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Misapplied Science in “Age of Dinosaurs”

Age of Dinosaurs
Year: 2013
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi
Director: Joseph L. Lawson
Stars: Treat Williams, Ronny Cox, Jillian Rose Reed

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.

Next up for “Project Terrible” is The Asylum’s Age of Dinosaurs which comes recommended to me from Michelle at The Girl Who Loves Horror. I love films from The Asylum but not in the same way that I love wonderful, classic movies like the works of Kubrick.  I love The Asylum for the same reasons I love watching things like Plan 9 From Outer Space or The Room.  This is a bad B-movie – but there was still some fun to be had.  What makes it so glorious is that the filmmakers seemed to have been making this up as they went along – creating their own brand of misapplied science out of thin air.  It’s like they had some scientific questions that needed answer during the production and didn’t bother to do a quick google search for answers.

What’s An “Age”?

Age of Dinosaurs is obviously a tie-in film to profit off the hype of the recent re-release of Jurassic Park in time for it’s 20th anniversary as well as the big news of Jurassic Park 4 being in the works.  The actual “Age of dinosaurs” spans the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods of history.  Communally referred to as “The Mesozoic Era,” this was approximately 100 million years ago.  So when you hear a title like “Age of Dinosaurs,’ be it a feature film or a Discovery Channel documentary – one easily expects it to take place in, well, the age of dinosaurs.  So, what’s wrong with this opening shot?

age of dinosaurs 1

That’s not the lush and vibrant jungle of the Mesozoic era – that’s the crowded and smog-filled urban jungle of Los Angeles!  This isn’t the “age of  dinosaurs” this is 2013.  I understand that dinosaurs will be in this movie and if the DVD cover art is any indication these dinosaurs will be rampaging through the streets of modern day Los Angeles.  So it’s not really the “age of dinosaurs” now, is it?

What is Lizard?

The movie starts with some scientists performing genetic experiments of some sort in their super top-secret laboratory.   The first line of spoken dialogue is this:

age of dinosaurs 2

age of dinosaurs 3What the hell?  Drop the blood pressure down to 6 whats?  Blood pressure is a ration – like 80/106 for instance – and not just ONE number.  How do you lower that by 6.  This is an opening line that just shouts: “We don’t know what the hell we are doing!”  I would have accepted “Can you drop the blood pressure” as something an actual medical professional would say… not “Can you drop the blood pressure by 6 bullshit units we made up?”

What exactly ARE they doing anyway?  Apparently it’s some sort of medical experiment on a Komodo dragon.  They act very serious about it, constantly shouting that “The Komodo is dying, do soemthing!” “Oh no, the Komodo is not reacting to the procedure correctly.”  Then we find out exactly what this procedure is – a “synaptic transfer” of some sort.  That doesn’t make any sense at all but, who cares, they dropped the blood pressure by 6 so it’s all good, right?  Then we see the Komodo….

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age of dinosaurs 5THAT’S NOT A KOMODO DRAGON!!!  In fact that’s not anything that has ever existed at all.  It’s supposed to be a Velocioraptor of some sort I suppose – but it has horns. They still call it a Komodo but that is in no way ever a Komodo.  Even if you had never seen a Komodo at all – only knew that it was a lizard of some sort – a raptor with horns is what no normal person would imagine.

The “Komodo” goes into a blood rage and starts killing everyone so the scientists dump a death gas into the experiment room.   You can see, however, that there is no window in the observation area – gas is just spilling right into their room.  This experiment is a failure – many people died and they had to kill the mutant-freak “not a Komodo.”  So what they do is just say “Okay, let’s forget that this failure happened and go ahead and mark it as a success so we can go forward with it all.  Because that is EXACTLY what science is all about.. right?

What is Genetics?

age of dinosaurs 6Enter Treat Williams as Gabe Jacobs – the somewhat alienated father to teenager Jade.  She is constantly connected to her iphone so Gabe decides to have some quality father & daughter time.  They live in Los Angeles – a city with SO much to see and do, so the natural choice is for him to take her to the press junket for a biotech firm?  Yeah, nothing says true cross-generations bonding like watching Ronny Cox sit in a wheelchair and talk about recent breakthroughs in genetic research.  Gabe Jacobs isn’t even working in the field of genetic research – he’s a firefighter, so it makes even LESS sense for them to spontaneously go to this genetic research thing.  Of course the big reveal is that this company, Geneti-Sharp, has created dinosaurs.

Ronny Cox plays Jeremy; no last name, just Justin.  You name the geeky character who dies third in a slasher film Justin No-last-name – not the crazy billionaire scientist who created dinosaurs. Also, it’s Ronny fucking Cox.  Once upon a time he was usually cast in rules such as the corrupt billionare CEO in Robocop or the corrupt billionaire CEO in Total Recall.  Here is the billionaire CEO of Geneti-Sharp who is not corrupt at all.  On the contrary, he’s actually a nice guy. He’s all smiles as he shows off these dinosaurs he created and says “Look, dinosaurs are so great – they even gave me the ability to walk again.”  He gets up from his wheelchair and walks around as if to prove there is a connection between his own paralysis and dinosaurs – because THAT makes sense!  He goes on to say that they ONLY created the carnivorous dinosaurs because they are “cooler,” and can be used for zoos, research, or children’s birthday parties. Wait… CHILDREN’S BIRTHDAY PARTIES?!  Who the fuck would take a vicious, man-eating velocioraptor to a kid’s birthday party?

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Of course Ronny Cox forgets that he made fucking DINOSAURS and that dinos do not give a single drop of fucks about people.  You can’t train a dinosaur – they will eat you.  So when the dinosaurs run amok and start their mass killing spree throughout the convention center, Ronny Cox is completely bemused and thinking: “I didn’t know dinosaurs would do THAT!”

What is Dinosaur?

age of dinosaurs 8You see that picture over there?  That is a triceratops bursting free from captivity. That dinosaur was a herbivore.  There’s also a Brontosaurus later – the most  herbivoriest dinosaur of them all.   Either Ronny Cox was full of shit or whomever made this movie just blindly assumed that ALL dinosaurs are carnivores – during the Age of Dinosaurs the food chain was ALL MEAT apparently.    I mean we see a Stegosaurus eat a guy; those were HERBIVORES for crying out loud.  Yeah, dinosaurs had itsy-bitsy brains but I’m pretty sure a plant eating dinosaur could readily tell the difference between plant and not-plant.

Apparently Gentei-Sharp felt very ambitious about their project of making dinosaurs for children’s birthday parties that they made a lot of them.  In addition to the dozen or so at the convention center there is a nearby warehouse in downtown Los Angeles that has 100 dinosaurs in it.  Of course these dinosaurs all break out of captivity and we have 100 dinosaurs stampeding through and destroying Los Angeles.  Here is a quick screenshot of that…

I'm like a NINJA!

I’m like a NINJA!

That is a Brontosaurus.  It is as tall as Skyscrapers.  What fucking warehouse in downtown Los Angeles housed 100 of those things unnoticed?!  I mean you can’t even store 100 cats in a warehouse downtown without people wondering “What’s that smell of ammonia?  Is someone making Windex?” How the fuck do you hide 100 dinosaurs?!

As they go on their rampage it is an insane, over-the-top mess of CGI dinosaurs doing things that dinosaurs weren’t even capable.  We see dinosaurs flying around and eating helicopters all over the place.  Not just Pterodactyls either because in Age of Dinosaurs – EVERY DINOSAUR FLIES!!

 

But I've been, done, seen about everything When I see a dinosaur fly.

But I’ve been, done, seen about everything
When I see a dinosaur fly.

What the shit?  Dimetrodons flying over Wilshire Blvd.  This movie makes NO goddamned sense.

All the dinosaurs, and I do mean all 100+ of the bastards, run into the same building.  Which starts to crumble because having over 100 dinosaurs in your building is HELL on the infrastructure.  But somehow you can fit 100 magically flying and all man-eating bullshit dinosaurs in 1 warehouse and nobody notices.

Of course these raptors chasing them could just fly away because they can do that, you know.

Of course these raptors chasing them could just fly away because they can do that, you know.

Age of Dinosaurs IS fun – no doubt about that.  It’s ambitious and it’s a shame that they didn’t have the billions of dollars necessary to REALLY tell a story about dinosaurs destroying downtown Los Angeles?  Hell, if we can fall asleep to the millions it took for lava to creep around L.A. in Volcano then surely it is worth the money to have dinosaurs do even better.  Still the goofy Asylum-esque CGI help the crazy as hell story to make it a lot of fun.  The movie makes NO sense at all in the slightest but it’s not supposed to.  Age of Dinosaurs is the most fun I’ve had since Sharknado… and that’s saying A LOT.

About The Author
Matthew Coats
Matthew Coats
Formerly known under the pseudonym of Alex Jowski. Site owner, movie aficionado, and film school grad. Matthew Coats presents reviews, some written, some as vlogs, and some as weekly shows, for a variety of different movies and television shows. After years of struggling to get his own projects off the ground amidst the normal routine of living, Matthew Coats decided to create a site in order to share and promote movie reviews, video games and much much more from talented and original people all across the internet.

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