There is nothing quite as iconic as an opening scene where a giant spaceship flies slowly by the camera with an alien planet in the background. Well, it becomes a little less iconic when the spaceship is blurry and doesn’t have textures. It’s not quite Star Wars. Thankfully, Planet Raptor realizes it isn’t Star Wars, so the crew of the spaceship is beamed down to that alien planet by the magic of a “star trek transporter effect free download” Google search. Star Trek this ain’t either.
The alien planet does look like something from the show. We are beamed down to a town that appears to be from the late middle-ages. The difference? Raptors. Velociraptors. Like in Jurassic Park, no, I mean, like in Raptor Island (2004). This supposedly is a sequel to Raptor Island that takes place decades into the future and doesn’t have any of the same characters, but it has two returning actors, Steven Bauer and Peter Jason. And, obviously, raptors.
“Here there be dragons,” Ted Raimi remarks as the camera zooms out to reveal the planet for some reason. He is in the crew that was beamed to the planet. Most of the movie is the crew wandering about, much like in the first film. I think he might be an android like Data, I’m not sure. They find an insectoid alien that is the last of its kind. It’s the sole survivor of a race that colonized the planet. Even though they had incredible technology and energy weapons, they were no match for the native dominant species of the planet—the velociraptors.
The raptors are a fascinating mixture of some of the wonkiest and smoothest CGI you’ll ever see and practical puppets that look like they are straight from a 70s Toho production or the 90s Carnosaur films. The CGI models and the puppets look nothing alike and when I described the CGI as smooth, I mean it’s just smooth 3D models with very little texture.
In many ways, this is more of a remake of Raptor Island, or a remix since it straight up just reuses the “we found their lair, let’s blow it up” scene from that one. How did dinosaurs from earth end up taking over another planet? Not explained. Which is probably good, since the scientific explanation in Island was the stupidest thing ever.
Two things to note: the poster shows a traditional grey alien which is not a part of the film whatsoever and the film has a blooper reel which nobody needed.