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maryann johanson, ruining movies since 1997

Cowboys vs. Dinosaurs movie review: dino crock

Cowboys vs Dinosaurs red light

If you guessed that this is a cheap pre-Jurassic World cash-in, congratulations: you are smarter than this padded-out pile of cut-rate cinematic junk.
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

If you imagined that a new direct-to-DVD movie entitled Cowboys vs. Dinosaurs was a cheap pre-Jurassic World cash-in, congratulations: you have mental powers beyond those demonstrated by anyone onscreen or behind the scenes of this padded-out pile of cut-rate cinematic junk. The title is about as fact-based as the movie’s grasp of science, human relationships, digital effects, or storytelling. There’s only one cowboy, and he’s not much of a cowboy since that traumatic rodeo incident, and though he will get back up on that horse — literally — in order to battle some dinosaurs, this would more appropriately be called Girls in Tiny Tank Tops and Short-Shorts (Even Though the Sidewalk Thermometer Says It’s 57 Degrees and the Guys Are All Dressed in Jeans and Leather Jackets) vs. Dinosaurs. The cowboy is played by an actor whose name is Rib Hillis (of Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda and Dinocroc vs. Supergator fame), and his old girlfriend is called Sky (Casey Fitzgerald), and this is set (and shot) in Montana, which mostly makes the whole thing sound like it could be an ad for a terrible theme steakhouse out by the mall. When they aren’t battling cartoonishly cheesy FX dinosaurs — which is most of the movie’s running time — they are engaging in such witty romantic banter as “Whaddaya havin’?” / “A cup of coffee, and the lunch special. You look good.” Please also enjoy the extended sequence in which Eric Roberts (The Expendables) shows up inexplicably to vomit, spit, and burp noisily. Occasionally, someone from the world’s most unprofessional mining operation ever will say something like “The board advised me not to hire a girl out of college” and “The geological formation is without precedent” and “I have safety concerns about that” after an explosion in their mine unleashes dinosaurs that have been living underground for millions of years — because of course they have — and they go on a rampage of menacing young women in their underwear. Someone thought all this prehistoric nonsense was clever, when really it just needs to go extinct now.


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