Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Arrival II (1998)

Aliens and maple leaves

This time around Zane's Canadian step-brother--who's a wizard of a computer geek underneath that '80s looking hairdo--must pick up the pieces from where his distant, paranoid relative left off in a similar DIY investigative fashion for, that's right, humanity's sake. Except he's laid back, shows late for work and would rather run from a situation than get his hands dirty, especially about theories concerning covert extraterrestials. Yeah, those guys...and now gals.

The pacing is along the lines of a made-for-TV mystery with a few thrills to grease the wheels. Production expenses are tighter, so in turn, there are a number of scenes that are overdrawn. The acting isn't expected to be award winning but with the flow being at slower speeds than its predecessor, it makes what comes out of their mouths forced and far from giving the believable sense of actually being there in this state of looming danger. Not to mention the one-dimensional villains that are just shy of being animated over and turned into cartoon characters.

The first film, while not mind-blowing, was fresher with ideas. "The Arrival 2" retreads similar mechanics and the story meddles on with superficial attempts to personalize the experience with little quips, along with token love interests and by-now dated gizmos. Overall, this feels straightforward, anticlimactic and, aside from a few redeeming qualities to keep it afloat, a waste of a sequel.

Rating: 4/10

Director: Kevin Tenney (Night of the Demons, Peacemaker, Pinocchio's Revenge)
Stars: Patrick Muldoon, Jane Sibbett
Link: IMDB

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