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Parents' Guide to

Endangered Species

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Well-meaning but aggravating safari tale has blood and gore.

Movie R 2021 101 minutes
Endangered Species Poster Image

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Well-meaning but too ridiculous to really work, this misfire of a family-bonding safari adventure is packed with frustrating characters, poor choices, and cheap-looking CGI animals. Endangered Species seems to have gambled its emotional arc on Jack's redemption. Unfortunately, he's so aggravating and despicable from the outset that it would take far longer than 101 minutes for most folks to really forgive him. He's immediately established as a weaselly oil company man who's whiny and yet arrogant, and it's not long before we learn that he has a problem with his son's homosexuality. He also hates his daughter Zoe's boyfriend. Zoe, for her part, has taken to calling him by his name rather than "Dad" out of a lack of respect, and it's easy to agree with her.

The family's predicament is entirely Jack's fault, due to his poor choices (no guide, failing to check in at the gate, going off-road, etc.). Other obvious plot elements, such as bringing along easily breakable glass bottles of water, not taking enough insulin for Lauren, etc., are further confounding. O'Connell overacts in a role that ought to be more menacing than it is, and the entire movie has a strange, quasi-comic tone, with the vague, off-putting feeling that we're supposed to be laughing from time to time. Perhaps the worst thing in Endangered Species is the fake-looking animals, with one exception: a beautiful bit of footage (not filmed for this movie) of a leopard rousing itself from sleep that might be worth the price of admission by itself.

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