STARRING: Joe Flanigan, John Rhys-Davies, Catherine Walker, Dagmar Döring, Robert Soohan

2011, 88 Minutes, Directed by:
Douglas G. Davis

With his leading man looks and laidback charisma it is somewhat of a mystery why actor Joe Flanigan - best known to genre fans as Major John Sheppard in the now defunct StarGate: Atlantis TV series - is relegated to “original” made-for-the-Syfy channel movies such as this one . . .

(One is also reminded of the fate of the woefully underemployed Nathan Fillion, the starship captain in Firefly.)

That said, Ferocious Planet isn’t anywhere as bad as far as this sort of thing gets, which isn’t saying much we know, but still. (Watch The Almighty Thor to see what we mean. Or rather don’t.)

A demonstration of a groundbreaking device that allows us to look into other dimensions goes awry and a small group of people are accidentally stranded in an alternate dimension where vicious man-eating dinosaur-like aliens are the dominant species. (A more accurate title would have been Ferocious Dimension, but one supposes that doesn’t have the same ring to it though.)

Luckily Joe Flanigan’s John Sheppard character, er sorry, Colonel Sam Synn is around to save the day and lead the group to safety. Raiders of the Lost Ark star John Rhys-Davies also stars as an asshole U.S. senator who unsurprisingly is the said alien beasties’ first victim. (As a long-time star in Sliders he should be no stranger to the concept of parallel universes.)

Much of the dialogue is Action Movie 101 clichés, but Flanigan somehow manages to pull it off. He might not be a great actor and play the same character is each movie, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, loads of actors from Clint Eastwood through to Bruce Willis have done much the same thing throughout their entire careers.

There is a lot of other clichés as well such as characters outrunning creatures that would be impossible to outrun. The CGI is better than one dares hope for and the movie never really bores even though it doesn’t explain where the power is coming from for some handy neon lamps even though they have been transported to prehistoric times.

An okay-ish way to pass the evening if there is really nothing else on.

(By the way, Ferocious Planet may seem to have been filmed in those same Canadian forests as StarGate Atlantis, but it was actually filmed in Ireland. Thought you’d like to know.)



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