Primal (2019) Movie Review

Director: Nick Powell

Writer: Richard Leder (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Famke Janssen, Kevin Durand, Michael Imperioli, LaMonica Garrett, John Lewis, Rey Hernandez

Plot: Frank’s caught wildlife in the Brazilian jungle incl. a 400 lbs. white jaguar. He ships it on the same ship as an arrested assassin. The assassin breaks free and frees the animals.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Con-Boat

Story: Primal starts as prize hunter Frank Walsh (Cage) captures an elusive white jaguar in the Brazilian jungle and looks to return back to America with the cat. On the ship returning, Frank is joined by US Marshalls who are transferring criminal assassin Richard Loffler (Durand) and Dr Ellen Taylor (Janssen) which sees the ship setting sail.

When Loffler escapes, Frank is forced to work with the Marshall’s as they look to hunt him down, only the animals have been let loose on the ship, making every corridor a danger and Frank must use his own skills to save the innocent people from the deadly animals.

Thoughts on Primal

Characters – Frank Walsh is a hunter that travels the world hunting, not killing animals to sell to the highest bidder, his latest hunt was for a jaguar, only he discovers a white one, which he captures to add to the collection he is looking to bring back to sell. He isn’t the most friendly person, being more interested in helping his animals than the people, with this journey becoming the latest challenge of hunting for a deadly predator. Dr Ellen Taylor is the military person on board the ship, she has history with Frank, with her father being the high ranking officer that once order Frank in the military. Richard Loffler is the assassin that the military trained and now a most wanted man, he has captured and being transported, only he escapes showing his training to pick off the member of the crew to get his freedom.

PerformancesNicolas Cage is on his best action persona role, which is always fun to watch, with moments that are over the top, but do work for the film. Famke Janssen is always good to see on the screen, but her role isn’t that strong for the film. Kevin Durand is great as the villainous figure, who shows the military training for everything.

StoryThe story here follows a prize hunter whose latest catches are being transferred only for the ship to be used to move an assassin, who only escapes with the hunter needing to recapture the animals and stop an assassin from killing everyone on board. This is a simple idea that gives us plenty to work with, we have a range of different animals that could be deadly, while the poster shows the jaguar, we do also have snakes and monkeys, this is an enjoyable factor because you don’t know which animal is going to appear next to come after the people on board, or whether it is the assassin. While fun to watch, we do have flaws, that could easily be picked apart, mostly the weakness in the military doctor character and the marshals not being the brightest.

Action The action might well be focused more on small shoot outs, but the danger is always there which does add to the tension in the film.

SettingsThe film is set on a large cargo ship, which is out at sea, meaning we have no way of escape from either the assassin or the dangerous animals on board.


Scene of the Movie – Feeding time.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Most of the side characters are not important enough to be given anything to do.

Final Thoughts This is a fun enjoyable action film that is elevated by Nicolas Cage’s performance who makes this film even more enjoyable.

Overall: Cage Shines.

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