I was rooting for the bugs. And they didn't disappoint.
It might seem a little harsh, but after all the characters had been established - as smug, clueless tree-hugging idiots - I felt an anticipation bordering on manic impatience for all of them to be put out, as soon as possible and with as much hoopla as possible. The bugs are my heroes.
The movie starts off with Val sleepily talking into his camera (he never tries very hard in any of his movies, does he? he is the anti-Travolta, i.e. he's the King of all Underactors). Then there's a brief - slightly comical - scene in which a tiny, elongated insect comes out of a woman's forehead then scurries back inside once the evil environmentalists try to catch it. (Poor thing... it's been dormant inside the mammoth's carcass for thousands of years, bored to tears I imagine with nothing to do than speculate on how much the taste of human blood had altered in the meantime, only to have woken to face inferior humans such as liberal save-the-planet knuckleheads. Is that fair? Life's not fair: not even for bugs. No wonder they immediately opted for attack; who can blame them?)
After the bug finishes playing on the blond's head, we have the usual cliché world-in-turmoil news collage sewn into the movie's beginning credits, which is somehow meant to convince us that this dumb parasite-invasion flick has something serious to convey.
Evelyn rushes to give (gasp!) a mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a very obviously infected, ill, dying woman. The fact that disgusting mud-like goo is exiting her mouth does not seem to set off any alarms in Evelyn's tiny head, does not deter her at all. But of course, she's Val's petulant but brilliant daughter (another cliché), perhaps mankind's only hope for the future... This scene is the funniest (also dumbest) thing I've seen in a horror film in a very long time. They couldn't have made it any funnier had they actually intended it to elicit laughs. The way she bends over toward the woman's mouth... priceless. Comedy always works best when you never see it coming.
The teenage clowns seal off the room with the bear's carcass in spite off the very obvious fact that both the black guy and the Oriental girl had also been infected. Do they even understand the concept of "quarantine"? Or are the words "dude" and "rad" the longest words in the vocabulary of the modern American student... They seem to have thought that quarantining half of all the infected was somehow a sufficient measure to stop the spread...
Evelyn was so close to the dying woman, she couldn't have been physically any closer than that if she'd been having sex with her, yet Evelyn never gets infected, in spite of taking the most risks. This strange, unexplained, convenient-for-the-plot, apparent immunity seems to run in her family: Val, too, inexplicably never gets bitten - until he generously offers his arm to one of my little friends (the movie's true heroes), the bugs. This has to be one of the silliest plot-twists in Kilmer's rich-in-crap movie career. It's so stupid, I almost suspect that it was Val's own idea. "Mr.Director, I'm sure you won't mind if I offer a few suggestions concerning the script. You may of course reject them, but then you might be faced with one of my legendary diva-like on-set temper tantrums. I make Christian Bale look like a Japanese schoolgirl. Your call..."
"It's not fair, he's dead and I still hate him!" - Evelyn, upon having found out her father Val is dead (which very predictably turns out not to be the case). Just one example of the asinine dialog that permeates this cinematic turkey from start to finish.
Federico urinates a black substance - i.e. he's obviously infected - and yet just moments later he accuses his girlfriend of giving him a sexually transmitted disease. Never mind the fact that there are corpses left and right, that there is a huge dead bear lying in the lab, and everyone's face changes colour by the minute. So just how dumb ARE these kids? They are supposed to be creme-de-la-creme students from some prestigious college, sent to an expedition where a supposedly brilliant scientist works, and yet everyone in TT behaves like utter idiots, make bad decisions, and talk like 3 year-olds. The bugs, who have an IQ no bigger than Sean Penn's, still manage to win almost every step of the way through the course of TT simply because the not-much-brighter humans let them. Evil invaders have rarely had such a pushover human opposition.
Federico gets punched out by the black guy, but the others fail to seize the opportunity to take the rifle away from him. Duh...
TT never intended to portray young, idealistic environmentalist extremists as imbeciles, but I guess that's a kind of poetic justice for injecting run-of-the-mill left-wing propaganda into a damn insignificant B-grade horror flick.
The message of the movie, in a nutshell: "Start making sacrifices, people, because like honestly, the Earth is melting and stuff, and all sorts of like icky bugs are just lying in wait in various extinct animals' carcasses to like start biting and then like doing uncool things which will like kill us all and then we won't like have the time to play Nintendo, get drunk, or watch those rad Michael Moore domucentaries..." Did MTV produce this crap?