Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Tremors 5: Bloodlines - Okay

Today "Tremors 5: Bloodlines" was finally released across the board. It's been a little over a year since I first reported on the then rumours of a full Tremors reboot, which turned into news of an actual Tremors sequel just under a year ago. Fans have been mixed in their expecations, some being very excited, others being skeptical. But how exactly did "Tremors 5: Bloodlines" turn out?

There is a surprising amount of good material in "Tremors 5: Bloodlines". Going to Africa gives us new, but familiar, scenery in a franchise that's a quarter century old. We get new characters (Burt Gummer is the only remaining original character), new weapons, and kind of new graboids. Because this is Africa, and the local graboid life cycle turns out to have evolved slightly differently than its American cousin. The picture from the trailer that I speculated was a mixmaster creature? Turns out it's actually a plain old regular assblaster, just of the African variety. That alone fixed a lot of issues with the film for me. They went all out and made the monsters bigger and scarier, but still retained the core basics we've learned from the four previous films and 13 episodes of TV. 

But where there is only "some good", there is usually a lot of bad and meh. And "Tremors 5: Bloodlines" does have a lot of meh. Despite its short runtime of 100 minutes and being pretty packed with action sequences, I felt the urge to pick up my phone and see what happened on twitter and snapchat. It just doesn't grab on to you as well as I'd like. Jamie Kennedy's new character feels forced, and like a weird rip-off of "Tremors" TV's Tyler Reed. Who again in his time felt like a rip-off of "Tremors 3: Back to Perfection"'s Jack Sawyer, but Tyler got himself 13 episodes to redeem himself. Jamie's Travis gets 100 minutes. Despite some obvious "twists" and character revelations that the audience sees coming from a mile away he just ends up being an annoying sidekick that thinks he's a lot funnier than he actually is.

So all in all I am pleasantly surprised with this film, but I was also hugly skeptical. I'm pleasantly surprised because it isn't completely terrible. It feels like someone tried to make a Tremors film who just didn't know how, which is kind of exactly what it is. Stampede Entertainment was not involved, so the guys over at Universal 1440 has tried to recapture the magic unsuccesfully. Luckily Michael Gross knows Burt Gummer better than anyone and makes sure that what Burt does is what Burt would do. If you are a Tremors fan I would tell you to watch this film, otherwise there is no bother. It's the fifth best installment in a film franchise with five films.