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|Index||16 reviews in total|
During the closing credits (at least in the version that hit theatres), the Beastmaster can be seen running into the sunset. This sunset is actually a painted backdrop, and after a while, you can clearly discern that the guy is actually running in place for almost two minutes as the credits roll! A perfect end to a perfect movie!
I liked this movie way too much. My only problem is I thought the actor playing the villain was a low rent Michael Ironside. Of corse Ironside is just a low rent Jack Nicholson. I guess Mike was busy that year with "Highlander 2: The Quickening". Sadly "Beastmaster 2" would have been a much better career move. It is certainly the best of the Beastmaster series and in many ways reminiscent of that great big screen classic "Masters of the Universe". Not only does it star the incomparable Mark Singer it also features an amazing supporting cast, specifically the second girl from "Sliders", Uncle Phil from "Fresh Prince of Belair" and evil chick from "Superman 2". It rocked my world and is certainly a must see for anyone with no social or physical outlets. BEASTMASTER FOREVER!!! ROCK'N ROLL!!!
I really liked cult filmmaker Don Coscarelli's fantasy "Beastmaster" and this follow-up "Through the Portal of time" really does decide to go in a different (much campier) direction, which looked like it could have been its downfall. Despite its bad wrap (although it does have its fans), mostly modern-day setting and rather goofy tone it still remains quite a competently, enjoyable good and evil sword-and-sorcery comic strip venture. For most part it seems to be playing for laughs (sometimes intentional other times not), and the fish out water novelty (Dar trying to stop Arklon getting his hands on a dangerous weapon while in Los Angeles) has its amusing moments. The tone and style had me thinking of another sword-and-sorcery caper with a very tongue-in-cheek approach "Deathstalker II" and no surprises why, as Jim Wynorski had a part in both screenplays. Dialogues are risible, but there are few humorous in-jokes within and the direction is constantly spirited. The performances are fairly animated, almost mock-like. Bryan Singer returns as Dar the Beastmaster. Bringing all the right qualities to the role, although it does feel like a self-parody and there's no doubts he really likes to boast about his "friends". Along for the ride are his animal friends (although the panther has been replaced by a tiger). Wings Hauser decked out in long blonde hair, phantom of the opera style of mask, a cheesy grin goes about his evil shtick with great aplomb, by waving about his magic wand / bow with little respect and having organisms when reading minds. Sara Douglas who parades around provides the wit as the witch Lyranna and the lovely Kari Wuhrer perks it up in her role as the modern-day girl who gets caught up helping Dar. Some other faces show up like; James Avery and very minor parts for Michael Berryman and Robert Z'dar. It's not perfect, but it's a breezy and theatrically hammy time-waster.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
All the reviewers are making one big mistake. This movie was not
suppose to be taken seriously.
It was made for kids and teens of the late 80ies or early 90ies and as such it was truly a film of it's time. If you hated that period, or love the first movie so much that you can't even take a joke about it, then this is garbage, but only because it wasn't meant for you. The low budget here and failure of the Beastmaster 1 at the box office (grossed under four mil. with a nine mil. budget) were obviously the reasons to drop the seriousness of the original and to put it in the present day. You can complain about the story, dialog or logic, but again this was made to run, not to win races. If the movie had tried to take itself seriously it would be a total failure, but it doesn't do that for a second (in "our" world, Dar sees a movie theater that's advertising The Beastmaster 2, enough said). To paraphrase Clint Eastwood from Dirty Harry movies: This movie knows it's limitations. It's more of a comedy/parody then usual adventure. Soundtrack (for the time) was also great. Actors aren't taking themselves that seriously either so even the usually irritating "spoiled rich brat" role (played here very well by young Kari Wuhrer) turns out good.
So, if you are nostalgic for the 80ies/90ies (cheese) culture, or you liked the first part, and don't mind going out on a cheese limb, you'll have tremendous fun with this attempt to revive Dar in the 90ies (literarly). This is not really the sequel to the first, and don't watch it if that's what you want. It's more of a "what if" fantasy sequel.
As for the "why different dimension and not just different time" question: When in history did we have those tall winged humanoid creatures that suck the flash of bones (from the end of part 1)? By the way, the movie ends in the Zoo because of an attempt at a cheap (moneywise) big finale. It's suppose to be the best place for Dar to show all his moves (him being the manipulator of animals).
If you are ever in the mood for a truly terrible film, it would be hard to find something that could even compare to this. I have spent a lot of time watching a lot of terrible movies just for the sheer joy I get from it, and man, this is one of the worst. This movie was so bad, I had to buy the third Beastermaster online. That one wasn't as bad, which is amazing since it was straight to video. This is one of those films that is hard to comprehend how it was made in the first place. I mean, someone had to actually have read the script (or many scripts, I'm sure they made several drafts) and said "Yeah, that's it. Here's some money." Actually, they probably just wanted to make a Beastmaster 2 before they even had a script, then went with whatever they had. Ack, horrible. So, if you are a fan of really bad movies, watch this one. It is a true classic, and film doesn't get much worse than this. And if it does, please let me know.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Marc Singer is back looking more leathery than before and sporting some
rather obvious hair extensions to his blonde locks. Is it me or does he
look less buff than before also?
So the Beastmaster is in trouble again as we find out he has a half brother who just happens to be conveniently evil. At his side is the somewhat evil sorcerer Sarah Douglas, looking gorgeous as ever, together they find a portal that lead them to Earth in the early 90's and decide they want to pinch a neutron bomb (yep that's right). Its up to Dar to follow them through and errmm...stop this catastrophe!
Firstly the portal they go through apparently leads them to another dimension, a parallel universe, not through time at all, but that is merely one huge plot hole of many. The entire film is a complete pile of dingo doo doo, it has nothing to do with the first film and doesn't follow on from that in any way. The only continuity plus points are the character of Dar looking as he did and his creature companions.
The main issue I'm sure most fans had was the simple fact this isn't a fantasy film. Its starts off as one but descends into utter gimmicky cheesy nonsense when the characters end up in LA. We then get this horrific trashy B-movie that is filled with pop culture of the 90's instantly dating it horrendously. Its all virtually exactly the same as the live action film of 'He-Man' with Lundgren accept it doesn't have any decent visuals, sound, characters, effects etc...Hell they even parody the film by having a film in film moment when Dar and his new badly acted yet admittedly hot bratty rich teen girl friend drive past a cinema and it has 'Beastmaster 2' showing! That's the type of stuff saved for comedies not fantasy action flicks, the pinnacle of lampoonery right there and out of place.
I dunno what the writers were doing but for some reason they decided going down the hammy parody route would work for this franchise. All the action is pantomime stuff with no blood or gore, not that the original had much of that but there were some nice icky bits of darkness. The villains are farcical, even though I love and adore Sarah Douglas her constant silly quips and one liners were awful, whilst the main bad guy was like a low rent Jake Busey...with a Phantom of the Opera mask on that didn't quite fit.
I think the term tongue-in-cheek is too kind for this disaster, its...a disaster! There is audio dubbed on badly everywhere, the direction is poor and its all looks like a homemade video. The only one thing that is quite good is seeing the late great James Avery as the strung out police chief. Hearing him bellow out 'Bendowski!' in that deep voice of his is the highlight.
...and all from the script. That's because this isn't a sequel, it's...
more like an overgrown tongue-in-cheek fan-fic film that just happened
to lure Singer in for the ride.
There's a lot to laugh at here, and unfortunately the "plot" is most of it. The players are fairly game and give some effort to their portrayals, but the writing just is never serious. Sadly, sometimes it pretends to be, but always returns to campiness before long. The dialog is very dated, too, as others have noted. Prepare to wince.
Taken for what it is -- cheesy, spoofish fun -- it actually isn't too bad, IMO. 4/10 for being brisk enough to carry me along to the end and make at least a few actually funny jokes. (My favorite was the line about the 2 guys she'd met in Mexico.) Kari's character annoyed me a lot at first but she got better later. Wings actually surprised me; I thought he made a serviceable villain (at least for this sort of camp), and I was expecting him not to fit well. Then again, I was expecting a real sequel....
One thing that needs pointing out is that Lyranna vanishes near the end of the film. The character just isn't seen any more, with no explanation of what happened to her. Oops.
So... If you don't allow it to be what it is and instead hold it up to the first movie, it stinks, as most reviewers have pointed out. If you're going to watch it, don't make that comparison. Just mostly forget the first movie, relax, and laugh at the intentional and unintentional humor here. Throw stuff at the TV when the cheese gets too thick. That way you should be able to enjoy it well enough.
Dreadful sequel of The Beastmaster (1982) with striking discontinuity: Dar's ferrets Podo and Kodo are both alive (whereas Kodo died in the original movie, leaving offspring, but nevertheless) and Ruh the panther is now an Indian tiger (in movie 3 a lion, by the way). Singer looks okay (except for his very blond hair, where did that came from?). Parallel world 1990 scenes should all be deleted, including the teenage girl and her Porsche. Dar's evil brother is more imbecile than evil. One of few highlights: cameo of The Hills Have Eyes' Michael Berryman as pilgrim. Obviously Tanya Roberts as Kiri could have saved this movie, as she would save every film.
I love the first and third Beastmasters, but this one was an abomination. It was almost as horrible as 'The Never Ending Story 3', for the same reasons. They took a fascinating fantasy world of Barbarian tribes, farming villages, witches, supernatural creatures, and a cult of religious fanatics using a pyramid; and thought it would be funny to mix in our materialistic pop-culture world of rock & roll, sushi (I think thats what it was), and flashy sports cars. These two worlds do not belong together. I do not want to see a bunch of ancient barbarian looking people dancing to some rock song on the car radio. I have a sense of humor, but this is just stupid. This is what Hollywood does to good fantasy movies when they run out of ideas. Don't give up though, the Eye of Braxus is much, much better. That one I gave a 10. This one, Portal of Time, I give a 1. Believe me, I don't always give such extremely high or low ratings. I just tend to comment only such movies.
This one kind of is like an earlier movie from 1987 "Masters of the Universe" based on the cartoon "He-man". Basically, you have a great old world and they for some reason have to have nearly all the action of the movie take place on modern earth. Well I guess it is not so modern earth now and that it is an ancient world now of strangeness and a den of good times gone by. Well I guess I can figure why they did in fact place nearly all the movie in modern times in this and that movie. To save money on costumes and sets. It is a lot easier to recreate what is going on in the present than a strange world like that of Eternia in He-man or an ancient world with cults and strange pyramids, sacrifices and strange creatures that hug you to death. This movie is forgettable and not very entertaining, your first clue that it is not going to be the best movie in the world is that Robert Z'Dar is in it. The only thing this one has going for it is the animals which are not as prevalent in this one as they were in the last. Marc Singer is back and it is sad to seem him in this state, the guy was a fairly good actor reduced to trying to make a sequel to a movie that really did not need one, and even if it did it came five years to late.
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