Directed by Sam Irwin
Expectations: Moderate, I enjoyed the first one. Hopefully this will live up to it.
On the general scale:
On the B-Movie scale:
Oblivion 2: Backlash starts out pretty slow for a movie with an eighty-three minute runtime. The first ten minutes are filled with a fairly detailed recap of the first film for those who either didn’t see it or weren’t paying attention. This does set the stage rather well for this film, but it goes on a little long. This leads into roughly ten minutes of lazy exposition explaining where everyone is and what they’re doing following the calamitous events of Oblivion. Really? The first quarter of the runtime is padding? This can’t be a good sign for the rest of Oblivion 2.
Thankfully I am wrong in my apprehension, as Oblivion 2 only gets better and better as the minutes tick by. The story here centers around Red Eye’s main squeeze and sidekick Lash, the red lipstick-wearing, seductive villain with the electrified whip. A smooth bounty hunter named Sweeney comes to town looking for an intergalactic fugitive and Lash is the prime suspect. Sweeney (played by Maxwell Caulfield) is a fantastic new addition to the character lineup and brightens every scene he’s in. Caulfield plays Sweeney with the confident air of a respectable gentleman with the witty dialogue to match. This is the kind of role Hugh Jackman would have gotten had this been a big-budget film and he made more fun career choices.
At the end of the day, Oblivion 2 is a lot of fun to watch because the characters are all fairly well-defined and likeable. It feels more like Episode 2 of a television series, following a “Television Event” series premiere movie, than an actual movie but there’s nothing wrong with that. Characters that had big parts in the first film, such as George Takei’s doctor, are sidelined here for bigger roles from characters that got shortchanged in the original such as Julie Newmar’s Miss Kitty. This is done in just the same way that characters in a television series ebb and flow with the weekly stories. It’s a shame they only made two of these honestly, because I’d love to see another high-stakes adventure with the interesting crew they assembled. If you enjoyed the first film, or if you’re a big sci-fi western fan, you’ll have a good time with this one. I’d recommend checking them out in order for the full effect, but the intro recap could probably suffice in a pinch if you’re short on time.
Next week, I’m going into uncharted territory as I review my first Full Moon kids film! After throwing a bunch of titles at Netflix, I’m going with the first one that came up as available, 1999’s Mysterious Museum! Let’s hope it’s not total shit!