Lost Tribe

This Lost Tribe Can Stay That Way

Main Cast: Emily Foxler

Director: Roel Reine

Let’s see if we can follow this logic. In 2009, the producers of a movie called The Forgotten Ones decided they didn’t have the makings of a successful movie on their hands. Written and directed by relative unknown Jorg Ihle, the movie starred Jewel Staite and Kellen Lutz. Staite has starred in the cult hit “Firefly” while Lutz was fresh off the first movie in the Twilight series. But the movie, which cost $4,000,000 to make, was an admitted failure according to the producers. So they did something crazy.

They started over.

Working with an entire different script (from first-timer Mark E. Davidson) and director Roel Reine (Death Race 2), they threw $1,000,000 at a whole new cast–no one you’ve heard of, and considering it’s 5 years later and you’ve still never heard of them, that’s got to say something–and remade the entire movie, this time titled The Lost Tribe, from scratch.

And you know what? It’s still a crap movie. I don’t know how much better they expected this one to perform over the original version, but they wasted $1,000,000. And for what? A movie about a bunch of pretty people who wind up shipwrecked on an uncharted island and run afoul of the natives, in this case a tribe of cannibalistic cavemen who are reported to be the missing link in humanity’s evolution.

Hey, you seen one shipwrecked on an island and killed off by the natives movie, you’ve seen them all. This one actually has a backstory, though, even if it’s sort of silly. Apparently a research expedition funded by a mysterious company I didn’t understand has uncovered proof that man did indeed involve from apes, as evidenced by the bones of the so-called “missing link.” But someone in the holy Church gets wind of the discovery and sends in a cleaner in the form of Lance Henrickson who wipes out the science team to insure, for the Church, that mankind never learns the truth.

Enter our unlucky crew of Anna, Tom, Joe, Alexis and Chris. They wind up shipwrecked after pulling in a stranger they find floating in the ocean. They sedate him, then call the authorities, but the guy wakes up in the middle of the night and, in trying to turn the boat around–away from the island–runs along an underwater rock outcropping that sinks the boat, sending the aforementioned band of characters for shore.

Now, it’s not bad enough the plot is uninspired, but there were so many plot holes and flaws in the logic. First off, the research team has spent enough time on the island to have constructed a fairly large base of operations, complete with deck for entertaining and a lard wooden privacy fence. How did they get ANY work done, when these five dupes can’t even make it two days on the island?

The beasts themselves look like apemen with dreadlocks. They see in black and white, but their eyes are designed to pick up heat signatures. Someone’s been watching too much Predator. Also, they leap from tree to tree or from the ground to the trees, at a dead stop, straight up like refugees from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

In one scene, Anna sneaks into the cave where the creatures bring their food, covered in a slimy film extracted from grapes that grow in the jungle–she’s discovered that being covered in this slime makes her invisible to the monsters. Yet, she traipses around the caves with a glow stick. I don’t know if these things give off heat or not, but she drops one and one of the creatures picks it up and studies it, so obviously they can see it. So what does Anna do? She lights another one and heads off into another section of the cave.

Nice girl, but not the brightest in the world.

The human characters are flat and pointless. I didn’t even know any of their names except Anna’s, and the movie was almost over before I figured that out. None of them possessed even a glimmer of individual personality.

Writer Anderson is trying like hell to write an intriguing story, with the missing link and the Church assassins and whatnot, but I just think more time was spent on the “terror” aspects of the plot and too little on the logic. How does this tribe survive today when it seems to only be about 6 or 7 strong, all of them full-grown males, with no sign of women or children? What are they eating all this time? Their canines are enlarged and very sharp, obviously meat-eaters, but other than the people, there’s no sign of animal life anywhere on this island, except one very small lizard. I just don’t think the creatures were completely thought out before they decided to start filming.

And after the first half hour, director Reine is finished with any set up or development and is impatient to get to the killing and mayhem. It’s obvious he’s much more comfortable with action scenes, and the ones in this movie are well-done. But they only serve to pad the running time and add nothing to the story. Why the hell is Anna scaling one of the huge trees with a machete in her mouth? Because it makes for a cool shot of the beastmen leaping through the air at her. But it’s not like there’s a jungle base up there anywhere, so where the hell is she going? She came back to the scientists base to retrieve the machete, and her first action after that is to climb a tree? She’s seen how easily these things move among the branches. Just dumb. But at least it made for cool visuals, which is, I believe, the reason for over half the things that happen in this movie, because they sure as hell didn’t make any sort of real sense.

This was just shoddy work all around and I can’t believe THIS was the preferred version by the producers. Studios have nothing better to do than start completely over with a new script, directory, and cast? Fine if you actually plan to make a better movie out of it, but The Lost Tribe is just bland from start to finish. As far as I’m concerned, the lost tribe can stay that way. Yawn.

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