(US/UK - 2019)
Directed by Nicholas Powell. Written by Richard Leder. Cast: Nicolas Cage, Famke Janssen, Kevin Durand, Michael Imperioli, LaMonica Garrett, Jeremy Nazario, Sewell Whitney, Braulio Castillo Jr, Tom Walker, Isaac Santiago, Leon Joseph, Ray Hernandez, Jaime Irizarry, Pablo Tufino. (R, 96 mins)
Nicolas Cage continues to squander the potential Cageassaince that last year's MANDY quite erroneously portended with what feels like his 17th straight-to-VOD effort this year, PRIMAL, dropping the same week that trailers for another two upcoming Cage movies went online. With Cage battling an escaped lunatic and a bunch of wild animals set loose on a cargo ship, the Puerto Rico-shot PRIMAL sounds like the kind of high-concept hit the actor would've made for Jerry Bruckheimer two decades ago, with a no-expense-spared budget, a top-notch supporting cast, and a solid genre craftsman like Renny Harlin, Stephen Hopkins, or Simon West at the helm. But PRIMAL has none of that other than the always-slumming Cage, reunited with his OUTCAST director Nicholas Powell, who, like his leading man, had his best days a generation ago, back when he was a stuntman and stunt coordinator on blockbusters like BATMAN, BRAVEHEART, GOLDENEYE, GLADIATOR, and THE BOURNE IDENTITY.