Upon its release, 'Bio-Dome' was holding on tight to the dangling thread that was the early 90's in which the 80's did a bit of a spill-over. The problem was, this was 1996, and everyone was kinda over Pauly's noisy, primate-like antics of the past four years. For some, it was too little, too late; for others, it wasn't given it any consideration at all; for people like me, we saw it much in the same way as I saw 'Space Jam' - it was one last entry in the cinematic journal of our childhood.
By this time, change was in full swing, and party animal, Pauly Shore faded away afterward - not so much into obscurity, but in that realm where only the few die-hard fans would give him any attention. At the time, he was a bit of a comedic icon, especially to a younger crowd. However, my generation grew up and grew past him to such an extent that even a movie was made about it - 'Pauly Shore is Dead' (which I actually recommend as a great send-off, that is, if you ever cared for Pauly Shore).
Before all that, 'Bio-Dome' was the last of what I like to call the "Weasel Series" - 'Encino Man', 'Son in Law', 'In the Army Now', 'Jury Duty' and this, all with Shore portraying a very similar character. In fact, it could even be said that the first three films take place in the same universe, with a couple of cameos from Brenden Fraser's Link, suggesting these Pauly portrayals may all have been related, or even clones. But perhaps that's going a little deeper than is deserved. Let's take a look at the role that put the nail in Shore's coffin.
It all starts with a couple of delinquents, Bud (Shore) and Doyle (Stephen Baldwin) making an effort to get out of helping their respective girlfriends, Monique (Joey Lauren Adams) and Jen (Teresa Hill) pick up trash for Earth Day. They go for a drive, and soon find themselves at the Bio-Dome; an environmental bubble, built for sealing in a group of scientists to see if they can maintain 100% homeostasis for a straight year. In other words, a giant Garden of Eden type place where the scientists will do their best not to screw it up.
The scientists in question consist of Leader, the sophisticated Dr. Noah Faulkner (William Atherton); Geologist, Olivia Biggs (Denise Dowse); Agriculturalist, Mimi Simkins (Dara Tomanovich); Entomologist, T.C. Romulus (Kevin West); and Oceanographer, Dr. Petra von Kant (Kylie Minogue) and it's all headed up, outside the dome by William Leaky (Henry Gibson) whose occupation is... I'm not sure it's ever mentioned. He's the big wig whose only on-screen for a limited time, but between him and Atherton, I wonder who was the most regretful for being a part of it.
Anyway, when the boys mistake it for a mall in which Doyle can potentially urinate, the dudes find themselves sealed in as well, having to endure the year ahead.. As one might imagine, it's just a bunch of noisy and irritating shenanigans while these two completely mess with the scientists' work, until everything backfires and they need to learn a lesson in growing up (which I'm not sure they ever do) by saving the Dome, and hopefully reuniting on the outside with their respective ladies.
Now, here's the thing. I have this certain weakness when it comes to Pauly Shore. He's a lot like Lucky Charms cereal; all of my peers have grown up and are eating better, but I still have that sweet tooth that keeps bringing me back for the odd bowl... and it is a very odd bowl. I talk about movies that want you to turn your brain off, and his films are some of the best places to find them. In my humble opinion, the man is the embodiment of retro guilty pleasures. Somehow, I can still find entertainment in all of his films, despite some of the most horrendous reviews out there. Hell, 'Encino Man' is still one of my go-to's for a "cheer-me-up" movie.
With all of that said, I am well aware that I'm in a vast minority. I suppose there's just something about these movies that takes me back to childhood when it was all so much simpler. So yes, I beat the term into the ground with a lot of my reviews, but again, it's "nostalgic". Pauly Shore aside, it's safe to say that there is a whole massive collection of recognizably bad nostalgic movies I enjoy for what they are, so often, my opinion is pretty biased. But even with that in mind, I can still recognize that they are altogether bad movies, and it's not like I'd ever get mad at someone for calling the "pointless, stupid, horrible wastes of time" (or something to that effect).
I wanted to look back on it for the first time in quite a while to see how it held up. If I'm being honest with myself, About 90% of it is just these two making noise and goofing around, and the entire film's comedic level is pretty low-hanging and cheap - although I will admit a few moments still get a giggle (the exchange of "Adieu!" / "A-Duh!" still cracks me up). So while someone like me can still get a kick or two, if you're in that majority of people who just deem Pauly Shore unwatchable, that's a good enough reason to avoid it. I'd sooner recommend second chances to other titles of his, and even then, you'd have to take my recommendation with a grain of salt. At best, this is a recognizably bad guilty pleasure; at worst, it's just another piece of garbage Bud and Doyle refuse to pick up.