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Category:    Home > Reviews > Fantasy > Action > Animated > Video Game > Turok – Son of Stone (DVD Animated Feature)

Turok – Son of Stone (DVD Animated Feature)

 

Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: C-     Film: C

 

 

This reviewer being a huge videogame fan was both ponderous and hopeful about what a 73 minute Turok – Son of Stone feature could bring to the table.  In the end what it brought was a lackluster storyline and even worse animation stylings.  Like many of the most recent Turok videogame releases this film failed for an array of reasons and this reviewer was less than impressed.

 

Unbeknownst to many people, this reviewer is sure, is that Turok has had a lot longer life than people realize.  Turok started in comics in the 1950’s and gradually fell from people’s memories as superheroes like Superman and Batman grew in popularity.  Turok’s claim to fame was revitalized in an updated comic series in the early 1990’s and was only furthered by a Nintendo 64 (N64) game series that was extremely popular.  But before long Turok’s charm as a dinosaur hunter was lost again and with a slue of unread comics and one bad video game sequel after another, Turok once again went the way of the dinosaur around 2002.  Also let’s note that the company that resurrected Turok in the 1990’s, Acclaim one of the largest game manufacturers of the day, has now also gone under completely.  Well, it is now 2008 and a new company has the rights to the dinosaur hacking bastard, so let’s see what Turok’s got!  He not only has the Turok: Son of Stone film, but also a multi-system videogame release as well.  The videogame is apparently better than this outdated and unnecessary film is based on recent reviews.

 

The storyline of Turok: Son of Stone begins with our hero Turok, his brother Nasoba, and a girl who they seem to love named Catori running through the peaceful forest.  Not before long, however, Turok finds himself in a battle to the death with a couple of men from a neighboring, hostile tribe.  The animated featurette suddenly turns into a gore fest in which Turok cuts of arms, splatters blood everywhere, and even hatchets a few skulls.  Needless to say Turok killed a few people that day.  In the heat of the moment, however, Turok injures his brother by gashing his arm.  The brothers return to their village where Turok’s father grants his son forgiveness, but the tribe’s medicine man is not so forgiving.  The medicine man tells Turok he has brought great trouble to the village by killing those other tribesman (what was he suppose to do? Say, ok ‘kill me…rape her!’) and he should be forever banished for his fatal acts.  Well the village did see the war the medicine man predicted…sixteen, freakin, years later!

 

Anyhow, their greatest warrior (Turok) is still banished , but now they need his help.  Turok’s brother is now the chief and sends his son to find his brother to help them not die and such.  Turok is found, but not before being terrorized by some members of the other tribe and being transported with his nephew (Andar) into a ‘long lost world’ filled with dinosaurs and primitive beings.  Isn’t Turok primitive? Soon Turok finds himself pitted against the EVIL chief of the other tribe in this new and strange world.  His brother is dead, he is a strange land, and all he has is time to kill.  Literally, that is what happens the whole time…killing…no storyline.  Can Turok save his tribe and the friendly cave people of this new world?  The bigger question is, does anyone care?

 

The storyline is pretty much was described above, there is no real depth and is mostly filled with poor animation and bloody, gory violence.  This reviewer and videogame fan was hoping for a more in depth plot with animation that would be more like something from the DC Comic Universe, but haste there was only animation that appeared to be from a bad 1980’s series and violence that should be left for the Grand Theft Auto games.  Turok may have been resurrected from the dead several times now, but lets leave him in videogames…it seems film is not his medium.

 

The picture quality is nice, clear, and bright.  Even with the poor style choices of the animators the 1.78 X 1 Anamorphic Widescreen looks solid and well presented.  The animation style may be over simplified and look like a 1980’s reject, but to be fair the picture is crisp with tight lines.  The sound is adequate, but not impressive in its Dolby Digital 5.1 Mix.  The bigger and higher production scenes (like battles) obviously got the higher degree of attention, because the normal dialogue throughout the feature truly falls flat, failing to ‘pop’ and more sounding like a simple stereo.  The extras are pretty awful.  One extra is a commentary track that put this reviewer to sleep since there was not much said (dead air) and when the creators did pipe-up it was useless dribble describing the scene.  NOTE: I have eyes I can see what is going on, feed me some trivia or go away.  There was also a feature on the origins of Turok, but spoke nothing of the videogame series that made him a star.  Sure the comics were nice, but the videogames are where we all know Turok from, get a clue guys.

 

In the end, this is a definite let down of a film.  Turok- Son of Stone had little depth, too much unnecessary violence, and seemed to be in limbo if this was for adults or children.  The animation suggests kids, the violence suggests adults, and the lack of plot suggests crap.  Maybe the next Turok film could be entitled Turok- Son of the Scoop; where he shovels dinosaur feces in a comedic form.  I would watch that.

 

 

-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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