The Other Side (2011)

Ferocious_Planet_DVD_poster
AKA ‘Ferocious Planet’

“They’re not on Earth anymore!”

Directed by Billy O’Brien
Starring Joe Flanigan, John Rhys-Davies and Dagmar Döring.

Dr Jillian O’Hara (Döring) is demonstrating her dimensional window to a doubting Senator, when a malfunction sends a group of observers into a deadly parallel dimension, full of giant carnivorous beasties and cultivated pine trees.

What’s wrong with it?

A stock team of quirky characters – the uptight scientist, disgraced military man Colonel Synn (Flanigan, phoning it in as basically the same character as he played in Stargate Atlantis), his upbeat black 2IC, a hippie assistant, a stick-up-the-butt senator (Rhys-Davies with a terrible accent) and a plucky, preppy presidential adviser – battle CGI not-dinosaurs in a planted pine forest, while a pair of ‘enterprising’ jerks die badly for their greed.

The dimensional window is cheap, the accident cheaper, the dinosaurs positively bargain basement. One man is critically wounded with a length of pipe under the armpit and several others die in a clearly CG splatter of gore.

What’s right with it?

It’s kind of fun in a very stupid way.

How bad is it really?

Even for a stablemate of Wyvern, this is pretty weak fare, with no real distinction.

Best bit (if such there is)?

Running out of ammo, Colonel Synn grabs a branch from the forest floor, which snaps in half; just like a real branch would.

What’s up with…?

  • The formulae that the science bods scribble in a book to brainstorm the problem? I’m pretty sure that they mean nothing.
  • The complete lack of prey animals in a forest full of apex predators?
  • The conflation of ammonia, acid and explosives?

Ratings

Production values – Possibly the cheapest dimensional window ever, and tacky CG dinothings. 14
Dialogue and performances –  The performances are entirely adequate, which sadly just brings the paucity of the script to the fore. 12
Plot and execution – A basic stranded storyline is not enlivened by a weak SF gimmick. 14
Randomness – Nothing is truly left-field, making predictability about the only thing that this film has going for it. 7
Waste of potential – Poor, even for SyFy’s Maneaters line. 15

Overall 62%

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