Hot on the heals of Aja’s amazing re-imagining of the Wes Craven classic, Martin Weisz knocks out an obvious, uninspired sequel. Using all the same mistakes that most sequels make, the film flows well, looks quite nice and has quite a lot of gore, but it’s bloody boring.
Set a few years after the first. A team of scientists are working in the New Mexico desert. Its not long before they fall victim to the desert mutants. The Marines are called in to investigate. Not just any Marries, these are half trained squadies, stereotypical in character and team design. One by one, they are crushed by monstrous hand or swinging pickaxe. The story takes the Marines underground, into the mining lair deep under the hills in the desert and attempts to build an Aliens style feeling, failing at the first hurdle, that being characters, and script which are obvious and drab. I must say, even the gore was so predictable.
It’s so easy to take the approach, ‘Lets send in the military’ when making a sequel and very few succeed with this plan. Here, it does not work, although it’s not the lack of unoriginality, it’s the execution and poor direction of actors who struggle with a bland script and characters which have been created with zero emotion and essence. ‘You play the smart marine, you play the idiot, you the hunk, you the greedy one;’ it’s Snow white all over again. That’s not to say Weisz is a bad director, its just a matter of time before he learns how to direct actors whilst shooting a great looking film and also not to compromise on a poor, obvious script. A final note would be regarding the ending being exactly the same as part 1’s! Ridiculous.
Watch with beer, popcorn and a pizza and it’ll be a great night in, but don’t expect a true sequel to what Aja rebuilt.