Directed by: Joe Stanton
Genre: comedy, Sci-Fi
Runtime: 104 Minutes
It may be inferior to the predecessor but the film can be fun if you don’t take it too seriously. “Gremlins 2” is more frantic and wild than the previous film, but its self-conscious cult status brings it down a little. What the good thing is however, are the returning cast members. Playing Billy again is Zach Galligan and for his girlfriend Kate Phoebe Cates returns. Remember the couple who were attacked by a snowplough? Well Murray and Shelia Futterman are back, with original cast members Dick Miller and Jackie Joseph. Even director Joe Stanton is back. “Gremlins 2” is good mediocre fun, but does not have much re-watch value.
As the film starts, the fantastical trinket shop in Chinatown, a crazed multi-media businessman called Daniel Clamp (John Glover) demolishes which sold the Mogwai in the first film. The heroes from the first movie, Billy (Zach Galligan) and Kate (Phoebe Cates), happen to work for Clamp in his huge high-rise. They find the Mogwai within Clamp's building, but not before, he has accidentally spawned legions of mischievous, lizard-like Gremlins. Soon, the Gremlins are wreaking havoc throughout the building.
There is an incredible difference between this and the previous film. The dramatic difference it has that brings on the hate. The film is very goofy and full of black comedy satire, more so than the previous film. It certainly does not take itself seriously and feels like an excuse for merchandising, but seeing the gremlins in action once more still holds a little hope.
One thing that I found great was how the film mocks the previous Gremlins film. In one scene, we have Billy warning some workers about the gremlins and they begin to question the rule of them eating after midnight. The other scene has popular film critic Leonard Maltin who is broadcasting a TV show and is giving a negative review about the Gremlins film that just came out on VHS. It is full proof the film does not take itself seriously whatsoever.
The gremlin effects have certainly improved and some are creative. First, we have a gremlin who is like a bat, then one that is hugely intelligent who is brought to life by the voice of Tony Randall. The acting was somewhat goofy and a few of the characters were mediocre. I was surprised when I saw Christopher Lee on the credits and his role was on the jokey side, but it was still an enjoyable one.
The comedy is amusing and towards the end of the film he wave a hundred or so gremlins performing a musical number, being “New York, New York”. The film’s ultimate flaw is there are too many gremlins and not enough plot. The whole film is set inside the giant Clamp building and it one of those simple plots. It is amusing and fun to see all the stuff that goes on but it is very limited. Well, at least this sequel knows it is inferior. This is a fun film to watch with people and will definitely have you laughing. “Gremlins 2” is what you would consider ‘popcorn’ entertainment and is fun the first time around.
My Rating: 6.5/10