The Fly II (1989)

Genres - Horror, Science Fiction, Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Sci-Fi Horror  |   Release Date - Feb 10, 1989 (USA)  |   Run Time - 105 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Does The Fly 2 live up to the high level of inspiration and craftsmanship displayed in the 1986 version of The Fly? No. The Fly 2 has some undeniable flaws: it's about ten minutes too long for a film with such a simple storyline and, with the exception of Bartok, all of Martin's tormentors are one-dimensional caricatures. However, it's not really fair to judge it by such standards. The Fly 2 is essentially a late '80s update of the 1950s teen-oriented monster-movie formula. The script, whose final drafts were penned by a young Frank Darabont, approaches the process of Martin's mutation with imagination and sympathy. It also works in some anticorporate sentiments that were unexpectedly subversive for the time. FX artist-turned-director Chris Walas isn't the master stylist that Cronenberg is, but he handles the material with gusto (especially in the numerous effects-oriented scenes) and thankfully bypasses any overt campiness in his approach to the film. Best of all, The Fly 2 has a fantastic lead cast: Eric Stoltz underplays his tormented hero role nicely, Daphne Zuniga makes a genuinely appealing love interest, and Lee Richardson makes his villainous role mysterious and menacing in a subtle way. In short, The Fly 2 isn't the best of the horror sequels, but it works nicely on a programmer-status level.