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Gremlins 2: The New Batch
1990 - PG-13 - 106 Mins.
Director: Joe Dante
Producer: Michael Finnell
Written By: Charles Haas
Starring: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, John Glover, Christopher Lee, Robert Prosky, Julia Sweeney
Review by: John Ulmer
   
"Gremlins"(1984) is one of my favorite comedies. It is so delightfully comical and campy, like a B horror movie, yet delightfully witty and scary. The sequel, "Gremlins 2," goes for more laughs than anything else, and comes off simply as an average, one-or-two-time-viewable summer flick.

Billy (Zach Galligan) has since moved out of town, along with fiancée Phoebe Cates. They are now in New York City, working at Clamp Industries, headed by Clamp, a spoof on multiple political figures. Anywho. At his new office, Billy finds Gizmo, who has wondered from his home after Mr. Myagi - err, the Chinese man - died in the beginning of the film. He was picked up by some scientists, brought to Clamp, and then escaped to Billy's office, coincidentally. Well, Billy leaves him there for Cates to pick him up later. Unfortunately, Gizmo gets wet, and pretty soon a new breed of Gremlins have taken over the building, including a speaking Gremlin named "Brain."

"Gremlins 2" is in no way as clever, fun, or humorous as the original. What is so ironic is that this sequel was supposed to go strictly for laughs, unlike the original, but I didn't laugh half as many times as I did the first time around while watching "Gremlins."

The jokes are not exactly re-hashed, but they are very dull. Yes, sometimes there are some big laughs, but I really expected more.

Zach Galligan seems a little more full of himself in this sequel. Perhaps after the original he found success and figured he was a big shot. Ironically, he is now voicing computer games, and according to his attitude and comments on the DVD commentary with Joe Dante and cast, he seems to still think a lot of himself.

Phoebe Cates is more beautiful in this film. She just looked average in the first, but something about her haircut matching her face in this film makes her look cute.

Dick Miller, my favorite character - apart from Stripe - from the first film, returns, saying he was only injured by the snow plow. A cheap way of bringing back a character, yes. But I'm glad he's in it - he has more screen time in this film, and that's one good element of the movie.

Director Joe Dante obviously had fun making this sequel, but it's nowhere near as good as the original. I'd probably be blaming the director of this film for how mediocre it is, but I can't muster up enough words to accuse Joe Dante, who made the original, that he is a bad director - the first film was excellent.

But part of film critique is that you MUST criticize certain aspects of a lousy film, and while "Gremlins 2" was in no way a LOUSY movie, it wasn't exactly a winner.

Instead of putting thought into this absent-minded sequel, it seems the filmmakers single-handedly cashed in on the original's solid success. Instead of making something highly intelligent and thoughtful, "Gremlins 2" comes out as a half-baked, summer sequel, whereas it could have been remembered as something more.

"Gremlins 2" is the kind of movie everyone is talking about before seeing it, and no one is talking about the next day.

No, it's not horrible, and it's definitely worth seeing - especially if you're a fan of the original - but it's a major blow to the superior original.
 
Movie Guru Rating
Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not.
  3 out of 5 stars

 
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