Classic 1980s movies achieved their peak in the 80s (obviously) and, surprisingly, during this decade as well.
Thanks to Super 8, Stranger Things, IT, the classic tropes of four decades ago have now found a new life, for better or worse.
Surfing on this nostalgia wave, My Pet Dinosaur gives us another retelling of a group of boys riding their bikes in a small town and encountering an alien entity, the government lurking not very far behind.
Here, it is Jake, Jordan Dulieu (“House Of Hancock (TV)”) and his group of nerdy friends who like to roam around their small town, recently hit by a wave of diseases that killed an important portion of the population (Jake’s father being one of them) and left the town in a quasi-desolate state.
After a forbidden night trip to a bordering forest where UFOs have been sighted, Jake brings home a strange fluorescent substance that, by a twist of fate, turns into a mysterious but affectionate creature.
While other people in town glimpse sight of other strange animals, the military starts to take control of the area with unethical plans in mind (the usual testing & dissecting), forcing Jake to hide the creature he has named Magnus.
While Matt Drummond’s (“Dinosaur Island”) film avoids the 80s setting (the story is very much set in our present day, each kid possessing their own cellphones, computers and internet connection), everything else is taken straight out of classic movies like E.T. the Extraterrestrial or the Goonies.
Character traits, lines, story beats, nothing is too off track from what we’ve already seen countless times before.