Endangered Species Plot Synopsis
For the Halsey family, it was supposed to be the adventure of a lifetime. A few days away within the African wilderness probably seemed like a good idea, not only because they wanted to see a few animals but because they wanted some bonding time together too.
Unfortunately, their planned adventure turns into a nightmare when they find themselves stranded in the wilderness with no food, no water, and plenty of wild animals wandering around ready to make of a meal of them.
Do the Halsey family survive until the end? Or do they fall victim to the dangers that are all around them?
Keep reading to learn more.
Do the Halsey family get along?
Jack, Lauren, and their teenage children Noah and Zoe, most definitely don’t get along. Jack is hard on his son, Zoe seems to resent Jack being her father (he is actually her stepfather), and their relationships are strained further when they disagree about the different components of their trip.
This is awkward for us when we watch their family dynamic and it’s awkward for Billy, Zoe’s boyfriend, who has joined them on the trip.
Therefore, the chances of any family bonding taking place seem unlikely, although Lauren still tries to hold her family together, despite the problems that exist between them.
How do the Halsey family get lost in the wilderness?
Jack has lost his job so he can’t afford to pay for a guide. Therefore, the family have to wander into the wilderness alone. This is problematic enough but it’s the fact that Jack drives through the checkpoint gate without registering their arrival that is another issue.
As he is unwilling to wait while the local guards deal with the poachers they have just apprehended, he decides to speed ahead without leaving details of their names and vehicle registration. As such, the people back at the base don’t have a record of them entering the park. So, when the family do get lost later on in the movie, there is the chance that the people at the base don’t realise they have gone missing.
Of course, all would have been well if the Halsey family had stuck to the road after entering the vast safari park. But when they don’t see any animals, they decide to go off-road instead, despite the signs that state this is strictly forbidden. They soon find themselves miles from anywhere, and matters are made worse when they come face to face with an angry rhino.
“It’s a giant animal with a spike on its face, what could possibly go wrong?” jokes Billy before finding out the answer to his question.
What happens with the rhino?
Rhinos are generally quite gentle creatures but they become aggressive when they think they are being threatened. This is something the family quickly learn.
After Jack lets his inexperienced son Noah drive the van, the boy’s inexperience is highlighted when he struggles to put the vehicle in reverse after they have encountered the rhino. He moves forward instead of backward and the rhino sees this as a threat. As the rhino’s child is also in the vicinity, it decides to retaliate as a protective measure and tips the van upside down with its horn.
Several members of the family are injured after the rhino attack but as mum is a doctor, she is able to patch them up before their injuries get any worse.
Are the Halsey family out of danger?
Not only do they lose their only means of hydration when their water bottles are broken but they come face to face with a group of angry hyenas too. They manage to hide in the van until these creatures are gone but Lauren then realises that the supply of insulin she needs for her diabetes has been lost.
So, there are all kinds of dangers the family now face. They could dehydrate, the hyenas could come back to make a meal out of them, and mum could go into a coma within 8 hours if she doesn’t get the medical attention she needs.
If only they had stuck to the road like they were supposed to!
Do the Halsey family work together to survive?
You would think the family would band together to survive, but despite being in danger, the family still bicker with one another. Zoe calls Jack a d*ck, Noah calls Jack out for his bullying behaviour, and Jack becomes self-defensive.
Thankfully, there is a temporary reprieve from all the in-fighting when Billy and Noah go looking for water. During their trek, Billy sensibly ties pieces of cloth to the trees so they will know the way back to the van.
Unfortunately, the two lads are then attacked by a leopard. Billy is attacked and savaged by the wild beast before being dragged away up a tree. Noah assumes Billy has been killed so heads back to the van, using the tags in the trees to guide him.
On arrival at the van, he lets the other family members know about Billy. Zoe is understandably upset, runs off aimlessly to find him, and is followed by Jack, who then manages to speak a little bit of sense to his step-daughter.
Soon after this, they decide to work together to get themselves out of their predicament.
Do the Halsey family perish in the wilderness?
The family eventually decide to move from their location to look for help. As they don’t know how to read a map, they soon get lost and start to walk around in circles.
Meanwhile, Billy, who hasn’t yet been eaten, manages to escape from the tree. He makes it back to the van only to discover the family have gone walkabout. He isn’t alone for long, however, as it would appear the people back at the base have realised the family have gone missing. They turn up at the van and rescue Billy.
The Halsey family aren’t so lucky as they eventually walk into a group of hyenas. Thankfully, they are soon rescued by a group of people who are passing their way. Unfortunately, these aren’t the kindly folk that saved Billy from further harm. They are poachers and when the family spot the rhino horns they are carrying, they are tied up by these wicked animal hunters.
Do the Halsey family escape?
After telling his kids how much he loves them, Jack manages to free himself. He then comes up with a plan of escape but it won’t involve all of them. After freeing his family, he tells Zoe to run to a nearby jeep and drive her, Noah, and Lauren to safety, while he causes a distraction.
Jack then runs through the poacher’s camp and into the trees ahead. The poachers give chase and this gives Zoe and co the opportunity to carry out Jack’s plan.
Sadly, Jack is caught and killed, but it’s thanks to his sacrifice that the others can get away. But when the poachers realise the rest of the Halsey family have escaped, they turn tail and get into another jeep. A chase begins and they eventually catch up to Zoe, Noah and Lauren.
Thankfully, a group of anti-poachers arrive with a doctor in tow and they deal with the poachers, attend to Lauren, and rescue the family.
Does the movie have a happy ending?
With the exception of Jack, the Halsey family make it to the end of the movie. It’s not necessarily a happy end due to Jack’s death but at least the rest of them have survived.
They are the lucky ones.
As the coda at the end of the movie reads, 2000 rhinos were killed for their horns between 2015 and 2019, and every year, 20,000 elephants are killed for their ivory.
Ultimately, the Halsey family weren’t the endangered species of the movie’s title. The rhinos and the rest of the African beasts of the Kenyan wilderness are the real endangered species thanks to the poachers that continue to hunt them down and kill them. For these animals, there is no happy ending, unless they are saved by the valiant people who give up their lives to rescue them from extinction.
Read More: Endangered Species Movie Review