Forgotten Classics: Whoopi Goldberg’s dinosaur buddy-cop movie

Senior Editor
04.29.10 23 Comments

Today’s forgotten classic, 1996’s Theodore Rex, must’ve had a dynamite pitch. I think it could even be a haiku:

Stars Whoopi Goldberg
Futuristic buddy-cops
Dinosaur partner.

Clearly an attempt to cash in on the mid-90s anthropomorphic dinosaur comedy craze, you’d think a film with such a simple, winning formula would be destined for success.  Instead, Whoopi Goldberg tried to get out of her verbal contract to star in the film, then got sued for $20 million.  They eventually settled on her starring in the film for $2 million more than she was originally promised, but the first test screenings were such a disaster that New Line decided to release it direct-to-video.  Making it, at $33.5 million dollars, the most expensive direct-to-video film ever.  Director Jonathan Betuel hasn’t made a film since. In any case, critics regard it as one of the finest examples of Jewish stereotypes in dinosaur form in the history of cinema, influencing such later works as Jar Jar Binks and Mudflap and Skids from the Transformers movies.  Some say the film still projects in continuously loop on the inside of Jerry Bruckheimer’s eyelids whenever he falls asleep.  How else to explain Kangaroo Jack?

Cocaine is a hell of a drug.  -Thanks to Patrick for the tip

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