SUB-GENRES: Action / Adventure / Fantasy
DIRECTED BY: Michael Coldewey & Michel Lemire
WRITTEN BY: Robert P. Cabeen & Carl Macek (screenplay); Based on a story by Kevin Eastman, Simon Bisley, & Eric Talbot
PEW PEW: This film is primarily an action film. With little else to boast about, I guess I’ll give it that.
CAT FOOD: Don’t follow up one of the coolest movies ever with a piece of crap.
Heavy Metal was one of the single coolest movies ever made. Based on the incredible illustrated adult sci-fi/fantasy publication of the same name, the film perfectly captured the spirit of the early magazine by presenting an array of short stories that ranged from ridiculously funny to intriguingly engaging, and borderline horrific. Its sequel, Heavy Metal 2000, on the other hand, is at best a mediocre presentation that eschews the anthology format in favour of a single, underwhelming story.
Said underwhelming plot follows Taarna-esque heroine Julie as she attempts to thwart the evil Tyler’s plan to achieve immortality. I don’t even care to elaborate. It just sucks so much ass. I’d like to point out that, if this were an anthology like the magazine and the original film, this shitty plot wouldn’t have ruined everything, because we’d be assured that another, possibly more interesting story would soon take its place. But no, we’re subjected to this shit for the film’s entire duration.
Which leads me to the animation. I can’t say that I really like the style of this film. While this nineties animation might have worked for the now classic cartoon television shows of the era, it just doesn’t work for me here. I understand that this wasn’t supposed to be the 1981 movie, and that, like the original movie, it was supposed to be a snapshot of the era in which it was made, but that doesn’t make the thing interesting to watch. Titan A.E. is a far better snapshot of the era’s animation. I’m gonna have to again point out that, had this been an anthology film like it should have been, different animation houses might have provided a more interesting visual experience. This thing is just so damn dull at times.
As for the adult content, the film does attempt to cash in on the blatant sexual content that made the magazine a success, but for some reason it just comes off as totally sleazy in this one. There’s something to be said for a vintage vibe’s ability to make perversion oddly acceptable, and this film doesn’t have that vibe. The violence is in a similar vein to the original, however, and the action here is the film’s only real saving grace.
Unlike the original film, only a few voices really stand out, namely the great Michael Ironside and, although they waste his potential, Billy Idol. The sound track is just as unremarkable. Again, I understand this was supposed to be a snapshot of 2000 and its audio/visual style (as the original Heavy Metal was a snapshot of 1981 and its audio/visual style), but it’s ugly, unremarkable, and fails to capture the reckless fun that the original soundtrack did.
And of course, the film’s sense of humour is no where near that of the original’s. I’m just going to let this go and wrap things up because Heavy Metal 2000 is a let down of the highest nature. If you’re looking for a gritty, space adventure, and don’t mind a lame plot and a drab visual, then I suppose you might draw some enjoyment here. But, if you’re looking to extend the Heavy Metal experience, best stay the hell away.