More of the same.
After three entertaining direct-to-video sequels and a brief SciFi Network TV series, that’s pretty much what one comes to expect from a Tremors movie. And Tremors 5 does in fact deliver just that.
As usual, the glue holding it all together is Michael Gross’ performance as Burt Gummer (it gets harder and harder to remember that he was once the mild-mannered Dad on the endless run of Family Ties) who is still entertaining after 25 years.
After Tremors 4, the question was very much, what’s next? The new creatures unveiled in that film – the larval stage of the graboid – took the films full circle, completing the life cycle of the creature.
So this time, Michael Gross is backed by a new creative team, who takes Burt to Africa, where he encounters not new creatures but amped up versions of what we saw in previous film.
There’s a new character, with a secret most of us have guessed long before it’s revealed, Burt meets a blood brother who provides him with some really nice toys, and we get just enough footage of African game to prove they filmed it in Africa. A large part of the burden falls on several of the locals, who get almost as much screen time as Burt (hey, he’s nearly 70. No surprise).
And, yes, what happens to the graboid after Burt and the gang kills it is funny – if not for the weak of stomach.
It’s not as good as the original, but you knew that. None of the sequels have been, anyway. It isn’t as good as the last one, but then T4 did turn the franchise on its ear, with its radical change in the setting and an unexpected twist for Michael Gross’s character.
If you’re a fan of the long-running series, then nothing I can say will dissuade you from watching this one. And you probably won’t be too disappointed as it delivers the thrills, chills, laughs, giant monsters and gallons of spraying worm guts we expect (complete with an unexpected new feature on the more-evolved worms). It’s the cinematic equivalent of a McDonald’s hamburger: always the same and yet pretty tasty.
And yes, I’ll admit. I am cautiously hopeful about the stories going around about a new TV series starring Kevin Bacon, back in Perfection after a quarter century .
I just hope no one decides to do the “gender flipped” version with a female Burt Gummer. Ugh. I doubt even a graboid could swallow that.