Friday, November 5, 2010

Forgotten Sequels: Scanners II

Who demanded this?  Who saw Scanners and said 'I'd like to see this again- only with less artistic merit and crappier writing'- honestly?  Never mind the fact that there are four sequels, but this happens to be the first one.  Made in Canada without Mr. Cronenberg around, the film suffers from a lot of problems.  I should also mention that nobody from the original is on-board here, although you probably guessed that.  This film involves a whole slew of scanners and a group that wants to use them for personal gain.  What- you thought that they would use psychic psychos to cure cancer or something?!?  Thankfully, one good scanner is there to save the day...if he can.  Get out your bizarre arcade game peripheral for my review of...
After a few minutes of credits, we come across a Bob Marley-looking guy wandering into an arcade.  Gee, that won't make this film dated at all!  He wanders around for a bit before he begins to play one of those shooting games with an Uzi peripheral.  Things get weirder still when he starts to play it...with his mind.  Yes, he uses his great, mental powers to play an arcade game.  Everyone gets freaked out, so he freaks out as well and runs off.  The police get called in, while a special unit listen in closely.  One captain calls in his own men to bring the guy down, since he's a scanner.  The guy throws a big hissy fit in a warehouse, knocking over shelves and mannequins.  No, they were too plastic to die!  They eventually take the guy down with some dart guns, leading him to the police station.  They interrogate him for a bit, but that just ends in him trying to scan a guy to death.  They begin to work him over, wearing him down until he becomes more pliable.  It's around this point that we finally meet our lead character.  Oh good, it's only been twenty minutes.  The lady from Psycho was already dead by this point, but whatever!  He's a veterinarian who has a nice lady friend, who he bonds with over working with a puppy.  We get some sappy romance before they eventually go to a convenience store.  It's at this point that some robbers show up.  Ruh roh!
The robbery goes very badly as his lady is held hostage and a pair of people are shot.  This angers our hero who uses his scanning powers to launch one of them across the room.  Um, that's not exactly scanning.  The second one nearly kills him, but his lady saves him.  This prompts the mugger to kick her, angering our hero even more!  He does some dramatic scanning to the point where the guy falls over dead & the back of his head blows out!  Wow, you really got mad.  In the aftermath, our hero is taken in by the police captain and guided in controlling his powers.  There's a bit of a tiff when he learns that the Bob Marley-looking guy works for them, but that blows over.  As time goes on, the villain begins to use our hero's powers to his advantage.  He tricks him into using his scanning powers to get the acting mayor to appoint the captain to a higher post.  Shockingly, the guy is just around the corner with an impromptu speech.  Wow, that's convenient.  Things seem to be going his way and nothing can put a stop to that....until I finish this review.
Things take a turn when our hero learns that he has a sister and that she is out there.  He makes an escape from the facility, which is certainly easier said than done.  He manages to track her down, which is not that interesting when you consider how little build-up there has been to it.  The guy finally decides to go after the captain and his army of scanners.  By all means, take action after he has a small army of scanners!  He makes an attack against the base, taking out one jerk of a scanner by simply running him over in a truck.  Simple, but effective.  He gets inside and takes out some more people before facing off with the Bob Marley-looking guy.  Things turn against our hero until he gives a big speech to the drugged-up scanners, causing them to turn against him.  The police surround the remaining villains are confronted by our hero.  His love interest is there, making it a party!  The press come in as well as our villain thinks that the day is won & talks about how the villains were caught.  This prompts our hero to scan the crap out of him until he admits to all of his crimes on camera.  He doesn't kill the guy- since that would be bad- but he does scan him to the point that he resembles the elephant man!  Oh well, you win and all is well.  The End.
This not good.  The plot is a bit silly and doesn't even seem to involve the main protagonist all that much.  Seriously, they take twenty minutes to introduce him.  Never mind the fact that he is bland as dirt and doesn't seem all that driven.  It's only when people beat up and/or threaten his loved ones that he really goes into action.  Of course, when he does go into action, he really overdoes it.  The guy really goes overboard every time he acts.  There are some good moments in the film, but they are really over-the-top.  Mind you, this movie is really hard to find, so I guess it's not much to worry about.  If you actually see it, you may have some fun with it.  If you like Scanners and can't laugh at crap, I can't recommend this to you.  If you qualify for this, I can't imagine why you would be a regular reader of the site.  In that case, 'Hi, nice to meet you.'
Up next, Instant Trash brings us a direct-to-video film that rips off Cube.  Oh, it's much different, since it involves a vampire.  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. C'mon, its worth it for the gore at least =D It makes up for the cocktease in Scanners 1 where we get one sweet ass head explodey and then character development the rest of the picture.