Action adventure opens on the distant planet of Somaris where pilot Mills (Adam Driver) accepts a two-year space mission, as the pay will help him get treatment for his ill daughter Nevine (Chloe Coleman). Tragedy strikes while on the way home when a rogue asteroid belt collides with his ship. He crash-lands on a distant and primitive planet with only one other survivor, Koa (Ariana Greenblatt) a young girl, about his daughter’s age, who doesn’t speak his language. The planet he has landed on is Earth in the time of the dinosaurs and he must lead Koa through miles of dangerous land to reach the escape ship that was separated from his craft in the crash. Worse than giant predators, quicksand and hostile insects is that the asteroid belt is on a direct collision course with Earth with only hours until catastrophe strikes.
Dinosaur movie is written and directed by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods (A Quiet Place, Haunt) and is a routine but solid sci-fi adventure. All the clichés for this kind of movie are present and it doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. It’s well made and moves quickly with some very good SPFX and a strong and likable hero in Driver’s Mills. Ariana Greenblatt is sweet and resilient as Koa and must convey emotion and communicate without use of English. This adds a little tension between Koa and Mills, but you know they will bond and become a team as they wade through all sorts of prehistoric beasts on the way to a possible escape. Driver gives the film emotional resonance by taking the film and his character seriously, which is why he is such a good actor. The dinosaurs have menace and the action sequences with them are entertaining. Overall, it may be an unremarkable movie but for the 90+ minutes you’re watching it, it entertains and keeps you occupied and interested, even if you know how it’s going to end from the moment it begins.
MZNJ NOTE: Flick reminded me of the similar and fun 1978 stop motion monster indie Planet of Dinosaurs which is streaming free on Tubi!