Raptor Island (2004)

Raptor Island (2004)

They came hunting a terrorist. What they found was prehistoric terror.

A counter-terrorist group set off to rescue an undercover agent and destroy a cache of weapons belonging to the terrorist Azir on a ship in the middle of the South China Sea. Unfortunately Azir, some of his men and their hostage manage to escape on a speedboat and land on a remote island. The counterterrorist team follows them onto the island but they all soon find out they’re not alone. They share the island with deadly prehistoric raptors, hungry for the taste of fresh meat.

 

Quite how as many raptors as this manage to live on this tiny atoll (the film mentions it being about two miles in diameter) without any obvious sustainable food source is one of the many questions that this Sci-Fi Channel offering throws up. What about the fact that the atoll itself looks like Bulgaria (oh wait that’s where it was shot)? What about the numerous fire fights between specially trained counter-terrorist troops and the terrorists where they stand about 5ft away from each other and manage to unload a few clips without hitting anything? Or the ‘dumbing down’ of the raptors – far from being the clever, intelligent predators they were assumed to be, here they just stand around and screech whilst being pumped full of lead. If you haven’t guessed it already, Raptor Island isn’t exactly high on my list of top films.

I can tolerate bad films as long as there is a smattering of intelligence and realism in them. I can’t tolerate films that proceed to blow away reality with as much stupidity in them as possible. Why bother having a team of counter-terrorists as the main heroes when they can’t shoot anything within a small radius of themselves? Within the first five minutes, you already know that this team hasn’t a chance in hell of lasting to the end. If they can’t shoot terrorists standing in front of them, what hope do they have against raptors launching themselves in attack formations? The action swiftly moves to the island where the raptors just randomly appear. I know that any film called Raptor Island doesn’t exactly try and hide the monster-of-the-day but the fact that they just stroll into view is a bit of a disappointment. Where is the build up to their eventual appearance? Generate a bit of excitement why don’t you?

The raptors do look rubbish as well. When they got shot they look like they’re being hit with paintballs. And after an initial splat, the bullet wounds just vanish. I have never faced a raptor but I am sure that a few bullets in well-aimed places would take it down, except for these super-raptors. They absorb clip after clip, watch the TV, have a smoke, go to bed and then get back up to find the humans still gunning away at them. The CGI guys didn’t even bother making any effort to integrate the effects. One scene shows two raptors approaching a soon-to-be victim. He fires his gun but instead of aiming at one of them, he just fires down the middle and misses them both. Needless to say this clever idea sees the guy getting ripped apart in no time. There’s also a T-Rex thrown in for good measure, presumably because the raptors were too small to base a finale around and they needed a big T-Rex to stomp along the beach.

As with all of the Sci-Fi Channel’s lame monster films, they need to have a human bad guy. Like prehistoric dinosaurs isn’t enough of a threat to cope with! The addition of the terrorists is simply to add in a human adversary to keep our hero occupied for as long as possible so that they don’t need to show the monsters as much. When the CGI is as bad as it is here, that’s not a bad thing. Steven Bauer chews up the scenery with a typical ropey Eastern European accent (because we all know you can’t have Middle Eastern terrorists in films now – it’s all mass murderers from the Balkans now) and spends most of his time running from something. Lorenzo Lamas stars but truth be told I’ve never heard of the guy. I’ve checked his history on IMDB and he’s been around for a bit but starring roles in dreck this like is never going to propel you to anything worthwhile, except maybe the benefits office. He barks out everything he says as though he’s the lead singer in some doom metal band – depressed, angry and wanting to hurt something.

 

Even the dreadful Carnosaur films and Raptor were better than this. When that’s the truth, it’s a sorry state of affairs the world is in today. Actually it gets even sorrier for itself as there’s a sequel being filmed at time of writing. Urgh!

 

 ★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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