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PLOT: Burt Gummer, graboid and ass blaster expert, travels to South Africa in order to investigate a deadly new breed of monster. Paired with an irritating new cameraman, Burt will face his greatest challenge yet!
REVIEW: You can't really dislike a movie that has the line, "Fly right into my crosshairs you fire-farting sonofabitch," can you? At least, I'm pretty sure I can't. TREMORS 5: BLOODLINES has that exact line, and it's quite indicative of the movie itself: Amusing, self-aware, not particularly clever. While it could have retreated to being just another by-the-numbers Asylum-like monster mash, TREMORS 5 manages to be diverting and, at its best points, kinda entertaining. It's no diamond in the rough, mind you - TREMORS 5 is not going to wow you with unexpected intelligence or filmmaking prowess. But there's enough goofy charm to be found that you likely won't walk away too disappointed if your expectations are very much in check. (Then again, if you're watching a movie titled TREMORS 5 you probably know what you're in for.)
If you're a hardcore TREMORS fan, maybe it'll excite you when a stunned Burt Gummer declares, "The tentacles have detached from the graboids!" Hey, no judgements; I'd venture to guess this TREMORS is more fun than the last three combined, but then again I'm only moderately familiar with the other sequels. I am quite aware that, against all odds, this franchise does have a dedicated following. Perhaps it's the overall bouncy attitude inherent to the movies that people gravitate to. Not breaking from formula, this movie has the cheery/silly sensibility of the previous TREMORS films, which are horror-lite fare but still enjoyable fluff for creature feature enthusiasts. Naturally, nothing genuinely exciting happens; TREMORS 5 is tension and scare-free. It acts simply as a tongue-in-cheek comedy, and it maintains a sufficient energy level up until its final goofy moments. It also saves its best joke for last, with a mid-credits sequence that I definitely laughed during. I might actually be looking forward to a sequel.
Give it up to Michael Gross. Here's a movie where he's made to enthusiastically drink his own urine while in a cage, only moments before being pissed on by a lion. And he does it with hearty gusto. I realize Gross doesn't have much going on at this moment, career-wise, and that TREMORS 5 is a junky movie at heart, but this is still a really enjoyable performance; if he was ashamed of his actions in this film, he didn't betray those emotions. Jamie Kennedy, playing Burt's sidekick/cameraman Travis, is more or less likable in the film, which gives him not much to do other than trade meager barbs with Gross. They make for a good-natured on-screen duo.
The creatures are, for the most part, passable; the CG is more than decent, less than big screen worthy. In other words, these monsters won't offend your eyes as would a Syfy channel flick, but they're not overly impressive either. The film squeezes as many mini-action sequences as it can into the 100 minute run time, though it takes a little while before we see an honest to goodness graboid. (Ass blasters are very prevalent throughout.) There are a handful of funny death sequences throughout, but none are particularly creative or gory.
Sometimes TREMORS 5 tries a little too hard, like when a sequence blatantly rips off a famous scene in JURASSIC PARK or characters echo lines from DIE HARD and PREDATOR; it would appear the movie covets the approval of movie geeks via these corny references. It needn't bother, but I suppose the effort isn't unappreciated. If nothing else, TREMORS 5 wants to get in your good graces by providing an effortless viewing experience, and I must say it pretty much succeeds.