The best moment in this lame sci-fi sequel occurs early on, when Homicide actor Richard Belzer turns in an amusing caricature of presidential insincerity during a news-conference cameo. It's a pity that the rest of Species II takes itself so seriously, otherwise it might have made a pretty good spoof. Unfortunately Michael Madsen and Marg Helgenberger are forced to play it straight as they reprise their roles from the original film and mouth dialogue such as: "Listen, pal, last time I fought with that alien she-bitch, I almost got myself killed." Although the filmmakers seem to think that a new haircut is the best way to signal that Natasha Henstridge plays a different alien hybrid than the one she portrayed in the original film, the model-turned-actress does get to show a little more range this time out. Only Mykelti Williamson gets to have real fun in a broadly comic (although borderline offensive) turn as an African-American astronaut forced to hunt hybrids instead of knock boots. As for the plot, the question-mark ending of Species gets abandoned completely in favor of an overly complicated scenario involving alien DNA buried in the Martian desert and interspecies pregnancies so instant and explosive they'd make really effective contraceptive ads. In addition to the continued Alien riffs, Species II borrows heavily from The Village of the Damned, David Cronenberg's The Brood, and the fiction of Anne Rice. These pilfered ideas provide a few eerie tableaux and allow the film to demonstrate just how far CGI technology progressed from 1995 to 1998, but the climactic showdown is as fake-looking as the gotcha ending is predictable.
by Brian J. Dillard review