Hello everyone, I’m about to go over a film that was, sadly, very present throughout my childhood, and am now going to give all of you a rundown on. The film in question is called Theodore Rex, and I wouldn’t be surprised if few, or even none of you had heard of it before. Bit of a spoiler warning for anyone who really wants to experience this cleanly, I will be spoiling the ending. This film released direct-to-video between the years of 1995 and 1996.
The film begins with the narration of “Once upon a time, in the future” and that alone would be enough for most people to make judgement on this film. Though if you make it through the narration, you’re greeted with an alternate, futuristic society where humans and anthropomorphic dinosaurs co-exist with each other. As well, the entire setting reeks of what filmmakers thought the future would look like. They set the city up as a dark, and cramped society with large amounts of neon and even punk Goths everywhere… dinosaurs included.
The film then carries onto the dual protagonists, one tough police detective, played by Whoopie Goldberg, and a T-Rex by the name of Teddy, who’s voiced by George Newbern. The police detective, named Katie Koltrane, is forced to enlist Teddie’s help to uncover a serial killer of dinosaurs and other pre-historic animals.
The film tries to combine the comedy elements of a buddy cop movie, the dramatic elements of a murder investigation, and the wonder of a future with dinosaurs living among us. As well, there seems to be a hint of racism, as the detective seems to generally dislike dinosaurs and it’s up to Teddy to change her mind on the matter. Whilst the whole of the story seems absurd, the ending to the film is anything but. It ends with the killer being a billionaire attempting to kill all of mankind by starting a new ice age, and Teddy has to not only save his new partner, but his girlfriend who just recently became relevant in the film.
All in all, this film is a lot of things, ranging everywhere from ambitious, to absurd, to simply dreadful. Although, as a child, this film did manage to make me very happy, but that could be due to any number of variables, but it most likely boils down to my love for dinosaurs. The fact that Teddy (the T-rex) plays hockey with kids at one point in the film (yah, you read that right) just shows the absurdity the 90’s had with gimmicks that pleased the younger audiences.
With my opinion out of the way, the actual critical opinion was one sided to say the least. As reviews across the board ranging from 0.5 out 10, to 2.8 out of 10, it was absolutely a flop critically. When Whoopi Goldberg was recently asked whether or not she’s regretted any of her acting decisions across the entirety of her career, this is the only film that she wishes she could take herself out of.
On top of that, Goldberg seemed to know the film was going to be a major regret in her life, as such, she attempted to back out of the film to save herself from having her name attached to the project. She was then hit with a lawsuit by the director of the film, so she was forced to either pay $20 million, or star in the film for an extra $2 million. To top all of this off, this film was supposed to come out in theatres, but after some test screenings, the company decided it would be better financially to release it straight-to-video.
With all of that in mind, I don’t expect anyone reading this to watch this film, I don’t even expect you to look it up. But if you’re into looking up and/or watching films with weird concepts, I couldn’t come up with a better one from my childhood, Theodore Rex.