Sea Rex 3D (2010) is illustrative in and for many senses. The 41 min long documentary describes the odyssey through the history of our planet and eras of evolution for some 3,5 billion years. It is pretty, easy to follow, and educational, using the approach of popular science – not too sophisticated but elaborated enough. Although the title “Sea Rex” may evoke expectations of predators hunting – possibly due to similarity in name of the widely spread image of aggressive Tyrannosaurus Rex, – this movie is clearly targeted to kids and adolescents, and perhaps therefore quite limited in brutality associated with the fixture in popular culture.
For those expecting violent confrontation between reptiles it will take some time as a good 1/3 into the movie covers historic explanation and building up a storyline who the “sea monsters” were and how they came about, and even when cross order encounters do take place they are not to detail or illustrate outcome.
We are being led by the ghost of French zoologist George Cuvier (1769 – 1832) who explains that mosasaurs are not to be confused with dinosaurs (the terrestrial vertebrates) – as they are marine lizards though still air breathing, and that first mosasaur fossile was found in 1764, in the area today known as Maastricht. More to support the strength of this movie – the educational approach – several paleontologists were consulting the crew, and these scientists also appear in front of the camera, giving short and comprehensive explanations which increases the credibility of the movie as whole.
As maybe being afraid of losing interest of some in audience, or perhaps out of creative approach and playfulness, 3D effects have been utilized to the extent where one of the scientific advisor – Dr. Benjamin Kear – appears in the form of human skeleton, as if to make a point of transience of all creatures, even ourselves.
The weakness of the movie could be – but not necessarily is – its major focus on prehistoric life, organisms' evolution and interactions with each other and their environments. If one realizes the subheading of the movie is “Journey to a Prehistoric World”, and adjusts expectations accordingly, this movie is an excellent 41 min spent for entire family, admiring 3D effects and (re)learning about the era where we as humans have been present for a relative moment
By Kerttu Lohmus
Sea Rex 3D: Journey to a Prehistoric World (2010). Documentary, 41 min. Directors: Ronan Chapalain, Pascal Vuong. Writers: Richard Dowlearn, Pascal Vuong. Language: Danish (for English original don't forget headphones). You can view the movie at Planetarium Copenhagen who also hold the copyright on pictures used in this review.
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