Primal (2019)

Primal (the first four episodes)
Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
Writer: Genndy Tartakovsky, Darrick Bachman, Bryan Andrews, David Krentz, Don Shank
Cast: Aaron LaPlante
Part of: SLASH Filmfestival
Seen on: 19.9.2020

After caveman Spear (Aaron LaPlante) loses his entire family to dinosaurs, he finds a T-Rex and her babies. At first he tries to attack, but while he is there, the dinosaurs who killed his family show up again and kill the T-Rex’s babies, too. After that, Spear and the T-Rex team up to face the dangers of their lives together.

Primal got a bit too much for me. Maybe my impression would have been different if I hadn’t seen four episodes back to back, but rather spread out, but ultimately it was just grunting and killing. I didn’t care for it.

The poster showing Spear riding the T-Rex as they fight monkeys.

The first episode worked pretty well for me, despite the fact that Spear’s family is dispatched in the most tropey way. It’s not just a woman in the refrigerator here, but an entire family – and that doesn’t make it better in the slightest. Apart from that bit – that was too boring to really annoy or move me -, the first episode did have some emotional investment and a narrative arc in the way Spear and the T-Rex approach each other.

After that, the series devolves pretty quickly. There is no dialogue, only grunting, which I would generally like as a challenge, but there was just too much grunting. Even worse than that, though, there didn’t seem to be a plot anymore – apart from the two killing pretty much everything they meet.

Spear and the T-Rex looking at an obelisk with skulls.

The entire sereies just felt way too frantic for my taste. I could take that in smaller doses, but four episodes in quick succession was definitely too much. I actually fell asleep during the third one, and I was pretty glad about that.

It’s a pity. I liked the animation and the general style of the series and there are fucking dinosaurs. I would have loved to love it. But I definitely didn’t.

Spear riding the T-Rex in a herd of velociraptors.

Summarizing: Not my thing.

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