Nature takes no prisoners, humans stepping out of their comfort zone into another species' territory usually being a recipe for disaster. Endangered Species pits man against animal in the mold of a survival thriller, the major problem being that the film really is void of any real thrills throughout.

Robert (Philip Winchester), his wife Andi (Rebecca Romijn), teenage daughter Zoe (Isabel Bassett), and young son Noah (Michael Johnston) take a trip to the Amboseli National Park in Kenya. Wanting to experience adventure in the wilderness, they head down a forbidden road to a remote area of the vast national park without a guide, when a hair-raising encounter with a wild rhino leaves their car a wreck and the family stranded miles off the main trail. Under the suffocating African sun, they soon find themselves stalked by hyenas and facing deadly attacks from leopards, but when they discover a vicious gang of armed poachers they find that man is the most deadly animal on the savanna.

The most crucial mistake this film makes from the very off is making the Halsey family one that you simply don't care about, their whiny attitudes towards life and their problems that mainly revolve around money just making you want to root for the animals on their trail after their safari takes an incredibly bad turn. When you are facing inevitable death unless you get your acts together, and fast, the last thing you would surely do is argue about such inane things that really don't matter at that moment in time. They're a family, every family has their issues but most wouldn't stop to debate such worthless issues so why do they? I guess it's supposed to add weight to these characters but it really just made me hate them more.

The synopsis points to a group of poachers being the biggest threat the family will face in their effort to survive. For me, this was another mistake made by the film as it would have been a lot more interesting to see them face off against more animals rather than have some uninteresting human characters be their biggest problem. Maybe they only wanted to use the garish visual effects for the various animals rather fleetingly to spare their blushes.

The performances in Endgangered Species really do leave a lot to be desired which probably played a major part in making the characters so unlikeable. Rebecca Romijn and Philip Winchester share next to no chemistry as the married couple taking their family on what should be the holiday of a lifetime. It makes for painful viewing and the rest of the cast don't help matters by any means.

Believe me, I am used to watching trash sometimes however, when trash actually bores me and doesn't even have a delightfully over-the-top performance to fall back on, it's very much in trouble. Endangered Species should be fun at least but it just isn't so I'd avoid it at all costs.

Endangered Species is on digital download 28 June and DVD 5 July from Lionsgate UK.



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