When Heavy Metal (1981) came to theatres, it was at the peak of popularity, riding in on the coat tails of famous rock bands and solo musicians. It is the whole element that propelled it into theatres - it showcased a lot of the successful songs that various artists had had come out with at the time. Adding to that was its unique style of animation, music, foul-mouthed characters and hard carnage. It was such a success that it gained no only a cult following, but even a Direct-to-DVD sequel almost two decades later. Unfortunately, the original did not interest me at all. I loved the animation and music but it lacked a convincing narrative. In this sequel, it has a couple of things that make it better but it doesn't amount to much overall.
One of the better features about this movie is that it at least follows one specific character instead of just giving its audience a compilation of meaningless ones like the first film. After seeing her hometown destroyed by a mad man who desires to be immortal, Julie decides to travel on a quest for revenge. And as coincidental as it may seem, the mad man was only made crazy once he touched green glowing object. Why do these two films obsess over green glowing objects? The other coincidental thing is that Julie will fill the role of the silent female swordsman from the first film (in the last story told by the green glowing orb). Of course this is never explained at all by any of the writers. I'm glad the writers set a main character for the audience, but the reasoning behind various plot points are left unresolved making it question after question.
The voice-cast is always appreciated. Michael Ironside provides his villainous voice for Tyler (the mad man) while Julie Strain (a playboy model / actress) lends her voice to main female lead Julie. It is interesting though that it seems like the character of Julie was modeled after Strain herself, both look very similar. The musical score aspect of the film was well crafted too. Composer Frédéric Talgorn actually made the score sound very similar to Elmer Bernstein's rendition of the first movie. But again, because this is a rock related film, there is going to be rock music. Of course, this time though it'll be in the death metal genre - which is fine if you (the viewer) are into that kind of thing. But if not, and you're looking for the classic 80s rock, that won't be here. Either way, like both films, it did not enhance their performance.
The hand drawn animation (along with carnage) was done well and in some scenes it even contained CGI. However, the CGI used in this, is fairly weak and doesn't blend well with its 2D counterparts. Sure, it reminisces to the CGI used in the films like Spawn (1997), but that at least mixed well together with its surroundings. Going back to the writing though, it's a step in the right direction by finally giving an actual plot but there are still several places in the writing that isn't expanded upon. Even the characters are not given much of a back story to rely on. A long with that are unexplained character motivations which gives its audience no reasoning to why characters did what they did. There's more work to be done here.
The sequel to the animation cult classic of the early 1980's improves on a character basis, but its writing is still missing sections of what constitutes as a good narrative. The animation and music is respectable but that’s it.
Points Earned --> 4:10