The bad things about ordering things off of the internet is that sometimes they don’t exactly show up when you would like them too. However, since some movies are not easily found on DVD, buying them off of the internet is the only way to do get them. Now the original movie, The Beastmaster, was one of my favorite movies to watch during the 80’s….and 90’s and now to be honest. I remembered seeing today’s movie when it came out in theaters but did not actually see it until it came on cable. When I bought the original movie, I tried looking for this one as well but I never saw a legitimate copy available on DVD. Eventually I did find an online store that was selling a bootleg copy of it and after a year or so of putting it off, I finally decided to buy it. So let’s get right into today’s movie, Beastmaster 2: Through The Portal Of Time.
The plot: In the days following the death of King Zed, the evil warlord Arklon of the Jund Horde has started using magic to seize power over the lands, with only the rebel forces led by Dar, the Beastmaster, trying to stop him. Dar is captured by the Jund and brought to Arklon and his court, where he is sentenced to death. Just before he is to be beheaded, Dar is saved by his tiger, Ruh, and his ferrets, Kodo and Podo. Dar and Ruh take out Arklon’s soldiers but when Dar goes to face Arklon, Arklon uses a magical item, the Key of Magog, to fire energy blasts at Dar so Dar calls on his eagle, Sharak, to attack Arklon’s face, allowing Dar to escape to the mountains, with some of Arklon’s soldiers following him. Meanwhile, a rebel force is making their way through the mountains, using a captive witch named Lyranna to find Arklon’s forces but they end up falling into a trap set by Arcklon, who uses the Key to kill some of the rebels, then sends boulders towards the rebels, forcing them into a box canyon, where Arklon’s soldiers kill the remaining rebels. As Arklon gloats over his victory, Lyranna appears and warns Arklon that the rebels will keep fighting him but says she knows how to make his power eternal, and Arklon reluctantly agrees to let her show him how. Elsewhere, Dar has made his way to a swamp but as his pursuers attempt to follow him, they are killed by some sort of creature. Dar soon encounters the creature himself, which easily overpowers him but when it sees the mark on his hand, it stops and tells Dar that they are blood related. The creature says that she Zed’s sister, but had practiced the forbidden rituals and ended up cursed in the form she now has. She then tells Dar that he was not the first child of Zed’s to be taken by Maax and that Dar must kill the first son of Zed or else justice will die on their world. In the desert, Lyranna shows Arklon a stone archway, which serves as a portal to present day Earth, and uses it to show Arklon a neutron detonator, telling him it has the power to destroy a continent. When Arklon attempts to touch the portal, the images disappear and he believes Lyranna is showing him mirages and orders her killed, but Lyranna convinces him to spare her as she says that she is the only one that can help him travel between the two worlds. In L.A., Jackie Trent, a senator’s daughter, is speeding through the city to head to her sister’s wedding and tries to avoid being arrested by two police officers but as she tries to escape down an alley, she ends up heading towards a dead end only to go through the portal, with the cops following after her. A surprised Arklon orders his soldiers to grab the police but during the fight, the police cars are set ablaze and explode as the police jump back through the portal while Jackie drives off into the desert. When her car runs out of gas, Jackie starts walking into the night and in the morning, she meets up with Dar. Jackie accompanies Dar as he makes his way through the western region but they soon are attacked by Arklon’s men and Jackie is taken captive and brought back to the portal. Arklon uses the Key to open the portal and allow himself, Lyranna, and a captive Jackie to go through it but Dar, after dealing with Arklon’s guards, follows after them with his animal friends. When Dar yells at Arklon to stop, Arklon sees the mark on his hand and calls out “Brother?”, while showing his own hand bears the same mark. Arklon then uses the Key to ignite a gas main, trapping Dar in the alley by a wall of flame while he leaves with Lyranna and Jackie. Later that night, the police show up and shot Ruh with a tranquilizer and use a taser on Dar to incapacitate them and take them away, with Sharak following after Dar. Elsewhere, Jackie leads Arklon and Lyranna to a clothing store, saying that they need new clothes in order to better blend in but while Arklon is in a changing room, Jackie escapes and Arklon trashes the store when he finds out. At the police station, Dar is questioned by Lieutenant Coberly about Arklon but Dar grabs his things and manages to escape only to run into Jackie, who has him get in her car. Jackie takes Dar back to her house and as they watch the news to try and find word about Arklon, they see him standing outside a military base, they head out to try and stop him. At the base, Arklon, who had stolen the memories and uniform of a Lt. Colonel, runs into Lyranna and the two make their way towards the neutron detonator. As they break through security and grab the detonator, Arklon inadvertently arms it and it begins counting down. As they leave, Arklon uses his powers to steal Lyranna’s memories, learning that the portal opens and closes on the full moon and forces her out of the jeep. Dar and Jackie show up just as Arklon escapes out of the base and as they go to follow, Lyranna gets into the back of their car and tells them where Arklon is going. Heading towards the alley, Dar is able to grab Arklon and prevent him from going through the portal and the two start to face off only to have the police and military show up. Arklon uses the Key to force the police back and steals a jeep while Dar climbs up the nearby fire escape. When the police and soldiers chase after him, Dar manages to escape with Jackie’s help and uses Sharak to find where Arklon is. Arklon crashes the jeep at the zoo and as he makes his way through the park, he sees Sharak near the exit and, wanting vengeance for the scars on his face, Arklon blasts Sharak with the key. Dar and Jackie show up and Dar challenges Arklon, who uses the key to open a fiery chasm between them. Arklon goes to leave only to find several animals from the zoo blocking his escape while Dar jumps over the chasm and again challenges Arklon. When Kodo, Podo, and Ruh manage to snatch the Key and the detonator from Arklon’s hands, Dar and Aklon begin fighting and Dar eventually kills Arklon by flinging him into the chasm. The police and military show up and disarm the detonator but Jackie notices that Dar is gone and heads to the alley to find him. In the alley, Dar opens the portal back to his world and says goodbye to Jackie, leaving Kodo and Podo with her while he goes through with Ruh and Sharak. Back on his world, Dar encounters some pilgrims that are heading into the desert to worship Jackie’s car. When one of the pilgrims turns on the radio, Dar laughs and tells the pilgrims it is “Rock N Roll” and he runs off into the desert, leaving the pilgrims dancing around the car.
Beastmaster 2: Through The Portal Of Time met with poor reviews from the critics, holding a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the majority of the critics felt like the sequel was ill-advised and poorly done. Andre Norton’s novel, The Beastmaster, was credited as an inspiration for the movie but Norton wanted originally wanted her credit removed from the movie but was talked into putting it back by her agent. The movie was only given a limited release in the US, where it grossed between $773,490 – $869,325 off of a $6 million budget.
Yet another example of a sequel failing to live up to the original. This was one of those stupidly, funny movies that is not very good but manages to get some laughs out of you. The acting was ok, with Marc Singer (Dar) and Kari Wuhrer (Jackie) doing good jobs but my personal favorite was Sarah Douglas (Lyranna), who was really funny in this role. The story was interesting but it honestly felt disjointed and poorly done. Another thing that was off had to do with the animals. I know that a black tiger is pretty rare so the odds of getting another one for this movie 9 years after the original was a long shot so I didn’t mind that a normal tiger was used in the movie. However, the thing that bothered me was with the ferrets, Kodo and Podo. In the original movie, Kodo died but Podo had a pair of baby ferrets. Now the obvious answers is that Podo died and Dar named the babies after the parents but that honestly feels like a cop out to me. The special effects were pretty cheesy and looked like something from a TV series instead of an actual theatrical movie. Good for some laughs but not the best fantasy movie out there.
Rating: 2 out of 5