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David House [Celluloid 11.08.19] action

Everyone's favourite actor who excels at playing an excitable raving psycho is back in the new action-thriller Primal. Yup, it's Nicholas Cage, a little toned down from his role in Mandy, but still full of the ferocious energy and rage we've come to expect from him and love him for.

In Primal we meet his character, Frank Walsh, in the Amazon jungle. He's a big-game hunter capturing and collecting wild animals to sell to zoos. The opening scene is the first of many "edge-of-your-seat nailbiters" in the film. He's face-to-face with a snarling jaguar and in grave danger of being mangled to shreds before he can get it caged. The rewards for his risk will payoff big time if he can get this cat delivered to an American zoo, as it's a very rare, one-in-a-million "white jaguar."

Next we find him at the docks in a coastal harbour, loading his many caged species onto an old rust-bucket freighter, where he meets a heavily armed posse of US agents escorting a dangerous political assassin in their custody onto the boat. He's being secretly returned to the USA, but under the highest security. A quiet peaceful ocean voyage follows with Frank Walsh and the American security agents exchanging tall tales over big mugs of rum. Two days into the trip our assassin villain, Richard Loffler, escapes his cage. And, if that's not dangerous enough, he lets loose all of Frank's wild animal collection.

You thought snakes on a plane was scary? Well here we have poisonous snakes too but there are also monkeys, tapirs, lizards, wild pigs and a ferocious jaguar. Now the real fun begins, as Richard and the many beasts kill off their pursuers one by one.

This is exactly the setting that we hope to find Nicholas Cage in. Get enraged, re-capture his rare animals, catch the bad guy and protect the pretty lady. Oh yes, there's a woman in the film too; just one. Dr. Ellen Taylor is played by former model Famke Janssen. She's a central character and sure to please the eyes of the young men watching the movie. She's terrific here. Our bad guy, Richard Loffler, is actor Kevin Durand and he is gem perfect in the role; exuding menace and evil.

Primal is beautifully shot with fine acting and some fun dialog. It moves at a good pace with no shortage of action, fights, blood, manglings, escapes and surprises. It has everything fans of action films wish for and is sure to get them cheering and shouting at the screen.

Primal opens theatrically and is available on VOD today, November 8.

Recommended Release: Snakes on a Plane

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