These days, most folks forget that Nicolas Cage is an Academy Award-winning actor for his performance in Leaving Las Vegas (1995). Since his Oscar turn, the actor’s style generally fluctuates between sedate and absolutely over-the-top. Although, occasionally, he does find the desired balance in films such as Kick-Ass (2010) and Mandy (2018). One thing’s for sure, though, Cage is an actor you either love or hate. I fall into the former category and tend to watch a fair amount of his copious direct-to-video output.
The latest of which is the action-thriller Primal. The film follows Frank Walsh (Cage), a cigar-chomping big game hunter for zoos. Recently, Frank acquired the most valuable animal thus far in his career, a rare white jaguar. As he’s done many times before, Frank and his prize board a cargo ship to make the journey back to the States. But this time, there is an extra passenger — a psychopathic assassin named Richard Loffler (Kevin Durand), who is being transported under government custody. Soon enough, Loffler and the jaguar make their escapes. Now, everyone on the ship must find a way to survive.
I’ll get right to it, folks. Primal is a perfectly serviceable, albeit bland genre piece. A competently made flick replete with a cast of character actors whose faces you know, but whose names you might not; all of whom show up to play. At the same though, this film brings only competency and mediocrity to the table; right down to the “signature” cinematography that every direct-to-video Lionsgate movie seems to sport. If you’re a fan of Nicolas Cage with an inclination to watch Primal, I would only recommend doing so on a lazy Sunday afternoon. It’s a perfect flick to doze in-and-out of because while it should be crazy and over-the-top, it is a mediocre time-filler.
Primal Available on Digital HD, Blu-Ray, & DVD!