Plot: What’s it about?
In The Fly II we meet Martin (Eric Stoltz), son of Seth Brundle, who is five years old and fully grown, which seems odd enough but his boss plans on using him to start an army of fly warriors. Soon the fly genes begin to take over and Martin and his girlfriend race to find a way to reverse the process before it’s too late. But with his boss and his team hot on his trail, it won’t be easy to find the time and chance to make his life somewhat normal again. His father suffered through more pain than most people experience in their entire lives and now, his genetic code has been passed down to his son. Will Martin suffer the same fate as his father, or can he overcome the beast within and salvage some kind of normal life for himself?
Now I usually like bad science-fiction movies, but The Fly II just doesn’t spin any cogs for me. And if you read reviews of the film I think you’ll find most people agree with me, though I am sure the film has an audience of some kind.The Fly II was directed by Chris Walas, who is better known for his work as a make up, creature, and special effects technician. Walas does his best with what he has, but it all just falls short in this less than stellar effort. Walas has also worked on such films as Arachnophobia, Virtuosity, and Gremlins. The cast is decent, but still can’t save the material. Some of the actors include Daphne Zuniga (Spaceballs, Vision Quest), Lee Richardson (Prizzi’s Honor, Network), and Eric Stoltz (Pulp Fiction, Jerry Maguire). I’ve seen this one a few times now and while the makeup effects do make it worth a look for horror hounds, The Fly II simply can’t compete with the original, but then again, few genre movies could. At least Fox has given fans a Collector’s Edition release, which makes this movie worth another look.
Video: How does it look?
The Fly II is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is a terrific transfer and I could find no complaints other than some grain, which is minor and not worth mentioning again. The colors look bold and show no bleeds, while flesh tones emerge in natural hues. Contrast is also strong, accurate shadows and no detail loss I could detect. The compression seems in order since no artifacts appear and aside from the small instances of grain, the source print looks great also. This is a fantastic transfer, so all you fans should be jumping for joy…whoever you are.
Audio: How does it sound?
As was the case with the original movie, Fox has conjured up a new DTS soundtrack and of course, that means an enhanced experience. The DTS option has a crisper presence and a touch more power, so I am pleased it was included here. This disc also contains a Dolby Digital 5.1 track and has some nice use from time to time, but falls short of the total experience offered by the original film. The music is decent enough and this mix makes it sound very good, thought not as immersive as I would have liked. Sound effects some across well and make use of the surrounds with good results. Dialogue is crisp at all times and volume is always proper and consistent. This release also includes Spanish and French language tracks, as well as subtitles in English and Spanish, should you require any of those.
Supplements: What are the extras?
I never thought I could endure two discs worth of supplements for this movie, but I did and in truth, the extras were a pleasure to partake in. The audio commentary with director Chris Walas and film historian Bob Burns is passable, but not that memorable. Walas isn’t the kind to pat himself on the back at every chance, but he avoids a lot of the potential trouble spots just the same. The first disc also includes a “never before seen” alternate end sequence and a deleted scene, both sure to delight fans. Now we move to the second volume, the highlight of which is The Fly Papers, an in depth look at the entire series. This is reason alone to at least this release, as fans of horror and sci/fi won’t want to miss this. Just a well crafted piece that never drags, a treat to watch and a wonderful inclusion on this release. This release also includes a couple of other featurettes, storyboard to film comparisons, and some of the film’s theatrical trailers.