Heavy Metal 2000 (2000)

Genres - Action, Fantasy, Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Sci-Fi Action, Space Adventure  |   Run Time - 88 min.  |   Countries - Canada, Germany  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Absent the subversive humor of the original, this sequel to the 1981 cult film Heavy Metal is a strictly C-grade adult animation fantasy, whose nominal appeal lies largely with 17-year-old boys titillated by flashes of cartoon nudity. Different from its five-part predecessor, Heavy Metal 2000 makes the fatal mistake of following one confused narrative (from the graphic novel The Melting Pot) through 88 minutes, meaning there's no escape from the under-explained plot and the irritating characters spewing ironic one-liners. Anyone who gives up on it in the first 15 minutes wouldn't be blamed, but those who stick around shouldn't expect to be rewarded with groundbreaking animation -- it's as cheaply drawn as it is written and voiced. The look of the characters hasn't improved in the 20 years since Heavy Metal, and what's more, they clash jarringly with the more sophisticated (but still cut-rate) digital space ships and backdrops. Meant also as a showcase for modern heavy metal music, the film fails in that respect as well; the songs are too unobtrusive to contribute to the themes or receive a memorable spotlight. It may be liberating for the animators to draw heads exploding and breasts bouncing through the frame; for once, their work doesn't have to appeal to the kiddies. But Heavy Metal 2000 is so crudely executed, it seems that's all they were interested in.