First we lost Kevin Bacon. Then we lost Fred Ward. Then I stopped giving a shit. Fast forward several years later and Netflix recommends I watch Tremors 5. I thought, Hey, why not?
I’ll tell you why not: Jamie Kennedy. As soon as I saw him put on a helmet so that his stunt double could ride around the opening credits on a motorcycle for five minutes I almost turned the fucking movie off. Here’s an actor who sucks so bad, instead of trying to make better movies, he made a documentary to openly attack his critics. What a fucking crybaby.
You’re probably thinking: Surely he’s an expendable character, right? Surely no one thought they could replace Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward’s chemistry with Michael Gross and Jamie Kennedy! Nope, Kennedy really is the supporting actor. Here’s a character who says “dome” because he thinks it makes him cooler than just saying “head.” The rest of the time you won’t know if he’s parodying famous movie lines or outright ripping them off. Either way it’s not very funny.
Neither is the addition of piss humor. This movie seems to think piss is hilarious. Getting pissed on, drinking piss, singing deliriously while spreading piss all over your body. I guess these things could be funny, but they’re not here. And while Michael Gross still seems genuine as Burt, the filmmakers think they can make us laugh simply by having him do little more than speak in military jargon. Are words like “rendezvous” really that funny? (Let me suggest Nick Offerman for the inevitable reboot. While we’re dream-casting, let’s have Kevin Bacon move to Ward’s part. I’ve heard Bacon wants to be involved with a new Tremors anyway, so why not? It couldn’t be any worse than this one.)
At best the movie is kind of entertaining and at worst it isn’t bad enough to turn off. Considering it’s free for anyone who has Netflix’s streaming plan, the price is just about right. Never mind the setups early on are so obvious you’ll figure out almost exactly how they’ll be used in the resolution (“Hey, look! A phosphorous grenade!”), or that it’s all too easy to guess which characters will live and which ones will die. And never mind there are scenes ripped straight out of Jurassic Park or the fact that guns don’t seem to work against the monsters, but a couple of arrows do.
Honestly, I think the franchise derailed with the addition of shriekers and ass-blasters. I get that using graboids again would have made the sequels exactly like the original, and some of the solutions to the shriekers’ thermal vision were fun in Tremors 2, but you just can’t generate suspense when your antagonists are literally farting fire. And speaking of those creative solutions we liked so much (pole-vaulting to a truck, for one) there’s nothing as fun as that in this movie.
I will say Tremors 5 probably has the best CGI I’ve ever seen in a straight-to-video movie and the camerawork is pretty impressive, too. Considering some of the other stuff I’ve recommended this month, I have a feeling I’m being a little too hard on it. I honestly don’t know why I expected more. If you liked the last couple of films, you might have a good time with this one. At least until they reveal…
Eh, I won’t spoil it. Best to let you throw popcorn at your TV, too.
Come back at midnight Central Time for the next movie.