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Perfection Valley, Nevada is a quaint little town. The inhabitants live peaceful, tranquil lives. Most of the time. Perfection is home to the Graboid, El Blanco. El Blanco is a 30-foot worm... See full summary »
When an army of Graboids - giant, carnivorous underground worms - threaten the Petromaya oil refinery in Mexico, its owners call on Earl Bassett, who once helped kill four of the creatures in Perfection, Nevada. Having squandered the money that came from his resulting celebrity status, Earl is convinced by the $50,000-a-head bounty offered, as well as the enthusiasm of admirer Grady Hoover, who becomes his partner. At Petromaya, Earl and Grady meet geologist Kate Reilly, and begin Graboid hunting, tricking several Graboids into swallowing bomb-rigged, remote-controlled cars. When they find they're facing a lot more Graboids than they ever expected, Earl calls his friend Burt Gummer, a survivalist who arrives well-stocked with weapons. Written by
"Tremors II: Aftershocks" is a really impressive sequel to a really great first one.
Due to recent accidents, Earl Bassett, (Fred Ward) is approached by Grady Hoover, (Christopher Gartin) to come to Mexico to help out with their worm problem. Talked into the deal, they arrive at the location and meet with Kate Reilly, (Helen Shaver) the local geologist and Julio, (Marco Hernandez) her assistant. Setting off to work, they are able to take out some of the creatures, but the eventual size of their numbers forces them to call out Burt Gummer, (Michael Gross) and his arsenal of firepower to take them out. Upon confronting a live one, they wait nearby only for rescue only for a strange beast to emerge from it. When they find that what emerged is the next stage of the creature's life, a flying bug-like form that hunts by heat-sensing and have followed them back to the base, they turn to their old tricks to get away from the creatures.
The Good News: This was a really surprising sequel. One of the best qualities is the amount of fun and energy thrown in. Right from the beginning, where the group is out hunting the creatures with a series of innovative and downright clever traps is a lot of fun, and from the discovery about the creatures and the climatic showdown at the refinery are two other great examples. There's also some really smart elements present, and is every bit as clever as its predecessor. When the returnees find that the shriekers attack warm objects, they come up with a variety of ways to hide from or fool the creatures new attacks, allowing the characters to improvise new plans. From hiding behind doors to being covered in fire-extinguisher foam or hiding in ditches, the amount of really nice defense tactics employed against the creatures gives the film a creative feel that might otherwise be lacking in a similar style of movie. The film's other impressive feat is the pacing. While not being graced with as many slow moments as the first one, due mainly to the threat being familiar this time around and not really requiring all the set-up and explanations this time, it can contain a lot more action scenes and it really delivers in that aspect. From the stand-off at the radio tower to the finale, where general mayhem and havoc are unleashed, is simply a joy to watch. The finale, which involves a series of ingenious moves, some close calls and a ton of explosives on the creatures is a joy, and with some comedic lines and gags thrown in, it's the highlight of the film. The comedy also works here, aside from the one-liners and gags about the exploding creatures' guts, the biggest addition is obviously the comedic value of Burt Gummer's character from the original and expanded his role tenfold here. Gummer gets plenty of great moments to shine, the product of increased screen-time and building situations for the cracks yet still keeping them fluid and natural. The new creatures in here aren't that badly designed and, and while not really seeming like a natural evolution, are threatening and carry their scenes well. All in all, a sequel worthy of following a great original.
The Bad News: There isn't much of anything wrong here. The biggest one is the creature's evolution in the film. Going from twenty-foot long worms who burrow through the Earth to two-legged child-size bipeds doesn't really seem right. The head looks right, but there should've been an intermediary step, as it's a little hard to believe that these are the same family and without a more believable step in between, that looks weird. The only other thing that's a little weird is the moment in the end where a back-story is revealed during the middle of the attack. Not only was it painfully obvious to all but the participants, but it wastes time doing so and is really unnecessary to the film and should've been cut out. Otherwise, this was a really fun creature feature.
The Final Verdict: With a lot to like and some really minor nagging problems, this is one of the better creature features and a real nice entry in the series. Fans of the series will love this one, and those who want to see a creature feature that won't offend are advised to give this one a real shot.
Rated PG-13: Violence and Language
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