22 July 2009 | xamtaro
To-rock? or not to-rock.
Based on the well known comic series and video game franchise, Turok: Son of Stone is a extremely well crafted adventure story boasting stellar voice acting and state of the art animation.......for a 1990s cartoon. Which is TERRIBLE since this movie came out in 2008.
The one thing that hits the viewer in the very first scene is how cheap this film looks. In terms of art and animation, it is not where near the quality of other direct to DVD animated movies or OVAs. The director, character designer and animators apparently worked on a number of 90s Disney animated shows like Mulan, Hercules and Aladdin. And apparently, none of them grew out of that era. The character designs look like a watered down version of Mulan and Pocahontas, spliced with the more modern stylized aesthetics of the Legion of Superheroes cartoon series. The art is FLAT. Clothing detail and shadowing are kept to a bare minimum with almost no shading other than a flat color fill for many of the action scenes. The backgrounds are OK, standard animation backgrounds. More lush than those in TV series but not as detailed as those in movies.
The animation for the most part is stiff and choppy. It is about as good as Superman: the Animated series or Gargoyles. This is a 2008 animated movie that has the animation quality of 1990s TV series.
It not only looks bad, but sounds bad. The sound effects come across as a little fake and the mixing is all over the place. Punches sound the same as tree branches cracking, arrows hitting a stone wall sound the same as axes hitting a wooden shield. Whats more, the dinosaur sounds are very obviously lion roars, maybe taken off national geographic or animal planet. No attempt whatsoever was made to give the dinosaurs unique sounds.
The story and characterization are also nothing to speak of. It is a straight forward adventure story with little twists and no surprises. A exiled warrior has to save his old friend and her son from a twisted warlord from a rival tribe. Through some mishap, they land up in a lost world of Dinosaurs and cavemen from which they must now fight for their very survival and hopefully make it back out alive. The characters all lack depth and never in the whole movie does one get to emotionally relate to any of them. They are just "there" to move the story along to the next fight scene.
A few good pointers to this otherwise dismal film. The fight scenes are awesome. When the action starts, suddenly the level of animation jumps to new heights. Utilizing some of the smoothest slow motion seen in animation, some of the fight scenes seem visibly influenced by films like "300". (I think they blew most of the budget on these superbly animated fights). Bloodletting is at an all time high with severed limbs, torn flesh and broken bones in rich gory detail. Also, though the dinosaurs don't sound cool,they look cool. The lack of proper shadowing and shading make some dino scenes look flat but their designs and movement animation seem spot on when compared to other dinosaur films like Jurassic park.
All in all, this film is too violent for children.
However, no teenager or adult would be able able to sit through its simplistic story and lackluster animation. If anything, watch this movie for the fight scenes and the gory action. Also recommended for fans of Dinosaurs.
Turok, sadly, does not rock.