Turok: Son of Stone My Reviews 24 JUL 2008

Turok Son of StoneAfter falling victim to a blind rage with bloody consequences, the young native Red Indian Turok got banished from his tribe – and was forced out to survive on his own, moulding him into a strong, brutal and proud warrior in the process.

Years later, and his brother now leads the tribe while Turok continues to live in solitude, surrounded only by the carcasses of the animals that he has slain. However the tribe soon has need of Turok’s battle prowess as they are being threatened by a particularly bloodthirsty gang that is intent on slaughtering everyone in sight. Of course, years of exile have not allowed Turok to look kindly upon his old people and his refusal to aid them is swift and certain.

However, there are some ties that can never be broken, especially those of the heart and Turok finds himself drawn into the battle despite his earlier words as tragedy after tragedy befalls the tribe. Now in the dual role of avenger and saviour, Turok moves together with his young nephew Andar in order to avenge the death of his brother and hopefully save the woman that captured his heart as a boy.

Unfortunately for him though, his opponent is no pushover and the two of them are soon involved in a madcap race across the plains which lead them deeper and deeper into unchartered territory… so unchartered that in fact the very landscape itself seems different.

And be afraid they should be – for they have now entered the world of living dinosaurs – and these reptiles will eat anything in sight!

Turok: Son of Stone is a 2008 direct-to-DVD animated movie from Classic Media, intended to coincide with the release of the new 2008 Turok video game, Turok. The movie revisits Turok’s Gold Key Comics 1950s origin story and is written by Tony Bedard and directed by Curt Geda, Dan Riba and Tad Stones.

Having grown up with Valiant and Acclaim’s versions of Turok’s origin and storyline, seeing a re-envisioning of the original storyline is actually quite a nice change of pace when it comes to the Turok mythos, a fringe franchise at best, but a franchise that nonetheless does garner a little recognition in the comic book and gaming circles. The movie grounds itself in a non-stop action rut, with you literally racing from one breathless action scene to the next and while there certainly is a back story for all the running around, bloodshed and adventure, this takes a little bit of a back seat as we’re told to sit back and grab the edge of our seats for the rest of the ride.

Turok has always been a bit of a bloody comic and the animated movie certainly upholds this traditional with a lot of severed heads and body parts, both dinosaur and human, flying around. Unfortunately, Turok has always been a bit of a one-dimensional character and sadly this movie simply reinforces this aspect – Turok himself doesn’t do all that much talking and much of the movie’s dialogue is left up to the supporting characters around him.

Of course, much of the appeal of Turok has always revolved around the ‘savage land’ filled with the dinosaurs from our past that he stumbles into, and the movie does its best to provide that momentary sense of awe and wonder as we step into this newfound world. That said, it soon degenerates into yet another battle scene and it becomes blindingly obvious as to what this movie is all about.

And while all of the above may seem a little negative, you must understand that I actually quite enjoyed the movie – sure it is an action-packed popcorn movie, but it is a FUN action-packed popcorn movie. Just don’t expect anything to deep out of it.

The animation isn’t of the highest detailed quality and comes across looking quite standard apart from the one or two ‘special effects’ thrown in and to be honest some of the violence looks more comical than anything else thanks to the simple animation style. That said the animation is solid and smooth, and the action sequences translate quite nicely in animated form.

The nice thing about modern animated features is that the colouring is now particularly vibrant and well done, and in this respect Turok’s animators certainly do impress. Thanks to the digital paintbrush Turok’s world is a bright, vibrant and colourful place and this certainly comes to the fore thanks to Turok’s relatively simple lines.

As to the voice acting, no big, big name actors are anywhere to be found, but all the voice cast who do lend their voices to the story do a fantastic job and there is hardly anyone who seems out. The musical score is also surprisingly top notch and adds an enjoyable and epic feel to the movie at times.

Overall, Turok: Son of Stone is certainly nothing special, but it is an action-packed adventure that does manage to hold your attention (just don’t expect too much from this all out action story) and turns out to be fairly enjoyable. It limits its viewing audience thanks to all the animated violence that abounds throughout, but older teens and adult viewers should enjoy it as an alternative to all those big Hollywood action blockbusters lining the DVD stores’ shelves.

A rental at best and particularly well suited to already converted Turok fans.

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Related link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0968765/

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.