Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sea Rex: Journey to a Prehistoric World

Fishy Ancestor

My triple IMAX slam ended with Sea Rex: Journey to a Prehistoric World in 2D (instead of 3D, since the Science Centre Omni Theatre doesn't come with 3D projection), and to my surprise, this happens to be the most popular amongst all the films currently showing at the venue. I suppose one just can't get enough of monsters and creatures of all shapes and sizes, and we have Jurassic Park to thank for that boost in dino-interest amongst parents who have watched that film, and their young to whom they must have introduced it to as well.

Directed by Ronan Chapalain and Pascal Vuong, Sex Rex treks back to the prehistoric ages where dinosaurs roamed the earth in the various pre and post Jurassic eras, where the narrative follows a certain student Julie (Chloe Hollings) who meets the spirit of famed paleontologist Georges Cuvier (Richard Rider), and the question of course is why she didn't freak out when this happens in the very silent hours and areas of the aquarium-museum she was in. In any case they strike up a conversation, with Cuvier being the educator for her, and us the audience, into understanding a little bit more of the creatures that once ruled Earth before the coming of the homo-sapiens.

Granted there were enough snazzy computer graphics that serve to visually appeal to the young and old alike at succinctly explaining evolution of the prehistoric eras, and through the recreation of what would be poor cousin renditions of the various creatures, but what ultimately make this a failure in my books, is in trying to play it like a straight documentary, when it certainly isn't. I'm fine with having actors portray characters from the past, but to try and seamlessly mix documentary like, educational content with fictional people given statuses from academia and not clarifying that these are indeed characters and not people, I felt that the line had been crossed, especially if this film has any inkling of objectives to be serving as a platform for research and exploration for the young. And to add to it, the actors were really bad and made this film pass off as quite cheap.

And given that experience, it would have tanked all shreds of credibility this film had in trying to recreate behavioral patterns, as well as look and feel of the creatures, since it had taken a lot of liberties and creative license in crafting of the film, that any traces of truth in trying to convince that could be how the creatures behaved. are now taken with a huge pinch of salt. As such, a documentary this isn't, and as a fictional tale, this one passes off as a mediocre effort, made worse when it didn't even try to milk the IMAX capability it got presented in.

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