Richard Dillane in The Dinosaur Project (2012)

The Mokele Mbembe Tapes

Whilst Scotland has the Loch Ness monster the Congo has Mokele Mbembe, a creature living in the river which many believe to be some sort of dinosaur. It is the reason why Jonathan Marchant (Richard Dillane), his team and a TV crew are heading in to the Congo, to obtain indisputable evidence of this creature once and for all. On the way into the jungle Jonathan discovers an extra member to his team, his son Luke (Matt Kane) has stowed away on the chopper after his father ordered him to stay in their hotel room. But as they fly in they end up being attacked by giant flying creatures and crash land.

There is one major thing I haven't mentioned in that synopsis of "The Dinosaur Project", this is a found footage movie supposedly put together from a rucksack full of tapes and recordings which were found washed up in the Congo. But unlike "The Blair Witch Project" this isn't some movie full of barely watchable home video style footage as they wrote a TV crew in to the storyline and so much of the footage is watchable. Some might say that robs "The Dinosaur Project" of a certain level of authenticity where I say at least you are not straining to make out what is going on.

Matt Kane in The Dinosaur Project (2012)

Now as to what is going on, well it is all kind of too obvious as every scene sets up the next leaving little too surprise you with. For example the explorers stay in what seem an abandoned village and young Luke sets up a webcam connected to his tablet to monitor outside the hut. Well you can guess that they will be stunned when they see dinosaurs out there in the middle of the night. That is in truth the biggest problem which "The Dinosaur Project" has because the story works well and nicely comes together as an adventure with a series of encounters, almost text book in construct but then text book works.

Being too obvious and telegraphing everything is not the only issue that "The Dinosaur Project" has and in truth features the sort of cast who whilst doing an okay job are only ever average at best. But then there is also of course the matter of the special effects and whilst on their own the dinosaurs look good they don't always look natural in their surroundings, looking like CGI creations plonked in.

What this all boils down to is that "The Dinosaur Project" was not as bad as I was expecting it to be and in truth for a "found footage" movie was more entertaining than I had anticipated. But it is not with out its issues and the need to telegraph everything is the most frustrating.