The paleontologist Susan Matthews-Loomis moves with her husband, the unemployed journalist George Loomis, to the Ivory Coast to work with her former professor, Doctor Eric Kiviat, and his assistant Nigel Jenkins in an archaeological site. When George is invited to work in a newspaper in the United States, Susan discovers a bone that she believes is from a dinosaur; but Eric tells that she is wrong. However he knows that Susan has made an important discovery and wants the credits. George packs their stuff to travel but Susan wants to check her discovery and leaves a note to him telling that she will investigate further in the forest. George hires an airplane to follow her and he succeeds to find his wife. Soon they find befriend the native Cephu and his tribe. When they find a family of brontosaurus in the middle of the forest, they feed the animals and become close to their baby. Meanwhile, Eric hires mercenaries to help him to capture the brontosaurus and the militia kills the male ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
William Katt ('The Greatest American Hero') and Sean Young ("Blade Runner") play George and Susan, a journalist and palaeontologist working in Africa who discover an apatosaur family living deep in the jungle. They work overtime to protect the cute dinosaur baby and its mother from the machinations of Eric Kiviat (Patrick McGoohan, 'The Prisoner'), Susan's ruthless rival who's out to make a name for himself.
It is true that the movie doesn't quite make ideal family entertainment. Little kids may not notice its elements of racism and sexism, or much care about female tribe members being topless, but it's undeniable that the movie is a little violent, and not completely light hearted. Not that it dwells too, too long on unpleasantness, this being a Touchstone (i.e. Disney) production.
Some people may scoff now at the dinosaur effects, but hey, this *was* 1985, and animatronics weren't as advanced as they became when "Jurassic Park" came along almost a decade later. Personally, I thought the prehistoric lizards were pretty charming, and children are certain to love the baby dino.
Some actual location shooting in the Ivory Coast definitely helps, along with the expected studio work. The story is not that well-written, but the pacing is fine, the action scenes decent, and Jerry Goldsmiths' music is appealing.
The acting may not be of the Oscar-baiting variety, but it serves its purpose. Katt is okay, although his character is unlikable at the beginning. Young is gorgeous, as usual, but never has been much of an actress. Still, it's easy to be on their side when you have an unsubtle villain played to the hilt by McGoohan. Kyalo Mativo ("Roar") (as tribesman Cephu) and Hugh Quarshie ("Highlander") (as the pilot Kenge Obe) offer engaging support. One bright moment of humour has Cephu spitting out a bite of granola bar after it has been offered to him.
This movie is manipulative, to be sure, but it has its moments for fans of dinosaur cinema.
Six out of 10.
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