There is a limit to the redemption Nicolas Cage can grant a terrible movie, and “Primal” is it. Teaming again with director Nick Powell, for whom he starred in 2014’s critically panned “Outcast,” Cage is at the center of this deeply stupid attempt at filmmaking that could be re-named “Snakes (and Jaguar, and Angry Monkeys and Escaped Killer) on a Boat.”
There’s fleeting pleasure to be had in scenery-chewing showdowns between Cage’s zoo-mercenary hunter Frank and the psycho criminal (towering Kevin Durand, whose creep factor you may still recall from “Lost”), on board a freighter hauling Frank’s illegal jungle bounty — which includes a very poorly-CGI’d white jaguar. That enjoyment is quickly subsumed by gaping plot holes, laughable dialogue and the stranded looks on the faces of Michael Imperioli and Famke Janssen, in tired supporting roles as the convict’s handlers.
But the movie’s most glaring missed opportunity is in the title, which begs for and is denied a cage pun.