The weekend is upon us and what better way to start off the weekend than with a cheesy dinosaur movie. Now I actually remember watching this movie on the Sci-Fi channel years ago when it debuted, back when they would always show a bunch of great B-movies on Saturdays. I honestly don’t know why this movie stuck out in my head so much back then, except that maybe I had watched an old episode of the Renegade before I watched it so the whole Lorenzo Lamas factor kicked in. Either way, when I went on a dinosaur movie buying spree a year or two ago, I decided to go ahead and pick this up. So let’s go ahead and have some fun with today’s movie, Raptor Island.
The plot: In 1964, a plane carrying radioactive materials is flying through a storm over the South China Sea when one of it’s propellers is struck by lightning and the plane ends up going down. 40 years later, a Navy SEAL team, led by Hacket, is on a mission to retrieve a special agent that is being held hostage by Azir, a terrorist that is smuggling arms aboard a freighter. The SEALs board the freighter and a firefight breaks out, with one of the SEALs and several terrorists dying but Azir and some of his men get away with Special Agent Jamie Cole. Hacket and his men wire the arms shipment to explode, then chase after Azir, who is heading towards a nearby island. When he reaches the island, Azir has two of his men hide and destroy the SEALs boat after they come ashore while he moves into the jungle with Jamie and the other two men. When the SEALs arrive on the beach, they don’t notice the tracks in the sand and press on to find Azir and Jamie, pausing momentarily when they hear the detonation on the freighter. Azir’s men head to the beach and one of them destroys the zodiac while the other stands guard. When a pair of velociraptors appear, the guard is quickly killed by the dinosaurs and the other man tries shooting them but when his bullets seem to have no effect on them, he gets back on their boat and leaves. Hearing the gunfire from the beach, Hacket sends Rico and Simon to investigate while he continues after Azir with Marcus and Quinn. Rico and Simon reach the beach and while Simon shoots the engine on the fleeing boat, causing it to explode, but he turns around, he finds that Rico is missing and he si unable to make radio contact with the rest of his team. Hacket and his men encounter Azir and his group and a firefight ensues, with one of Azir’s men is shot. Jamie tries going for the injured man’s gun and when Azir sees it, he shoots at her but she uses the injured man as a shield in order to survive. Azir and his last man run off and Hacket goes to check on Jamie, then tries contacting Simon and Rico. Simon is heading towards the rest of the group when he encounters three raptos and begins shooting at them. Hacket and the others hear the shots and come to his rescue, managing to kill one of them but Quinn is injured during the fight. Heading back to the beach and seeing the remains of the zodiac, Hacket orders his men to grab as much gear as they can carry and they set out to wait for their chance at extraction. As they head into the jungle, Hacket and Jamie argue over what to do with Azir, with Jamie wanting to pursue him but Hacket reluctant to do so as Azir is no longer his primary mission. Meanwhile, Azir and his henchman, Kalif, continue through the jungle and encounter some raptors and while Azir hides, Kalif tries shooting them and ends up being killed. Hacket and his group come across the scene and kill one of the raptors while driving the others off but don’t see Azir as he watches them. They see the wreckage from the plane crash and Hacket and Jamie go inside to check it out and discover that it was carrying radioactive material. Hacket is called outside and is shown Simon’s body, who Azir killed and took his weapon. Jamie figures that the radiation is what caused the dinosaurs to appear but suddenly, they realize that the island is actually an active volcano, that is threatening to erupt.Continuing through the jungle, Quinn is starting to become weak from his injury so they take shelter in a cave and Hacket goes off to get some water from a nearby stream. Jamie decides to explore some of the tunnels in the back of the cave and discovers a massive raptor nest in the depths of the volcano. Meanwhile, Azir is getting some water to tend to a bullet wound when he sees Hacket approaching and quickly hides. Hacket goes to fill a canteen but notices the tracks in the riverbank, he starts moving towards where Azir is hiding but he is forced to hide himself when a pari of raptors approach the river. As the raptors approach, they smell Hacket and start to stalk him but suddenly, a large carnotaurus appears and kills one of the raptors, then drives off the second before it begins to feed, allowing Hacket to escape. Back in the cave, Marcus goes looking for Jamie and he encounters some raptors and ends up getting lost in the maze of tunnels. Back at the opening, Quinn shoots some baby raptors that show up, just as Jamie and Hacket show up. Seeing MArcus gone, but hearing a scream from the tunnel, Hacket and Jamie go looking for Marcus but are to late to save him from the raptors and they decide to leave the cave. Back on the support ship, the captain is given a weather report about an incoming storm and he tells his crew to wait for the last possible moment for a sign from Hacket before they are forced to leave. Back on the island, Hacket and the others encounter some raptors and Quinn, knowing that he is dying and will get them killed, sacrifices himself to allow Hacket and Jamie escape. The two make their way through a sulfuric swamp and end up coated in mud but the smell from the mud masks their scent and the raptors leave them alone. Making their way back to the plane wreckage, they try to figure out what to do and realize the only way they can make it to the beach where they will hopefully be seen by the helicopter is to do something about the raptors and Hacket decides to blow up the nest. They head back to the volcano and start planting some charges but Hacket is attacked by some raptors and he is forced to blow the charges early. Hacket returns to where Jamie was and believes she was killed by the explosion and he makes his way out of the tunnels before the lava flows through it, destorying the nest and the raptors as it does. Jamie had actually been grabbed by Azir, who plans on using her to help him escape the island but when a massive tremor occurs, he loses his balance and Jamie is able to escape. Jamie catches up to Hacket as he crosses a log bridge over a river of lava and he throws her his gun so she can fend off some raptors that are approaching. After chasing off the raptors, Jamie crosses the bridge but when Azir shows up and asks to be taken with them, Hacket chooses to leave him on the island. A helicopter from the support ship is circling the island but is unable to locate them due to the interference from the island and starts heading, despite Hacket and Jamie reaching the beach. However, after going a short distance away from the island, it is able to locate their signal and turns around to pick them up. As they get on the helicopter, Azir shows up and starts shooting at them but when the carnotaurus appears on the beach, Azir runs and jumps for the helicopter as it takes off and manages to grab Jamie’s leg. Jamie manages to kick him off and Azir falls back onto the beach, where he is killed by the carnotaurus just before the volcano erupts, destroying the whole island as the helicopter flies away, unaware that three raptors survived the eruption and are seen swimming after the helicopter.
This was an ok movie to watch but it could have been a lot better. The acting was ok, with Steven Bauer (Azir) and Hayley DuMond (Jamie) doing goof jobs in their roles but Lorenzo Lamas (Hacket) was pretty monotone, almost to the point of giving Hayden Christensen a run for his money. The story was actually pretty good, using the classic 50’s theme of radiation being used to mutate an animal to explain how these dinosaurs came about. The special effects were absolutely terrible, which normally would give a movie some charm but in this case, it just made the movie seem cheap, especially when the people were shooting at the raptors, as they had more shots into the trees than anything else. Then when they did hit the raptors, sometimes there would be no effect or sometimes there would be gushing holes in them, sometimes it would take 20-30 shots to kill one and sometimes it would only take 1. With all the possible dinosaur movies to watch out there, this is a pretty average outing at best.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5