Newest Book ...

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Review: REPTILIAN (1999)

Holy crap.  Less than twenty movies to go before we reach the end of our big list.

Today's film is Reptilian (aka Yonggary, 2001 Yongary, Reptile 2001, etc.; 1999).

I'll go first:
What a mess. 
Not just the film.  It's a mess trying to understand the story behind the film, too.  When it was first made in 1999, it was pretty much a straight up remake of the original.  But then it was heavily edited and altered before being re-released in 2001 (supposedly to add all of the alien stuff).  Apparently it is only this latter version which is available on DVD. 
It's ostensibly a remake of Yonggary, a film I remember solely because of the kid who created a flashlight that makes the monster itch and dance.  Ugh. 
Beyond the name of the monster and the Korean names behind the scenes, there's nothing to connect the two. 
The cast is almost entirely American.  The characters are all written and played arch.  A maniacal-for-no-apparent-reason paleontologist.  A crazed paleontologist screaming about prophecy.  A weasely government type who's content to let aliens destroy the world if it means he can keep secrets.  Gung-ho military types.  Scared military types.  A wallflower female scientist who does little more than aid exposition.  And not a good actor in the lot. 
The script is rock stupid, too.  Here's one small example.  Aliens arrive and destroy a satellite and the Space Shuttle Atlantis.  The military generals we follow don't seem terribly concerned, apart from some urgent speaking.  Then one general asks, "Are you considering a preemptive strike?"  Dude.  The aliens have already attacked.  By definition, any attack you make now can't be preemptive.  (And then there's the stupid nuclear countdown to attack Yonggary, even though he got beamed up and no one knows where he is.  The list goes on.) 
The special effects.  It's some of the best, most state-of-the-art work you've ever seen ... if you've only seen cutscenes from games on the Sega Dreamcast.  Truly horrible.  So very bad. 
Odd upside, though.  While the ones and zeroes smashing them are poorly assembled, the model work here is pretty damn good.  The buildings of "Los Angeles" are very well made.  (I'll also say that the early scene showing an explosion dispatching a group of scientists was well done, too.) 
The military is even less effective than they were in Godzilla (1998).  Despite supposed missile locks, only three or four actually hit the monster. 
Beyond the bad acting, beyond the bad effects ... there's a bad, nonsensical story. 
Aliens apparently brought Yonggary to Earth 200+ million years ago and have returned to awaken it and take over.  That's fine.  There's a diamond-shaped thing on the monster's forehead that lets it be controlled by the aliens, leading the military to target it.  That's fine, too. 
But then the thing gets hit by a soldier wearing a jetpack (don't ask) and the aliens lose control of him.  Then Yonggary becomes good.  For no reason whatsoever.  He holds up a building to keep it from crashing on people.  So the aliens dispatch another monster to fight Yonggary: 
That's Cyklor?  Cygor?  Who cares. 
This scorpion-like thing fights Yonggary for a few ridiculous scenes before Yonggary kills it.  Then the military takes Yonggary to an uninhabited island to live in peace. 
Other than the model work, the only other upside (I can think of) is that some of the early action set pieces are pretty good concepts.  Like the fossil that regrows and kills workers.   
Reptilian ... so bad.  1 out of five atomic breath blasts.
My son's turn:
Well, this one is like Godzilla 1998, but in Korean.  So, this is a remake of Yonggary, and with Jet Packs, Six legged Scorpion Things, and More!! I liked it because of the realism(which is not that good), I hated it because of the unrealism. I was able to ignore the bad effects until that one soldier with a jet pack said something bad about Godzilla.  You don't talk bad about Godzilla!!!! 
So,rating wise, i'll say 1.9 out of 5 Atomic Breaths of Awesomeness!!!
Here's the trailer:

Next, Godzilla 2000.

No comments:

Post a Comment