The son of Seth Brundle, the unfortunate man-fly, is born with his mixture of human and fly DNA. He turns out to be uncannily brilliant, but also reaches adulthood (played by Eric Stoltz) in only five years. He grows up in the Bartok Industries facility, and is asked to carry on his father’s work. Inevitably, the fly genes make themselves felt, and he begins to transform, and love interest Daphne Zuniga wants to save him.
The director is Chris Walas, who handled the makeup FX in th… first film, and it is in this department that the sequel does well. The monster effects are (mostly) great, and the blood is copious, especially at the climax. But compare the opening scene of Cronenberg’s film with this one, and the difference between the two films is painfully obvious. Scripted by Mick Garris (responsible for an endless succession of workmanlike but uninspiring Stephen King adaptations), this is just another monster movie that makes its way through predictable and often silly plot points with none of the wit and corrosive intelligence of its predecessor.
The sound comes in 5.1 and DTS. There is no real difference between the two, and they both sound fine. The surround effects are well-placed and quite immersive, and there is no distortion on the dialogue. Christopher Young’s score is given a big, majestic mix (with a nice bass), but there is a slightly tinny sound to the music, giving away the fact that the film is sixteen years old now.
The colours of the 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer are very strong, as are the contrasts and the blacks. There is no visible edge enhancement, but the grain, on the other hand, is quite visible, especially in the opening scenes. Though the grain never vanishes entirely, the image is nice and sharp.
On Disc 1, Walas is joined by monster enthusiast and historian Bob Burns. Their discussion is largely of the nuts-and-bolts variety, but has an engaging energy. Here too is a deleted scene, and alternate ending, and some trailers.
On Disc 2 there are two substantial documentaries. “Transformations: Looking Back at The Fly II” is informative and doesn’t try too hard to suggest that this is some kind of neglected classic. Leonard Nimoy narrates “The Fly Papers: The Buzz on Hollywood’s Scariest Insect,” which looks at the whole series of films from the 1958 original on. In the featurette department, there’s the original 1989 promo piece, a video production journal of the FX, and an interview with Christopher Young. There are three storyboard comparisons with optional commentary from Walas, and three still galleries (“Production Photos,” “The Art of The Fly II” and “Storyboards”). Finally, there’s the teaser and theatrical trailer. The main screen of the menu, as well as the intro and transitions, is animated and scored.
The extras aren’t as copious as on the Cronenberg film, but they’re still plentiful for an inferior sequel.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- “Transformations: Looking Back at The Fly II” Documentary
- “The Fly Papers: The Buzz on Hollywood
- Deleted Scene
- Alternate Ending
- Storyboard-to-Screen Comparisons
- Film Production Journal
- Composer Featurette
- 1989 Featurette
- Still Galleries
- Theatrical Trailers