Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Short Circuit 2 (1988) Review:

For the most part, family friendly films are enjoyed by its audiences, no matter how many critics dislike it. The funny thing is that even sequels to these kinds of films, are welcomed with open arms by their previous viewers. Turned out I had the exact opposite feeling for this originally. Like most moviegoers, we like to see sequels with the same characters. Short Circuit 2 only provided two original characters from the first: No. 5 and Ben. Before seeing the rest I didn't know what to expect and I wasn’t sure if I would have liked it.

Without reading any reviews, I noticed the approval rating for this film had decreased from that of its original. However, I also noticed that Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert thought it was better the first so it had to be given a shot. Surprisingly, I was satisfied more with this installment that I was with the first. The sequel to the first not only improves itself but also involves its characters more within the plot.

Ben (Stevens) & his Johnny 5 knock-off toys
Besides No.5, who now calls himself Johnny 5, being the main character, Newton Crosby's co-worker, Ben (Fisher Stevens) moves to the "The Big City" to try and make a living selling No.5 knock-off toys. Also trying to make a living is cheapskate speed talker, Fred Ritter (Michael McKean), who cops a deal with Ben to sell out his inventory so he can gain part of his profit. Fortunately, Johnny 5 is sent to them, from Crosby in Montana to help them get the job done.

Stevens still plays a goofy Ben who still doesn't quite know how to speak correctly. McKean also has some comical moments due to his street smarts. I was amazed to find out he was the voice of Insaniac from Small Soldiers (1998). Johnny 5 is still the same; still speed-reads, still loves dancing, and is still constantly looking for input. Just like the first film, there is a love interest here. This time it is for Ben, her name is Sandy Banatoni played by Cynthia Gibb. I can't say Gibb gives anything for the movie character wise, but she is a nice addition to the cast. What impressed me even more was how the character of Ritter was given so much attention in character development. It was great to see him have a change of heart.

Ritter (McKean) & Johnny 5
The effects still look good even though they are obviously dated. The music, scored by Charles Fox, made me feel more during important scenes than Shire's in the first film and this made me appreciate it more. The comedy seems to be ramped out a little too. I got more laughs from the exchanges between McKean and Stevens than I did from the first with Stevens and Guttenburg. I can't compare Johnny 5 because he's the top character no matter what.

However, what I really grabbed my attention here was how involved the characters became with being apart of something close to them. Johnny 5 wants to be accepted by everybody, Ben wants to be accepted by society and have a girlfriend, and Ritter wants to be successful (which I don't blame him for). And to see all these wants attained made me feel so warm inside that I was absolutely content to see such a well done sequel be released to the public.

The next chapter of Johnny 5 not only has more laughs but the characters have much more attraction to them. The music and special effects are just the chrome and spit-shine.

Points Earned --> 10:10

No comments:

Post a Comment