"Carnosaur 2" Movie Review

Starring John Savage, Cliff De Young, Don Stroud, and Rick Dean

Well, the sequel never DOES quite manage to live up to the original, does it?

We now leave the original tale of widespread human destruction and enter the land of pseudo-military countdown-alarm-wailing thrillers. Carnosaur 2 is one of those recombinant science fiction movies, made up entirely of elements from five or six other (more popular) movies. Sure, some of the elements are rearranged in an intriguing fashion (the part of Newt is played by a teenage boy, while the parental figure of Ripley is found in the burly, oversized leader-man) but it's still pretty slow going.

The setting is a secret military installation inside the flight path control zone of Nellis Air Force Base. In other words, this is the non-fictional Area 51 at its most mundane, which is to say, a high-security dumping ground for nuclear waste and post-Cold War storage facility for warheads. Bo-ring.

Non-fictional and mundane, that is, until it's overrun by carnosaurs who kill everything but the aforementioned teenage boy. At which point, some guy hires a bunch of local contractors (who are usually engaged in rewiring telephone poles, or something) to go in there and find out what's happened to everyone.

I'm never quite clear who this guy is, much less why he has the sole authority to commandeer civilian "troops" on a search-and-rescue mission into this top-secret military installation. Is he a PR flack? A high-ranking military officer going incognito? No, he's just some dork.

Your mental energy can be more profitably spent in coming up with a scenario - ANY scenario - in which a group of local electrical technicians are better suited to investigating the sudden disappearance of everyone on a top-secret military base. As opposed to, say, the military. I mean, isn't that the entire POINT of the military? That if something happens, they can take care of it?

I'm not asking for the military to storm the house of the person who rented Carnosaur 3 from my local video store a week and a half ago and hasn't returned it yet. (Although I wouldn't object if they did.) All I'm saying is, if something really did kill all the personnel at Area 51, I'd damn well expect the military to take care of it themselves.

You'd think that carnosaur invasion in particular is one scenario for which the military is ideally equipped to handle. What with all the guns and tanks and shoulder-launched missiles, and all. But no, instead they've seen fit to send in a pack of electricians, armed only with a bunch of dynamite they found in a storage closet on sub-level 3.

Which reminds me that unless you're prepared to buck a couple hundred years of dinosaur theory (and feel free, because you wouldn't be the first, and in fact, you might actually be right) and say that dinosaurs (well, carnosaurs, anyway) are warm-blooded, it strikes me that they're not exactly a major threat when they've taken over three subterranean levels of an enclosed military installation. Just stop setting fire to stuff, and turn up the freakin' air conditioning!

If you can't out-smart the carnosaurs, then you can at least out-metabolize them, right? Are you with me, people? Yeah!

Mammals rule!

Final score: 32 points.

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