* * * * (2005, 89 minutes, Rated UR)
I swear, the second shot of the film is of an "earthquake" simulated by shaking the camera
around, just like they used to do on "Star Trek." Awesome. Turns out that the earthquake has
unleashed some... EGGS! EGGS!! Despite the music, which is overly heavy on the Horns of
Hair-Raising Alarm, this moment would have had a greater impact if we were given any scale to
the size of these eggs. For all we know, these eggs came out of a carton from the supermarket.
We leave the ominous eggs behind for "Northern Turkey, Two Months Later." I had to go back
and double-check that title, cuz this looks more like a field in northern California than northern
Turkey. Especially with the three redneck-y American hunters wandering arou-- OH DAMN! One
of them was just bit in half by a pterodactyl! There's all sorts of lousy CGI blood spurting out of
his bottom half, Mortal Kombat-style, and everything!
Clock it: At two minutes and five seconds, I start to love this movie.
Now, if you know anything about these kind of films, you'll realize that there are only two types of
protagonists/monster-feed: Scrappy Science Students and Scrappy U.S. Special Forces. This,
being a quality film, runs with both.
We meet our Scrappy Science Students in a small town at the Turkish/Armenian border. The
- The Relaxed-Fit Alpha Dog (complete with permanent five o'clock shadow), for whom
this expedition is his Last Chance;
- The Hot Tomboy (a.k.a. the Helen Hunt/Laura Dern role), as his partner/probable
- Snotty McHottie, whose daddy is financing this little jaunt, allowing her to feel justified in
taking her pampered princess routine to absurd extremes. It was only part-way through
her first scene when I put the odds of seeing her in her undies at 2:1 (coincidently, the
same odds of her living to see the end credits); and
- "Gwen," "Willis" and "Jason," or as I like to think of them, Bird Snacks 1, 2 and 3.
Also at the Turkish/Armenian border... our U.S. Special Forces! Good to know that even with two
wars on our plate, we still have enough soldiers kicking around to take out any pesky "rebel
insurgents." "Celebrity Boot Camp" winner Coolio leads a pack of aspiring actors and
underwear models into an insurgent camp, Predator-style, to apprehend a Really Bad Guy. I
suppose it's very exciting, what with all the gunfire and such.
It's not long before these two scrappy groups of
scrappers have their agendas messed with, forcing
them to team up for countless scenes of walking
across the same open field where they can be
assaulted by pterodactyls.
There are some legitimately good things about this
movie: The chemistry between the Relaxed-Fit Alpha
Dog and the Hot Tomboy is far better than you'd ever
expect (hell, it's better than most mainstream
rom-coms). Coolio is fairly convincing as a hardened,
all-business special ops. officer, and he has this
surface-to-air gun with optical targeting that, if it
doesn't really exist, we should totally make because
|(Above) A pterodactyl messing with
yet another agenda.
Of course, that's not what you'll remember.
You'll remember the fact that every death is like a Mortal Kombat fatality. You'll remember the
ptero-vision and the gigantic pile of pterodactyl droppings. You'll remember the extra amount of
running back to camp Snotty McHottie is forced to do in her undies and the hilarious rescue plan
involving a dead sheep. And you'll remember the uneven and often crappy CGI.
Nolahn loved this movie, but what do others think about Pterodactyl? You can get a second
opinion at BadMovies.org, or just add your two cents below.