Age Of Dinosaurs (2013)

DVD Cover (The Asylum Home Entertainment)
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Using breakthrough flesh-regeneration technology, a biotech firm creates a set of living dinosaurs. But when the creatures escape their museum exhibit and terrorize Los Angeles, a former firefighter must rescue his teenage daughter from the chaos brought on by the Age of Dinosaurs. --IMDb
Treat Williams
Treat Williams
Ronny Cox
Ronny Cox
Jillian Rose Reed
Jillian Rose Reed
Joshua Michael Allen
Joshua Michael Allen
Max Aria
Max Aria
Review by Chad
Added: January 22, 2014
It's time for some more goodness from The Asylum, so why not kick it off with some good old-fashioned dinosaurs? I haven't seen a dinosaur flick in quite some time, and with the recent talk of another Jurassic Park sequel, I figured that it was about time to remedy that. Now, I will preface this review with a disclaimer: I love those cheesy Asylum / SyFy movies, and I've had a soft spot for dinosaurs ever since I was a kid. So, this is a perfect fit for me and I'm going to go overboard with the rating, right? Well...

The story focuses on a company called Geneti-Sharp, which specializes in flesh-regeneration technology. They can transform a woman with 85% of her body covered in burn scars into a model with perfect skin, they can make their wheelchair-bound president (Ronny Cox) walk again, and most importantly for the plot, they can bring dinosaurs back to life with just a tiny sample of their DNA. They have brought back over a hundred dinosaurs - all meat-eaters, because "they're coolest" - and have developed a sonar sound system that will allow the humans to control them.

Of course, it should go without saying that this system fails horribly during the grand reveal to the press, and the dinosaurs go on a rampage in the building where they were being shown off. The doors are locked to prevent them from escaping, so everybody is trapped inside with these vicious beasts... everybody, including the father and daughter team of Gabe (Treat Williams) and Jade (Jillian Rose Reed), who will have to think fast in order to save the day.

Asylum + SyFy + dinosaurs... do I really need to spell it out for you? You should know what you're in for here, but just in case you're new to this combination, this is a bad movie with Hollywood ideas and a shoestring budget. Now, just because it's bad doesn't necessarily mean that it's not entertaining, but it's not something that can be ignored either. The effects are laughable, the acting is atrocious, and the storyline... well, things happen and we transition from scene to scene in various ways, but I'm not sure that "story" or "plot" are proper words here.

Alright, maybe I was a little unfair. By Asylum standards, some of the dinosaur effects are actually fairly decent. It's not Jurassic Park, not even close, but I have definitely seen worse. Some dinosaur effects are better than others: some looked fantastic, some looked downright horrible, but overall, I think that "fairly decent" sums it up. My one gripe would be this: did the filmmakers know anything about dinosaurs while making this? Velociraptors do not have devil horns, a Spinosaurus (a ten-ton creature) can not climb to the top of a skyscraper, and the Brontosaurus is a herbivore, not a carnivore. I don't expect incredible realism from a movie like this, but you have to at least try to stick to the rules: you can't make a dinosaur movie and completely change the fundamental things that we know about dinosaurs.

So, let's say that these dinosaurs are special and have unique traits, and that my nitpicking should be entirely ignored. We should simply watch this as a bad b-movie and enjoy the carnage, logic be damned, right? Well, this is another area where the film falters. There is a heavy emphasis on the relationship between father and daughter, which probably wouldn't have been bad in another movie, but in a movie like this? It did nothing but get in the way. It didn't help that the characters were constantly doing the dumbest things possible in any given situation, and that they were downright annoying to listen to. It also didn't help that there is a lot of padding here, with the same basic scene ("dinosaur chases humans, humans hide, dinosaur leaves, humans run, repeat") being used numerous times. Oh, and what happened with the ending? Did the last ten minutes get cut out? The movie just sort of ends, which was a little weird.

Age of Dinosaurs may have its faults, and there are plenty of them, but I have to go back to my initial disclaimer: I'm a sucker for Asylum movies and dinosaurs in general. Yes, it's bad. Yes, you should avoid it if you're in the mood for a serious movie, or if you expect logic, consistency, or realism from your films. However, if you're in the market for some b-movie goodness and like dinosaurs, give this one a shot. It's certainly no Sharknado, but it is moderately entertaining. 5/10.
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