Species II
Rating -

Sci-Fi (US); 1998; Rated R; 92 Minutes

Cast
Justin Lazard: Patrick Ross
Natasha Henstridge: Eve
Michael Madsen: Press Lennox
Marg Helgenberger: Dr. Laura Baker
Mykelti Williamson: Dennis Gamble
James Cromwell: Senator Ross
Myriam Cyr: Anne Sampas

Produced by Dennis Feldman, Frank Mancuso Jr. and Vikki Williams; Directed by Peter Medak; Screenwritten by Chris Brancato

Review Uploaded
10/14/98

Written by DAVID KEYES

To: Audiences who want to see "Species II"
Subject: The top 10 reasons why you shouldn't see "Species II"

10. Lack Of Interesting Characters - if there's one huge problem with "Species II," the characters are it. First off, you have a guy named Patrick who seems like a nice guy, and when he becomes exposed to alien chromosomes on Mars, he turns into a sex-crazed 'Specie' that kills whatever woman he mates with.

Then, some of those lab members from the first "Species" movie decide the only way to stop his wrath is to revive (or clone) the DNA from their first experiment, once again played by Natasha Henstridge, who is now a quiet and often sexually crazed creature.

This isn't very interesting, when over half the movie deals with the aliens evovling physical attraction for each other, all to the point where the aliens evolves further into a sexual frenzy.

9. Misguided Story - the movie starts out with an intriguing concept; poison a space marine with alien specimens to create a new type of 'Specie,' but then when Earth gets wind of this disastrous problem, they seem to think that the only thing that could stop him is the original alien DNA.

It goes downhill. What should have been a promising story set up by a promising premise turns out to be an obsessive impulse to impress people with dull special effects, and an urge to experience a side of the alien life form that no one should see. Who finds the mating habits of aliens something great to look at? It's like a universal pornography, if you ask me.

8. Depressing Visuals - Now when a movie like this even gets the special effects wrong, something is seriously wrong. You can tell they didn't concentrate all of their time and effort on story and characters; if they did, with these visual elements, they must be mentally deficient. The visuals are just as bad as the everything else.

How? Well first off, most of it takes place in space, and I know by painful experience that movies that take place in space aren't often filmed in bright, ambitious colors. They're filmed in murky tones, to the point where even "Lost In Space" looks somewhat colorful.

That's saying something.

7. Inept Camera Shots - like most space films, the camera shots in "Species II" allow us to peek into certain areas of eye-candy, and then immediately draw away to a new situation. In other words, these visual moments are usually cut like a theatrical preview trailer, where you only see part of the visual and the rest is saved for the actual movie.

I see now that there was nothing to save for the actual movie, and most of the effects are already shown in the trailers.

6. Good Writer Writes Horribly - You already know how the writing is, but what you may not know is that the writer, Chris Brancato, is actually very talented. Don't believe me? Watch "Hoodlum" sometime. I imagine that most would consider that movie now a masterpiece, to certain extents.

Okay, it wasn't a great movie, but at least it had good things in it. So how did this happen?

5. Limited And Dreary Dialogue - For a sci-fi flick, little dialogue is used, and that which exists often associates with situations in the movie that were, apparently, cut out of the final product at the last moment.

Listening to dialogue relating to cut scenes is so boring that it's not even funny. What's the point? On top of that, did anyone realize that the movie had dialogue in it that should have been cut along with the scenes?

4. Failure To Match The Original - I must admit, I considered to be the original "Species" movie to be one of the best pictures of the whole sci-fi genre. So it comes, naturally, as a surprise when the second film takes out all the flavor and all the great things that worked so well in the first movie.

3. Similarity To A Bizarre National Geographic Special - If we really were able to peer in on other planets and find living, breathing beings, than I imagine "Species II" would be like a really intense National Geographic special on the mating habits of the average outer space alien. The only thing different is the fact that "Species II" isn't narrated by an expert in this field. Heck, not even a sex-crazed lunatic could possibly narrate the habits of these creatures in "Species II," unless, of course they had experience in sleeping with wild animals.

2. Horrible Acting - The acting abilities demonstrated by these people have influenced me not to hire them if I ever directed a movie. I'd refuse to let anyone on my set who starred in this movie, unless they went back to school for a couple of decades and learned some decent acting ability.

Every character is incredibly stiff; so stiff that the aliens look almost intelligent, though they're slimy, repugnant-looking creatures that resemble the inside of a Hoover carpet cleaning bag.

1. Overall Concept - When you add all these things together, how else could you save or enjoy such a clumsy movie. It's really sad when such a great film like "Species" is followed by one like this. They might as well have torn up the script, tossed it in the air, and put it back together when it fell down in different pieces to add some variety.


1998, David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org. Please e-mail the author here if the above review contains any spelling or grammar mistakes.
 
 
           
     
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