Saturday, December 26, 2009

Screamers 2: The Hunting

Screamers is a favorite movie of mine. Not something I'll pop in to cheer me up like Bruiser, but if it's on, chances are I'll watch it. I'm sure a lot of that is because of Peter Weller, who is just aweesome. The first movie had an interesting premise, with two factions that had gone to war (the miners and the company who they worked for) and in the process created a weapon that eventually made life terrible for the both of them. Well, in the sequel, these robotic land sharks are back and ready to make life miserable again.

A distress signal is sent out early in the film and responding to it is a crack team of alliance soldiers. One their way to find the source of the transmission and rescue whoever sent it before a cosmic storm completely renders the planet unlivable, they find a group of survivors who want nothing to do with them and also a factory that made the screamers that goes from dormant to awake and starts the problems for everyone. The soldiers actually make some fairly smart decisions and decide that the mission is FUBAR and head back to the ship, but the screamers have drained their power cells so now they have to work with the hostile natives and find some more before they're all killed by screamers or the storm, unaware that the threat of a new variety of screamer may destroy them before either of the others.

Not a bad little film and unlike some sequels, a working knowledge of the first film is almost necessary, as there are references that aren't explained fully so you may be a little lost without them and some that aren't explained at all and you won't even notice without the first film. This mainly refers to the repetitive actions that the humanoid screamers do that sets them apart from others. Of course, perhaps they omitted this as not knowing this really keeps the ending a surprise. They could have made it a little better, mainly by cutting out some of the random deaths that didn't really make sense, like the engineer who is killed alone and found later by the soldiers when they return to the ship. It could have been more interesting if the screamers stowed away on the ship and were waiting for it to take off and then were found by the engineer and killed him and then drained the cells and ran because they were discovered. Better than most DTV efforts, that is for sure. There's another death that is random and they miss an opportunity for the later screamer variety to make an appearance via this victim, but so it goes.

It's a gory movie, much more gory than the original and the effects have been done rather well this time around, not suffering as much from the compositing issues of the original and the newer computer effects make for some neat hybrids. If you're looking for a good way to kill some time, check it out.

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