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Manticore

Manticore (2005) Movie Poster
USA  •    •  88m  •    •  Directed by: Tripp Reed.  •  Starring: Robert Beltran, Jeff Fahey, Chase Masterson, Heather Donahue, Faran Tahir, A.J. Buckley, Jeff M. Lewis, Richard Gnolfo, Jonas Talkington, Michail Elenov, George Zlatarev, Benjamin Burdick, Michael Cory Davis.  •  Music by: David C. Williams.
       During Operation Iraqi Freedom, a US Army Squad is sent to a small Iraqi town to locate a missing news crew, only to find the residents of the town dead and a living weapon of mass destruction, a Manticore, awakened from its long slumber by a terrorist leader wanting to rid his land of the American invaders at any price.

Trailers:

   Length:  Languages:  Subtitles:
 0:29
 
 

Review:

Image from: Manticore (2005)
Image from: Manticore (2005)
Image from: Manticore (2005)
Image from: Manticore (2005)
Image from: Manticore (2005)
Image from: Manticore (2005)
Image from: Manticore (2005)
Image from: Manticore (2005)
This is about a group of American GIs in Iraq. We start with a scene of them interrogating some people who were caught looting a museum. They decide that these people were just really hungry, and it's completely understandable that they would loot someplace in order to be able to buy food. The soldiers release the suspects and give them all their MRE's, establishing them as really nice guys and gals. Some idiot reporter from CNN is hanging around bothering them as well. She pompously informs them that she's embedded with a Marine unit, so she's got the right to go anywhere. They inform her that they're with the Army, so she should go away. It's kind of funny. The reporter is cute and kind of sexy, but she never establishes herself as anything more than the standard issue "anything for a story" cliché. Next, the townspeople arm themselves and we get our first big shootout. It's actually pretty good, not exactly Blackhawk Down, but at least they tried. One thing that is rather amusing is watching these American soldiers ride around in a Russian BTR-70 armored personnel carrier. Don't tell me, let me guess: This was filmed in Romania?

Next we get the obligatory scene of the soldiers having some time off between missions, playing football. The guys have their shirts off and most of them just happen to have chiseled abs. The girl wears a sweaty tight T-shirt, which she fills out very well, if I do say so myself. The commander (that Chakotay guy from Star Trek Voyager, here playing that Chakotay guy from Voyager except in an Army uniform) gets suitably dressed down for letting all the suspects go. Then the "I'm sick of doing puff pieces" reporter gets herself in some trouble in a remote town, and the GI's are sent to rescue her. Little does anyone know (well, we know) that some bad guys have looted a very special artifact from the museum, one which allows them to bring the Manticore to life! Yes, the Manticore will kill the infidels, yadda yadda yadda.

There's a small shootout, then the soldiers get to the town and find everyone dead. Except of course for the reporter and about 4 other guys who were apparently the only ones with enough brains to hide inside a room to escape the Manticore. Then we get a whole bunch of shootouts, one of which involves a really fake CGI helicopter doing all the things that fake CGI stuff does so well, like bursting into flames in totally fake ways. The Manticore itself looks fairly good, at least in close up shots; it's CGI, but they did a good amount of detail on it, and it does look pretty icky. The ending really defies any sort of logic, but what the hey.

Overall, not a bad movie for the Sci-Fi Channel. You've got some hot babes, some very average B-movie acting, and thousands of rounds fired. Nothing particularly exciting, but if you've got a couple of hours to kill and you're a fan of low budget movies, you could do worse.


Review by Jack from the Internet Movie Database.