It doesn’t really matter so much if the story is legitimately real or not, as long as the story is told in an entertaining way. Although The Dinosaur Project might appear to be an awkward marriage of Jurassic Park and The Blair Witch Project, the whole ‘found footage’ works wonders with today’s rebellious audience. While you may expect to watch a bunch of dudes slowly get eaten up by mysterious dinosaurs, you get way more than what you’re paying for.
The most endearing part about this film is the characters. Sure, you have the pedantic Marchant played by Richard Dillane, your regular bloke who’s too focused on his career to think about his son Luke (Matt Kane) that is desperately seeking his father’s approval. Then there’s the evil side-kick Dave (Stephen Jennings) that causes a stir among the travelers as each member gets his own individual moment with these strange creatures. The story is the same, but it’s not told in an identical way. You get involved in the drama of the father and son dilemma and the angry right-hand man eager for his taste of fame more so than the exciting dinosaurs eating everyone in sight.
The shaky web-cam footage may be exciting when you’re watching how a dinosaur swims in the water, but it’ll get your stomach turning after a good hour of wild scenes. There are many instances where I’m confused whether the found footage just cut out or the movie itself went haywire. The Dinosaur Project has many instances of static silence that really disturbs your viewing process to the point where the audience seems to just be waiting for the film to be over.
You can easily get confused about the director’s aim for this film, whether they’re trying to tell a drama or expose some flashy dinosaur action; none of it really sinks in. I was highly entertained with Luke’s performance and a little put off with the all-too-familiar archetypes of Marchant and Dave (get ready to laugh your butt off during a whole ‘I love you, son,’ moment at the edge of a cliff). Yes, there’s nothing new about this film since it’s literally taking out elements of the totally incomparable series of Jurassic Park, but it’s still a fun film to watch and enjoy. There is never a dull moment, the violence isn’t too disturbing and you just can’t help but laugh at some of the cheesy dialogue going on. Once in a while we get a film that is literally shot just for fun and you can really tell that this production was just as enjoyable in filmmaking as it is for watching.