movie, movie review

January 20th, 2017 Movie – Critters 2: The Main Course

critters-2

It is always fun when a sequel is just as enjoyable as the original. The good thing is, it works for both the award winning movies as well as the cheesy B-movies. Today’s movie is one of my favorite cheesy sequels because of some of the over the top moments that occurred in it. I remember watching this all the time on cable years ago and laughing every time it came on. Let’s see if the laughs continue today as I watch Critters 2: The Main Course.

The plot: On a remote planet in space, Ug, the shape-changing bounty hunter, and Charlie McFadden are hunting a worm like creature, which Ug kills when it attacks Charlie. After they return to the ship, where Lee is waiting for them, they receive a message that their earlier mission to kill the Crites on Earth is incomplete as a recent scan reveals their presence on Earth. Charlie and Ug argue that they killed them all but they are told the scan is infallible and that the payment for their recent mission will be withheld until all of the Crites are killed so they quickly plot a course for Earth. On Earth, a local teenager named Wesley takes Quigley, the owner of an antique store, to the Brown’s old farm and shows him a large clutch of strange eggs, which Quigley reluctantly agrees to buy from him. Meanwhile, Brad Brown is heading back to Grover’s Bend, KS to visit his grandmother (Nana) and when he arrives, he is noticed by Sal, Megan, and her father Mr. Morgan, owner of the town newspaper. Sal wants to do a story about Brad’s returning for the newspaper but Mr. Morgan refuses, saying Brad’s wild story as a kid did enough damage to the town. Back on the bounty hunter’s ship, Charlie and Ug discuss Lee going back to a faceless alien, after which Ug comments about Charlie being quiet. Charlie admits to being reluctant to going back to Earth and asks if they would leave him there but Ug tells Charlie he is a bounty hunter like them. On Earth, Megan is being harassed by Wesley at a fast food restaurant and Brad tries to get him to stop, only for Wesley to start shoving him around. When Brad is shoved out the doors, Megan drives up and Brad quickly gets in the car and they leave. As Megan drives Brad back to Nana’s house, Brad recognizes her and the two start talking. Meanwhile, Nana and Cindy (Megan’s little sister) are at Quigley’s store, where Nana purchases some of the eggs to use for the town’s annual Easter Egg Hunt. Some time later, Quigley returns to his store and finds that the remaining eggs have hatched due to his setting them near a heater, and the baby Critters have killed his dog and then kill him. Meanwhile, Cindy was given one of the eggs by Nana and is painting it for Easter. That night, she sets the egg by the vent and it ends up hatching but Mr. Morgan unknowingly squashes the baby Critter when he goes to check on her. The next day, people head to church for the easter service and Easter Egg Hunt. Sheriff Corwin, the town’s new sheriff, is reluctantly dressed up as the Easter bunny and as he is hopping around outside waiting for the service to end, he is attacked by the Critters and he ends up crashing through the window and into the pulpit. As everyone discusses what happens, Megan talks with Brad and says she believes his stories about the Critters. The two go to see Harv, the former sheriff, but when he hears what happened, he decides to drive off. Meanwhile, the bounty hunter’s ship arrives and as the start to head towards town, Ug tells Lee to transform and Charlie, not wanting Lee to copy his face again, holds up a Playboy magazine he found on the side of the road, causing Lee to transform into the centerfold. Elsewhere, Brad and Megan are discussing what to do when they see Sal screaming about Critters outside Quigley’s store. Brad tells Megan and Sal to wait in the truck and he goes to investigate but as he knocks on the door, it opens to reveal a partially dead Quigley, which falls onto Brad. Megan yells out a warning and Brad gets back in the truck as the Critters show up and try to attack them but they manage to get away. Brad and Megan head back to Nana’s house, where they find her trying to fend off a Critter. Brad grabs the communicator that Ug gave him and as the Critter goes to attack them, he presses the button and an explosion blasts the front door and kills the Critter. Ug and Lee walk through the door and Brad greets them then walks outside, where he sees Charlie and happily greets his friend. Ug and Lee head into town and a large group of Critters in the Hungry Heifer restaurant so they begin killing them. Brad, Megan, and Nana head to the newspaper office, where the rescue Mr. Morgan as he is being attacked by a Critter. With the town under seige by the Critters, the townsfolk head for the Church to take shelter and set a guard around the outside. Ug, Lee, and Charlie continue hunting the Critters but Lee ends up getting ambushed and killed by them. When Ug sees Lee’s body, he screams out in rage before transforming back to his original, faceless form and going into a near catatonic state. As some critters attack one of the guards, Cindy is chased by the Critters and Brad tries to save her only to be rescued by a returning Sheriff Harv. As the Critters start to gather outside the church, the townsfolk start blaming Brad before Harv calms everyone down. Brad comes up with a plan to lure the Critters to the hamburger factory and locking them inside, then blowing it up to kill them all. Several people, including Brad and Megan, head to the factory and begin putting out all of the meat and setting up the explosives, then use fans to direct the smell towards town. The Critters smell the meat and begin heading towards the factory, with Harv and Charlie leading the townsfolk behind them at a distance. As the Critters get closer to the factory, the wind suddenly changes and the Critters smell the people behind them and start to move towards them when a giant Critter appears and convinces them to head for the factory. As the Critters all begin eating the meat, the giant Critter reveals itself to be a transformed Ug, who is attacked but manages to escape and help Brad and Megan seal the door. The explosives are detonated but the Critters managed to survive by gathering together into a giant ball and bursting out of the wreckage. The giant ball starts heading towards town and Brad and Megan try steering it away from the church by ramming it with Megan’s truck and succeed, but end up flipping the truck. As the ball comes back to the church, Charlie, who had run off earlier, flies the bounty hunter’s ship into the ball, sacrificing himself as the ship and ball both explode. Brad cries for the loss of his friend and Ug transforms himself into Charlie as a sign of respect. The next day, Brad goes to leave, with Harv leaving on the same bus, when they see Charlie, who had parachuted from the ship at the last minute. As Charlie greets his friends, a support ship shows up and Charlie and Ug stare at each other before nodding their goodbyes, and Ug is teleported onto the ship and it leaves. As Brad and Megan kiss, Harv tosses Charlie his old sheriff’s badge, offering Charlie the job as town sheriff as the bus leaves.

Critters 2: The Main Course met with poor results from the critics, holding a 33% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics were split between liking it as much as the original, and thinking it is the worst movie of the franchise, with Roger Ebert’s “Most Hated” list. This was the last movie in the franchise to be released in theaters, as the 2 follow-ups were both released on home video. The movie was a mild box office failure, only earning $3.8 million off of a $4 million budget.

This is a really funny movie and honestly, I enjoyed it a lot more than the original. The acting was good, with Scott Grimes (Brad), Don Keith Opper (Charlie), Terrence Mann (Ug), and Barry Corbin (Harv) doing great jobs in reprising roles, while Liane Curtis (Megan), Herta Ware (Nana), and Roxanne Kernohan (Lee) doing good jobs in their roles as well. The story was great, doing a good job of tying into the first movie while adding some new twists and laughs to the plot. There was a lot more humor in this movie than the previous film, such as when Lee transformed into the Playboy centerfold, complete with the staple in her stomach. The special effects had some good moments as well as some bad, such as wires being seen guiding the giant ball as it’s moving. A fun, silly movie that is very enjoyable to watch.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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