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F/X2

With all the ingenuity that went into toys and gadgetry in this five-years-removed sequel, it's a shame no one bothered to hook a brain up to the plot. Beyond the engaging leads, there's little here on the level that made 1986's F/X so entertaining, as the sequel throttles a stale police-corruption setup loaded with genre cliches.

With all the ingenuity that went into toys and gadgetry in this five-years-removed sequel, it’s a shame no one bothered to hook a brain up to the plot. Beyond the engaging leads, there’s little here on the level that made 1986’s F/X so entertaining, as the sequel throttles a stale police-corruption setup loaded with genre cliches.

Because the pic’s basic conceit is so simple – a film effects man using his ‘reel’ skills to thwart dense public officials and criminals – the story actually gets off to a rather slow start, as the semiretired Rollie Tyler (Bryan Brown) is talked into participating in a police sting operation by his g.f.’s ex-husband (Tom Mason).

The operation goes haywire, the ex-husband is killed and Tyler starts looking into the intrigue behind it. In over his head, he recruits the help of Leo (Brian Dennehy), the cop he teamed with at the end of the first pic.

The lack of an interesting villain also hurts. Philip Bosco is more a comic foil than any- thing else, while other bad guys are merely shadowy mob types left on the film’s fringe.

Dennehy remains one of the more effortlessly likable actors around, while Brown may be a little too self-assured this time in using his fantasy skills in life-or-death situations.

F/X2

  • Production: Orion. Director Richard Franklin; Producer Jack Wiener, Dodi Fayed; Screenplay Bill Condon; Camera Victor J. Kemper; Editor Andrew London, Michael Tronick; Music Lalo Schifrin, Michael Boddicker; Art Director John Jay Moore
  • Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1991. Running time: 109 MIN.
  • With: Bryan Brown Brian Dennehy Rachel Ticotin Joanna Gleason Philip Bosco Kevin J. O'Connor