Movie Review: Endangered Species (2003)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2003 science fiction thriller starring Eric Roberts and Arnold Vosloo.

Synopsis: A police detective tries to track down a serial killer that, for unknown reasons, is targeting victims at local gyms, selecting them based on their level of fitness. As he investigates, he learns he isn’t after a normal killer. Instead, he’s tracking down an alien hunter that is looking to make clothes out of human flesh.

Better Than Expected but Fails to Reach Potential

When I first picked out this particular film earlier this week, I honestly wasn't sure what I was going to get. From the description, it sounded like it might be a decent horror movie. However, at the same time, the "R" rating made me wonder if the movie would turn out to be a badly written soft core porn film. As it turns out, it fell somewhere in between those two categories.

Overall, I thought the movie had a decent plot, mostly because, even though we know the hunter is targeting only the physically fit, we aren't really told exactly why until later in the movie. Also, the fact that there is another alien, Warden (Vosloo), adds a bit to the mystery because, at least at first, it's hard to tell whether he is there to help or oppose the hunter. And, even though the ending was a little predictable, I thought it was better than I honestly was expecting it to be.

The biggest problem with this movie is the weak execution. For one, there's quite a bit of gratuitous nudity in the film. This is something that normally occurs when filmmakers are trying to distract people from a weak plot. But, again, the overall storyline in this movie wasn't too terrible and, as a result, they really didn't need to go that route.

In addition, the characters in this film seemed to lack any sort of urgency. Roberts' character goes home to his wife every night and the rest of the police department just seems to stand around waiting for something to happen rather than trying to find the killer before he strikes again. There are also quite a few one-liners throughout the film that I think were meant to be witty but failed miserably because of poor presentation.

Endangered Species

A deranged hunter massacres the female clients at a local health spa, and the two police detectives assigned to investigate, Sully (Eric Roberts) and Wynowski (John Rhys-Davies)...

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Final Opinion

I think, with some better editing and perhaps an upgrade or two in the cast, this film could have been pretty decent. Unfortunately, because of the excess nudity and weak execution overall, this isn't a movie that is very memorable.

My Grade: C

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Updated: 06/16/2017, StevenHelmer
 
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