful bite.
  • R
  • 2007
  • 94 minutes

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 18+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Croc hunters range from cynical to well-intentioned, but all are ignorant and cocky (until they die or are taught lesson); villains are greedy, bloodthirsty, cruel.

Violence

Movie opens with shot of a mass grave (closeups of worms, rotting remains); crocodile attacks are brutal (chomping bodies, crunching a skull, screaming victims); fights (punching, kicking, hit to crotch); fairly explicit shooting executions; weapons include axe, machete, AK-47s, handguns, knives, grenades; war participants shoot repeatedly (bodies thrown, bloodied, dismembered); attempted rape; blood splattering onto observers during violent scenes; dismembered limbs, skulls, bones; boy shoots a villain in the back; Krieg describes watching his wife be eaten; blood spreads in water (shown from overhead); blood/urine mix (made to attract croc) thrown on villain.

Sex

Some cleavage shots; Steven makes sexually themed jokes about the croc (puts his hand through his fly as if it's the croc; alludes to too-small cage as a too-small "condom"); sexual slang ("tap that ass," "hard-on"); jokes about a closeted gay man getting his "ass tapped").

Language

Multiple uses of "f--k" (about 15, some with "mother"); other language includes "s--t" (20+), "ass," "damn," "hell."

Consumerism

Verbal reference to Starbucks, visuals for Nike and Fubu (T-shirts), Budweiser (sweatband), Sony (camcorder).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Cigar smoking by villain; beers for protagonists.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this creature-centric horror movie includes lots of bloody violence: The film's giant crocodile rips up and eats people, militiamen shoot at civilians, a family is executed, and more. There's discussion of "black-on-black violence" in the United States and Africa. A teenager character shoots a villain and is upset by it. An attempted rape scene involves a rough assault, ripped clothing, and the female victim's distress. Some drinking and smoking; language includes multiple uses of "f--k," plus other obscenities and sexual slang.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byFoehammer0893 April 9, 2008

Crocidile + Blood Dimond = Primeval

My son wanted to watch this for a while so we rented it. I excpected it to be poor, like most monster movies. But I found that the croc wasn't too cheesy a... Continue reading
Adult Written byChuck Reid March 16, 2012

Great horror movie!

This movie is cool and funny! The voice acting is GREAT as well as the jokes!
Teen, 15 years old Written byBrandon22592 April 9, 2008

Very Good!!!

For some reason, many people do not like this movie. Its probably because they thock it was going to be a human killing other people, like all the other films o... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byyourboi01 April 9, 2008

this movie was cool

it was really bloody. my type of movie

What's the story?

After Burundi's legendary 20-foot crocodile, Gustave, kills a white female forensics expert who's examining a mass grave, a tabloid-esque TV station sends a crew to capture the beast. Along with cameraman Steven (Orlando Jones), the team includes producer Tim (Dominic Purcell), "animal reporter" Aviva (Brooke Langton) -- whose moral compass is revealed when she saves a dog left out as bait for the monster croc -- and Matt (Gideon Emery), a self-absorbed Aussie croc expert. Matt wants to preserve Gustave and manages to affix a tracking device to the croc. Weathered guide Krieg (Jürgen Prochnow) is determined to kill the beast rather than capture it. Tim and Aviva come to appreciate Krieg's view, as Gustave attacks the group repeatedly. But the crocodile isn't their only problem. Steven befriends war-orphaned teenager Jojo (Gabriel Malema), and also witnesses an execution by the warlord known as "Little Gustave."

Is it any good?

Inconsistent and conventional, Primeval claims to be "inspired by true events." Namely, the reported attacks by Gustave and the country's civil war, which has raged since 1993. The two plotlines come together thematically, with the movie positioning the militias as "killing machines" much like the crocodile -- both of which fail to attract the attention of white, Western media or intervention by international peacekeepers.

While it's worthwhile for the filmmakers to try to compare the two, the intriguing idea is trivialized and lost in the formulaic plot and characters of this mostly hum-drum horror flick. On top of that, the special effects are lacking -- Gustave is a not-very-convincing mix of animatronics and CGI.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the characters' different attitudes toward the crocodile. Why does Matt want to capture it and Krieg want to kill it? Is either of them right? How do the civil war storyline and the crocodile-hunting plot parallel each other? The movie claims to be based on true events; how accurate do you think it is? If you've seen it, how does this movie compare to National Geographic's story of the real Gustave?

Movie details

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