F/X man Rollie Tyler (Bryan Brown) is now a toy maker. Mike Brandon (Tom Mason), the ex-husband of Rolly's girlfriend Kim(Rachel Ticotin), is a cop. He asks Rollie to help catch a killer. The operation goes well until some unknown man kills both the killer and Mike.Mike's boss, Ray Silak (Philip Bosco) says it was the killer who killed Mike but Rollie knows it wasn't. Silak is involved with Mike's death, so he calls on Leo McCarthy (Brian Dennehy), the cop from the last movie, who is now a P.I., for help and they discover it's not just Silak they have to worry about.Written by
Entertaining but Typical 1980's-type Action Thriller that Had Greater Potential
The glaring shortcoming of F/X 2 is that the main thrust of the plot, i.e. the what and why of the baddies, is not revealed until an hour or so into the film. At 109 minutes, that's well over half-way. Certainly the point was to pop our main character, Rollie Tyler (reprised by Bryan Brown from the first movie), into a life and death situation beyond his comprehension, and not until several clues are followed revealed that he (and we) find out what these circumstances are.
Briefly, Rollie, the Australian special effects wizard, is hired again by the FBI to aid in cornering a serial killer. However, the plan goes awry when the FBI man who was supposed to stop the suspect in his tracks is killed by another unknown killer. Rollie finds himself also caught in a web of intrigue. And of course, when he is on the verge of getting snuffed out, Dennehy as Leo McCarthy pops in to save his ass. Not a bad opening, all things considered.
Finally, Leo uncovers the back story, which I won't reveal, lest I be accused of "giving it away" as they say. However, the back story is described almost offhandedly, without even a flashback. Unfortunately, the downside is that, with very little screen time left, neither the history of what's behind the bad guys' motivations nor the bad guys themselves are ever fully developed. I found myself wanting to know more about the circumstances surrounding this back story, the what and the why. Of course, with these kinds of movies, a lot of screen time must be devoted to the baddies chasing the innocent by-standers in shopping malls or in car chases. I guess it's a Hollywood law that American filmmakers must devote a specified minimum amount of time to choreographed running around and shooting so they can legitimately call their project an "action movie".
Still the film has its entertainment value. There is a strange chemistry that exists between Brian Dennehy (reprising his role has Leo McCarthy) and Bryan Brown, and again I wish that had been milked for all its worth. Of course, the most entertaining sequence, like the first installment, is the use of movie effects to thwart the bad guys, which works very well. Maybe I appreciated it as a breath of fresh air from the typical cat and mouse chase with automatic weapons that typically climaxes most of these kinds of films.
Still very much in the style of a 1980's action movie, although this was 1991, with the typical rock songs spliced in for good measure. With the exception of the use of the special effects against the baddies at the finale, story-wise it is really the equivalent of a two-part episode of "Simon and Simon" with a larger budget.
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