"Raptor Island" is probably the biggest guilty pleasure I have. It may shock people to know that I gave a negative review to 2007's Best Picture winner "No Country for Old Men", which I described as being dry and uninteresting, and that I am giving an enthusiastic review for "Raptor Island." I don't believe anybody should have to apologize for liking or disliking a movie, but this one makes me question that. I acknowledge, it's not a good movie. As a matter of fact, production-quality-wise, it's a horrible movie. Confession: I still liked the movie. Despite all rational reason and all the shamefully dumb moments, I liked this movie.
In "Raptor Island," a team of Navy SEALs led by Lorenzo Lamas rescues an undercover agent (Haley DuMond) from a group of terrorists led by a man named Azir (played by Steven Bauer whom you may vaguely remember as Al Pacino's buddy Manny in "Scarface"). The pursuit leaves them marooned on an island in the South China Sea, which they soon discover is inhabited by, what else, dinosaurs.
In terms of its production value, "Raptor Island" is one of the worst movies I've seen in a long time. Yet, surprisingly enough, despite all rational reasoning, I enjoyed the movie on its own level for what it was. No, I am not a particular fan of its genre and category. I despised other examples such as "Python", "Komodo vs. Cobra", "Boa vs. Python", and most recently "Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus." But "Raptor Island" has a sort of silly entertainment value to it and if you can suspend your disbelief (to a great degree) you might be able to enjoy it as I did.
What I appreciate in this movie was the acting and the dialogue. Both, given the grade of this movie, were passable. I've seen Lorenzo Lamas be wooden in other movies, but here he did quite a fine job as the Navy SEAL captain. And Hayley DuMond was actually fairly good as the agent whom he rescues. And what I really liked was the chemistry between these two, who inevitably turn into a tag team. Their dialogue does not devolve into the typical mucky dialogue that indicates a possible romance. That never comes around, thank goodness.
And what about the special effects? How about the dinosaurs? I've seen better, and a lot worse. The special effects are not special, but they are a lot more convincing than some of the CGI effects I've seen in other movies of this grade such as "Python" or "100 Million BC." There is actually some detail and texture in these CG dinosaurs. But some effects are awful, such as the cheesy lava effects and this scene of the raptors' nest, which looks like it came out of a cheap video game. Bottom line, although they are not worth writing home about, they're decent.
Of course, "Raptor Island" is deserving of its notorious reputation for its outlandishly dumb moments and harebrained portrayal of the Navy SEALs. Navy SEALs model their tactics on stealth and sharpshooting, but these guys just charge blindly into a shootout and they could not hit a target if their life depended on it. There's a scene where a SEAL is surprised by raptors who stand no more than ten feet away and he's firing back at them and missing every time. In addition, this island is supposed to be in the South China Sea, but instead of tropical palm trees and fronds, we see maples and elms in a shooting location that is obviously anything but an island.
In case you haven't realized it, I have been comparing "Raptor Island" consistently with the other cheap Sci-Fi flicks that I've seen. That might be part of the reason why I actually enjoyed it because I've been searching for a flick that was passable, which this is. But I also liked it because, well, it was harmless, innocent fun. I knew it was going to be cheesy from its opening scene where a plastic model airplane falls from the sky and I enjoyed it for what it was. So, I have no choice but to admit that I liked it on its own level and give it a marginal recommendation.
Review by TheUnknown837-1 from the Internet Movie Database.