The Fly II Collector’s
Edition (2 DVD DTS Set)
Sound: B- Extras: B- Film: C-
If a sequel was good enough for the original 1958 version
of The Fly, then why not a sequel to a hit remake. The Fly II was released in 1989 and
did not make much of a dent, proven in part by the fact that a third film never
materialized. Eric Stoltz is the son of
the scientist much the way 1959’s Return Of The Fly was set up. However, this one is littered with more
technology, gadgets, was shot in color and has an acute sense of sequelitis.
Daphne Zuniga is the girlfriend this time, here before her
big breakout on nighttime TV soap operas.
Fox hired Chris Walas to direct, a fan who was competent enough to shoot
a film in the genre and on the subject.
However, though not as obnoxious as so many Horror and Sci-Fi offerings
since, he was too much in “fanboy” mode to create a solid sequel that could
have went where the original did not.
We have seen worse, making this unnecessary but oddly so bad its good
enough sequels like Predator 2 that is just barely a cut above a B-movie
or lame straight to video mess.
The film moves along too slowly before anything happens,
then nothing much more happens. Stoltz
is a good casting choice, but he is not given enough to think, say or do,
underutilizing a truly talented actor.
This was released on the 30th Anniversary of the original
sequel, but that was actually a better film.
Fox may have underestimated the potential here and with a double DVD set
and DTS upgrade like this set has, you have to wonder if they are going to do a
third film. Maybe they can combine
sequels and do it as a part three to both sets of Fly movies. At least fans and completists will like this
The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image is not bad for
its age, but it tries to recreate the look of the first film, but lighter. That was a miscalculation and a
mistake. At least this is relatively
clean and clear for its age. The old
Dolby A-type analog surround (they did not use Dolby SR here) has been upgraded
to new Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 mixes, a bit cleaner and clearer than the
original, but not by much. The problem
here is that dialogue and sound effects are too forward and the sound design on
this one was never anything to write home about. It is still a passable combination and could have been worse.
Extras include deleted scenes (which would not have helped
the film), alternate ending and audio commentary by Walas and film historian
Bob Burns on DVD 1, which is more entertaining than the film. Walas obviously loves the genre and is very
good humored about the experience. Too
bad Fox did not give him someone to give him more guidance and a better script
to boot. I can see why he got hired to
some extent. DVD 2 has a documentary on
the whole Fly franchise called The Fly Papers, a behind the
scenes piece on this film, original featurette on the film, storyboard to film
comparisons, C.W.I. film production journal, featurette on composer Christopher
Young, stills gallery, teaser and trailer for this film only. There are more extras on the first 1986 The
Fly set reviewed elsewhere on this site, but this set has its moments like
the film, if not enough to recommend enthusiastically.
- Nicholas Sheffo