RAPTOR ISLAND (2004)
Notes: Sci-Fi Channel, FWE Picture Co., Screenvest P4.
Hackett — Lorenzo Lamas
Cole — Hayley DuMond
Azir — Steven Bauer
The Captain — Peter Jason
Also starring Michael Corey Davis.
Written: Dean Widenmann & Stanley Isaacs
Digital Effects: Unreal ProductionsProduced: Stanley Isaacs, Pat Corbiu, Bob Perkis
Executive Producers: Jan Korbelin, Philip van Alvensleben, Jeff Franklin, Michael Weisner.Directed: Stanley Isaacs
Music: Peter Bernstein
Summary: Forty years earlier than we don’t know when, a plane does not survive an electrical storm and crashes. Next, the U.S.S. Drake enters the South China Sea for a Navy SEALs special operation, involving rescuing an agent. As the lame advertisement for the movie puts it: “They came hunting a terrorist. What they found was terror.” The leader, Hackett, assures the rest that Azir the terrorist is not among their primary objectives. “Let’s get this party started.”
Some boat things happen. There’s a lot of gunfire and shaky camera-work. A timer is placed on a missile. Five men take the captured female agent to an island with the SEALs in pursuit. One of the terrorists trips and gets separated from the rest. Two others are sent back to shore to sabotage the navy raft. One of these guys is attacked and eaten by two dinosaurs.
Among the Americans, Marcus and Quinn are to stay while Rico and Simon return to the shore. One of the latter shoots the other terrorist trying to speedboat away. Now we’re stuck, and there’s radio trouble. In the forest, a shoot-out eliminates one of the terrorists, leaving the head guy, Azir, alone. The woman is rescued and Hackett introduces himself and explains that her CIA cover was blown amid her mission to “take down” Azir and his smuggling racket involving North Korea. There’s blood on sapling leaves.
In a hostile encounter with more dinosaurs, Hackett’s pal Quinn is wounded. Simon returns but Rico is dead. While the female agent, Cole, objects to the implication that raptors are not extinct, Hackett cuts open a dead dinosaur to find Rico’s beeper: “Somebody forgot to tell them!” They need to survive for 20 hours until the “extraction” rendezvous, and once again Azir is not the main concern. Regarding the dinosaur issue, Cole wants to consider the food chain, but Hackett blurts, “So far, we’re it.”
That terrorist who tripped much earlier stumbles across some wreckage, probably that 40-year-old plane crash, is surrounded by dinosaurs, killed, and eaten. The Americans shoot one dinosaur to death and eulogize the terrorist: “He’s a sick son of a bitch, but he doesn’t deserve this.” They fret about the evidence of the Chinese plane. Some skeletons appear between segments when I start nodding off. Azir picks off Simon. Radioactive cannisters are rusted through, which explains the communications problems and the mutated dinosaurs clearly. The volcano threatens eruption.
The Americans — Hackett, Cole, Quinn, and Marcus — will camp for the night. Quinn is wounded badly. The next day finds Hackett at water’s edge and Azir about to shoot him, but dinosaurs interrupt this. An enormous dinosaur picks off one of the regular raptors. Deep in the cave, Cole discovers a nest of baby dinosaurs and Marcus is eaten.
Cole gives a shot to Quinn; it’s the last of the morphine. Hackett and Quinn have “been through a lot.” Quinn is a “hell of a soldier.” The dinosaurs seem to pose some worry to Cole: “There’s hundreds of them, Hack.” Hackett agrees: “These creatures — they’re intelligent, cunning.” And then there’s the big one, so big and vicious it would “make a T-Rex piss on itself.” So what do we do? “We trust our instincts and do what we do best: fight.” “We’re in a war.” Cole admits to Hackett, “You saved my ass back there.” Hackett declares it an “ass worth saving.”
Azir is wounded. The Captain aboard the rescue ship receives word of a storm in about two hours.
That swamp must be located over a ruptured volcanic vent since it’s cooking everything. And those dinosaurs, you know, if you kill one the others turn on it. That’s what they do, and run, but Quinn insists he’ll stay after passing along a memento to Hackett and saying, “For Sean.” “Quinn, cut the hero crap,” suggests Cole. But he won’t. “C’mon, you ugly bastards,” he urges the dinosaurs, and they comply.
Hackett and Cole enter the swamp, and, covered with sulphuric mud, a close encounter with a raptor leaves Cole unharmed. Science speculated on dinosaurs’ poor eyesight. Hackett thought raptors could see. Not these mutations, apparently.
The ship captain speculates that the cloud of interference surrounding the volcanic island involves radioactively charged particles. That’s what’s interfering with the tracking beam.
Poor Cole. She was an only child and army brat. Despite mommy’s warnings she fell in love with Tommy Cole, a young ranger, who died in Desert Storm. She enlisted one month later to kill all those responsible except the Bush family and their financial ties. Poor Hackett. He was a juvenile delinquent, presented once with an alternative to juvenile hall in order to channel his testosterone. Poor Quinn. Sean was his son, a navy SEAL stationed in Malaysia when Azir’s explosives killed 209 soldiers. Poor guns. There’s ten hours left and they’re low on ammo.
The Captain commands the helicopter pilot to make no more than one loop. Hackett and Cole decide they can buy some time if they blow up the dinosaur nest and have the raptors turning on each other. This will involve them splitting up to set the charges in the much-patrolled dino cave. If one doesn’t get back, the other must “complete the mission” and “send this place back to holy hell where it belongs.” Hackett kills a few dinosaurs and runs. Cole falls to a lower level where the wounded Azir takes her hostage. She snots off at him: “You must feel right at home” amid the savagery of the place. He tries to explain his political position, painting himself as a liberator for his country instead of a terrorist, but Cole spits in his general direction concerning this.
Hackett runs from dinosaurs and flowing lava, skipping over rivulets of it and hopping along a fallen tree over another stream. Unlikely?
Azir has Cole at gunpoint and they chat about weapons-grade plutonium on the original crashed plane, but a rumble knocks Azir down and Cole flees as crevasses open up and lava pours forth. Hackett throws her his gun to use against some dinosaurs. She hops across the log before it falls into the lava. Azir’s cries for help on the other side of the lava stream are met with sneers.
As Hackett and Cole run to the shore, the helicopter leaves. But it returns. So does Azir. A shoot-out accomplilshes nothing, and Azir lunges onto the helicopter by grabbing Cole’s legs. She kicks him off and the enormous dinosaur eats him. As the helicopter flies off, the island is destroyed in a massive volcanic and man-made explosion. But some raptors wade out into the water.
Commentary: Internet discussion of this movie is not just dismissive: it’s vicious. I was not astounded at how bad this movie is. I just have no time for the military knee-jerk sanctimony, and the lines were too cliché to be enjoyably putrid. The whole thing was just dorky — that’s all.