The movie opens in the arctic north where a research taking core samples when the earth begins to shake and a giant graboid pops up eating the team members. Through the magic of movies we immediately transport to Perfection where graboid expert Burt Gummer (Michael Gross) is the sole proprietor of the single store there. An IRS agent arrives to tell him he owes back taxes and the government will be there soon to take possession.
His son Travis Welker (Jamie Kennedy) arrives and while they begin talking about the situation a phone call comes in. The research team needs him to come to their aid. At first he thinks they don't know what they're talking about until one member of the team comes on and identifies herself as the daughter of two main characters from the first film. Off to the great white north Burt and Travis go.
The first attack on Burt takes place in the air before he even has a chance to touch down as a** blaster graboid (those that shoot flames from their posteriors) buzzes his plane before flying into the engine. The plane lands safely and the first people he meets is the head of the nearby group, a DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) station, which leads into his standard conspiracy buff mode. He then meets the team who sent for him including Valerie (Jamie-Lee Money). Burt immediately begins arguing with them that the graboids thrive in desert terrain not the ice covered area they are in. But this is a geothermal location with hot springs nearby. It could be where the species originated from.
Within minutes of learning what's going on another attack takes place during which Burt collapses.
They fight off the flying creature and after Burt is examined learn that he has a graboid parasite in his bloodstream that got there when he was inside one years ago. It's trying to kill him from the inside out and the only cure will come from an anti-venom made from the glands of a living graboid.
Their communications tower taken out, the DARPA facility destroyed as Burt's team tries to arm themselves it falls to Travis to band the wagons together and face the greatest threat they've ever encountered as well as capture a living graboid to save his father. If he can't do so...well end of franchise so going in you should have realized where this would lead.
From a technical aspect the movie is incredibly well made. The cinematography is great from locations to cast to the creatures on hand. They've chosen to include practical effects with the creatures this time around rather than rely solely on CGI created monsters, going back to how it all began with the first film, and the result makes this one of the better films in the franchise. The cast is directed with skill and allowed to do what they do best.
Their best involves playing this straight from two different perspectives. One is that of the research team who can't believe what they're seeing and react in various ways. The second is the over the top, intentionally so, performance that is Burt Gummer by Gross. Spouting conspiracy theories from memory, screaming at top volume in drill sergeant speak and demanding the best from all involved is just how Burt rolls. In the hands of someone else it might look more cartoonish than these films call for but Gross handles the character he created as if it were a second skin.
Some will make fun of these films and talk about how ridiculous they are but in some ways so are all monster movies. But they provide a certain amount of escapism that has always made watching films like this the joy that they are. It's man versus monster for the survival of the human race. Sure the odds of armor plated gigantic worms taking over the world are slim to none but they provide an entertaining movie and that's what you'll find here. Just entertainment and escapism. Sometimes we all just need a little of both.
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