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Theodore Rex

movie review out of 4 Movie Review: Theodore Rex

Starring: Whoopi Goldberg, Armin Mueller-Stahl
Director: Jonathan Betuel
Rated: PG
RunTime: 92 Minutes
Release Date: July 1996
Genres: Kids, Family, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

*Also starring: Juliet Landau, Richard Roundtree, Bud Cort, Stephen McHattie, Carol Kane

Review by Dragan Antulov
1 star out of 4

Some films defy description. Some films defy explanation. Some films defy explanation how and why they were made in the first place. THEODORE REX, 1995 science fiction thriller written and directed by Jonathan R. Betuel belongs to the last category.

The plot is set in near future, in which genetic science has progressed to the point in which it is possible not only to resurrect dinosaurs but to genetically manipulate them into sentient beings and respected members of the community. One of those respected members of community is Teddy Rex (voice by George Newbern), young Tyrannosaurus Rex who had got the job within Grid City police department. However his tasks are mainly clerical and he dreams about doing real detective work. When another genetically altered dinosaur gets killed he is going to investigate it, partnered with Katie Coltrane (played by Whoopi Goldberg), veteran street cop not particularly happy for being paired with a partner that weighs a tone.

It isn't hard to imagine that the idea for THEODORE REX came after the success of JURASSIC PARK and the subsequent craze for all things related to dinosaurs. However, it is hard to imagine that someone in Hollywood had taken the idea of a movie featuring talking half-humanoid dinosaurs seriously. Perhaps nobody actually did and everyone hoped that the result of their efforts would be silly but entertaining comedy. Unfortunately, humour was something that Betuel's script missed and the result is a film too serious and complicated for little children (for whom it was obviously intended) and in the same time too silly for the adult audience. In terms of sheer badness, THEODORE REX doesn't represent the worst possible atrocity - someone had obviously spent a great deal of budget on futuristic sets and occasional special effect or two. Unfortunately, little creative energy was spent on everything else. Whoopi Goldberg was reportedly aware of this fact and tried to leave production that could have ruined her reputation, but the contract obligation has prevented her from doing so. Fortunately, the viewers are not bound to THEODORE REX and this is the freedom they should use.

Copyright 2003 Dragan Antulov

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