Turok: Son of Stone is a bland, animated movie with a frail story that belongs in prehistoric times. Turok: Son of Stone is based on a series of comic books that started in the 1950’s and continued through the 1990’s. Others may remember there has also been a Turok video game series that peaked with the Nintendo 64 game. The fun to be had in the games and comics is unfortunately almost entirely absent in this movie.
Turok: Son of Stone starts off like a lighthearted Disney film. Turok, his brother, Nashoba and his brother’s wife, Catori are all playing a lovely game of tag. As the flowers blossom and the clear, blue water peacefully wraps around the three, a handful of scowling men come out of the forests’ shadows. The angry men attack and Turok goes into berserk mode. Turok’s true nature comes out and he slaughters the warriors and in doing so, strikes his brother, nearly killing him. Turok’s tribe decides to ban Turok, so he lives on his own, learning warrior skills. After many years, some men from the tribe Turok slaughtered come back to the village to seek revenge upon Turok’s kin. Turok is summoned to help fight these men, though he is reluctant until Nashoba is killed and the leader, Chichak, takes Catori. Catori and Nashoba had a kid together named Andar and he joins Turok on his hunt. Around the halfway point, the dinosaurs and cavemen finally show up and the next forty minutes are pure, bloody action scenes.
Did I mention this film is gory? Yes, it is very gory. There are several decapitations and other severed limbs flying through the air, so beware, this is not a children’s movie.
Turok is possibly the most uninteresting character I have seen in an animated film. Voiced poorly by Adam Beach (Flags of our Fathers), Turok is incredibly boring and often unmotivated. His character has no development either, unless a blank face changing to an angry face counts. We are introduced to Turok’s berserk mode early on, in which the background fades to white. However this stylistic choice never returns, making the previous scene seem pointless and unmotivated. Turok’s motives are never explored and all Turok really does is kill. There really is no reason to care about this character or his “journey”.
The script’s action is uninspired and the dialogue is banal and stupid. This script is one of those cases where the characters speak, not through their own words, but the screenwriters.
With three filmmakers dividing the direction of the picture into thirds, there are several glaring continuity errors and plot holes. Rarely do animated films come with such obvious and careless blunders. For example, in one scene, Turok is riding on a log one direction and then in the next cut, he’s facing the other direction. There are also several unexplained actions in the story, such as how Chichak can make the cavemen attack whomever he wants, since they speak no English. Why any of these ancient characters speak English at all is a whole other issue.
The animation is not as bad as the DVD cover would suggest. Actually, several scenes look very cool and present a great visual atmosphere. If the story and characters would have been more fascinating, Turok might have been a really good flick.