What a croc of shit.

Seriously. Meet Gustave, the star of “Primeval” and South Africa’s legendary serial killer. He’s claimed more 300 victims. He’s still at large. And he’s a 25-foot crocodile. Yes, it’s the January doldrums again and, as usual, generic dumpster-dive B-movies are in plentiful supply.

In a nutshell, Gustave’s gruesome evisceration of a female forensic expert sparks an American media storm, and suddenly a group of dumb journalists heads to South Africa to catch the croc.

It’s a slim plot, and “Primeval” ends up a 90-minute chance for low-level “stars” to prance around in skimpy-enough clothing to get noticed for other work.
There’s Tim (Dominic Purcell, TV’s “Prison Break”), a CNN-style journalist, average leading man and overly cynical asshole. His arm candy is Brooke Langton (“The Benchwarmers”) as Aviva, the spunky, idealistic Ivy grad just looking for a gee-whiz great story. And in the classic double role of comic relief and cameraman, there’s Steven (Orlando Jones), who is funny, clever and, sadly, an African-American lead in a horror film, which makes him – by movie law – dead very, very soon.

With its Americans-go-abroad setup, “Primeval” has some surprising potential as a political piece – and with just fast glimpses of both the crocodile and its slaughtered victims, it also aspires stylistically to be something better than it is.

The film would’ve been better off pushing its campy subject matter to Saturday-night special material. Working with a thin script from John Brancato and Michael Ferris (“T3”), the leads hop from dangerous situation to dangerous situation, but our only anxiety is that “Primeval” may never end.

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

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