Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Hardcore badass Sgt. Hackett (Lorenzo Lamas) has had enough!  He and his fellow hardcore Navy Seals are about to embark on a mission to set some NATO peace keepers free, and if time allows, completely murder the international terrorist known as Azir (Steven Bauer).  Yes, after listening to Sgt. Hackett's pep talk to his Seal Team of Six it does looks as if he's trying to get them pumped up to go to an eight year old's piano recital, but I'm guessing that Sgt. Hackett believes fiery rhetoric to be overrated.  These guys are professionals, right?  Besides, they're all gonna end up on 'Raptor Island' anyway and be dead real soon, so that would've been a rah-rah speech all wasted and stuff. 

So our seals track down Aziz and his Bulgarian henchman to some boat, they try to rescue the pretty lady Jamie (Hayley DuMond), but they suck at rescuing people.  In fact, as the day goes on, we will find that this brand of Navy Seal isn't really shining a bright light on the SEAL training process.  Eventually the terrorists and the sailors land on a little out of the way atoll, but one with a little surprise.  And Jamie is actually an undercover CIA operative.  Hackett knew this right away as she handled an M16 like it was an old friend.  If you were to ask us, it looked like she hadn't seen that friend in an awful long time. 

Now why are there poorly animated CGI raptor dinosaurs on this island?  That's a darn good question.  In the film's opening scene we got to see a toy plane carrying a box labeled Radioactive Goo, or something like that, and it crashed.  That was 40 years ago.  Anything else after that I believe is left to your own imagination as I think that's all you're gonna get in relation to why there are dinosaurs on Raptor Island.
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Here's how this works:  Dinosaurs see Seals in Raptor Vision, Seals see dinosaurs and look amazed, Dino's and Seal's stare at each other for a while, Seals shoot at dinosaurs, CGI paintball squibs explode on dinosaurs, dinosaurs either stand there and take it, or they attack, or they topple over.  Depending on the situation.  Repeat.  In between walk in the woods a lot.

Oh… the terrorist.  If ever there was an afterthought in a movie its Steven Bauer's version of the terrorist Aziz.  You sit around watching this crap movie, and usually you've completely forgotten about Aziz, completely blanked that he's still on the island, but then he'll pop up and remind us with that gawdawful accent of his.  I think he was channeling something from the Middle East with that accent, but it was more like a deeper voiced version of the cartoon rat Speedy Gonzalez that he actually landed on.  Awful.

The situation for our heroes is not a good one, or for the audience for that matter.  Actually, now that I think about it, the situation isn't all that bad.  I mean the raptor's and that bigger dino are trapped on the island, the international terrorist is trapped on the island, and our only concern would be if the hero and his chick sidekick can get off the island, but we're not concerned about that because we don't care about them.  Everything is fine.  Plus Hackett has ignited a volcano, which seemed like a good idea at the time, because it's going to wipe out the raptors, who weren't really bothering anybody to be honest with you, but in retrospect it's an awful idea because apparently raptors can swim.  Which will lead to a sequel.  And thus we have a special place in hell reserved for super badass Sgt. Hackett.

My well publicized quest, of course, is to watch every Sci-Fi original movie ever made, which looks like it's going to get a lot easier since SyFy has drastically peeled back their purchasing of these things in 2013, which should make the world a better place, but still makes us infinitely sad.  That being said, this is one I've been pushing back to the rear.  I'd seen it when it came out nearly ten years ago, before I started doing this thing I do, and as such I had no desire to revisit it.  Ever.  But it had to be done.  There.  It's done.

What makes Raptor Island one of the, if not the worst Sci-Fi original ever?  The easiest place to start is with the raptors themselves.  They look awful.  Just awful.  And since the movie is called 'Raptor Island', that would be an issue.  The acting was as bad as you would think as most of the actors did give it their best shots, but my man Lorenzo looked like if he could've been somewhere else, he would've been.  And I could've been spared the deep scene of Hackett and Jamie discussing why they joined the service.  It was pretty much the only melodrama in the film, but only served to make a terrible movie worse.

Was there any magic?  Why yes there was.  The scene where hardcore SEAL Quinn (Hristo Shopov) played tragic hero and told Hackett and Jamie to escape while he held off the raptors.  Quinn proceeded to shoot at trees, totally missing the raptors, and then got eaten and didn't slow the raptor's down, not even a little bit.  Quinn sucks at being a tragic hero.  Somewhat magical was the verbal showdown between Jamie and Aziz, only because Jamie would never shut up and it looked like that was getting on Stephen Bauer's nerves for real.

'Raptor Island'… at least that's out of the way.  But dang, 'Planet Raptor' still awaits, menacingly standing by to torture us further. 
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