Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I gotta say that I did admire the effort put forth by this Sci-Fi Original and director David Hewlett. I can’t say this effort added up to anything remotely resembling a good movie, but it’s not often that we get to see a film that takes a light hearted angle on the mass murder of a bunch of Canadian citizens by a legion of mythical beasts. This is what you get with ‘Rage of the Yeti’. Good times I tell you.

‘Rage of the Yeti’ wastes zero seconds before dropping you right into the action as hardcore treasure hunter Ms. Villers (Yancy Butler) and a few people we’re not going to concern

ourselves with are being mercilessly attacked by the Yermin beasts of Northern Canada. Man, these things are bad news. They can navigate through snow drifts in the same fashion sharks navigate through water, their fur reflects light which makes them virtually invisible in this snow, in addition to making them virtually bullet proof, and they have row after row of saber tooth teeth. Plus they’re always hungry.

Why are these beasts in Northern Canada? That’s interesting because I didn’t know that answer until the cat in the cube next to me, who also saw this movie, informed me as to why the next day. Apparently I completely zoned out during this part, but it has something to do with a gift from the Chinese from back in the day, a gift that was refused because who really wants a man eating yeti as a pet, the ship delivering these things broke down, and now Northern Canada is Yeti infested. Something like that. I’m glad that dude was paying attention.

Anyway, Villers and the few survivors of her team make it to a temporary safe haven and await extraction. This rescue will come in the form of adventure raiding brothers Jonas (David Chokachi) and Jace (Matthew Kevin Anderson) who are working for Mega Billionaire Mr. Mills (Hewlett). Their mission… there are other people on this mission too, but we’re not worrying about them either… is to rescue the survivors, and secure the Codex. It’s an old book. This too is really nothing you need to be too terribly concerned about. Oh, and eventually Mills is going to want them to bring home a live Yeti. Our adventure raiders are really excited about this opportunity because Mills is ponying up a cool million for the live Yeti, though I’ve never seen a dead man spend a penny ever in my life. I seem to be only one around here that knows this.

Just so you know the only thing we really need to be cognizant of is that Yeti Beasts are everywhere, they seem to be enraged all the time, thus the title ‘Rage of the Yeti’, and they do really stupid stuff. Like jump into airplanes engines and die, jump off cliffs and die, or explode helicopters and die. Stupid Yeti. Can the raiding brothers, Villers, and that other chick (Laura Haddock)… don’t worry about anybody else… make it out of Canada intact? With that old book and a live Yeti?

Here’s what is good about ‘Rage of the Yeti’… there is an over abundance of action, mayhem, death, explosions, murder, double crosses, chases and all other kinds of pulse pounding nonsense from nearly start to finish. There’s almost no time spent on silly time wasting fluff such as character development or plot development because there’s Yeti mayhem that needs exploiting and that junk would just get in the way. More times than not, we’re good with that approach but this leads us to what isn’t so good about ‘Rage of the Yeti’… this being that Actor David Hewlett isn’t much of an action, mayhem, death, pulse pounding nonsense director. This isn’t to say that the man is a bad director, because we saw his first feature film ‘A Dog’s Breakfast’ and found it to be quite enjoyable… but that wasn’t an action filled Sci-Fi monster movie. Now Mr. Hewlett has been in enough of these Sci-Fi Original Movies that he might’ve thought he knew what to do to make a good one, keeping the action high and the tone light, but it takes a rare and special entity to make a good Sci-Fi Original Movie, so rare and special that I’m thinking that person hasn’t even been born yet.

As far as this movie goes in particular, it suffers from the typical Sci-Fi afflictions such a low budget, which can’t support the projects ambitions which usually leads to really bad CGI. The unfortunate thing about this is that the Yeti design was actually pretty cool, but making the thing move right and look right in its environment and not look horribly fake usually takes money, or tricking somebody with a high skill level into working for little or no money. That didn’t happen this time around. And since this movie relies on the Yeti so much, this is kind of a problem. There was one scene they didn’t use CGI for the Arm of the Yeti… funniest scene ever.

The acting was better than usual this time around with David Chokachi seeming to have the time of his life playing the rogue adventurer and Matthew Kevin Anderson playing off him as his more grounded brother just about right, though Yancy Butler seemed somewhat restrained this time around for this movie. It’s been my observation to get the full YBE (Yancy Butler Effect) you have to just turn her loose and let the woman do her thing and chew it up. See the Sci-Fi Original classics ‘Wolvesbayne’ or ‘Lake Placid 3’ for examples of the YBE turned up to the Max.

Then there’s the curious case of actress Rosalind Halstead as Linda. We thought Linda was going to be a major part of this show, since she was presented to us as the team leader and all, but once they touched ground she immediately got lost in the snow and wasn’t heard from again, and nobody really asked about her. I guess she got another gig halfway through the shoot and broke out of there. And where was that C-10 cargo plane planning to land that our crew saw coming their way before that stupid Yeti jumped into its engine? I don’t think airplanes can land on snowdrifts, much less take off, but I’m no aviation expert so what do I know?

True enough, we’ve seen worse Sci-Fi Originals than ‘Rage of the Yeti’, but unfortunately, we have seen better as well. That in itself is kind of an indictment of sorts. Heavy on lame action, filled with suspect CGI, existing in an alternate Canada that I’m not familiar with, but a solid cast having a good time. You might be able to live vicariously through them.

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