SEPTEMBER 4, 2012
I'm sure there's an audience for The Toxic Avenger: Part 2, but I can't say I'm part of it, finding only the barest of bare minimums' worth of entertainment in its bloated 103 minutes to keep it out of the crap bin. Not that I loved the original by any stretch of the imagination, but it had an odd charm and a fun spin on the revenge plot, a far cry from this rubbish, which is little more than a series of barely connected sequences in which Toxie takes on a bunch of random villains over and over.
And no, that's not a typo - this fucking thing is 103 minutes long (Casablanca is 102 minutes, just to make one unfair comparison), despite a plot that boils down to "Some guys want Toxie to leave Tromaville, so they send him to Japan for a while until he comes back." Apparently there's a 96 minute cut out there, but it's missing all the gore, which is one of its few saving graces. I wish I could tell you to seek out the shorter one if you absolutely must watch it, but alas it would actually be a bigger waste of your time, as some of the FX are kind of impressive.
I can also give it this much: there's a fun variety to the bad guys he fights ad nauseum throughout the film. In the film's endless opening sequence he battles an American Indian (as well as the other Village People personas), some 1930s gangster-looking dudes, a giant that is dressed like Super Mario, a midget Mr. T type guy... the costumer on this movie must have had the most work to do. And this motif continues once he goes to Japan, with Kabukiman, samurai dudes, etc all taking their turns being brutally murdered by our hero.
But the fights are dull - they all amount to someone trying to kill Toxie by running at him, maybe swinging a weapon as they do, before he grabs them and rips their head off or impales them with a nearby object. Worse, director Lloyd Kaufman is more interested in humor than actual horror violence, which means if you don't find cartoon sound FX and over the top mugging from hero and villain alike to be particularly amusing, you're going to be shit out of luck with this one, as every single fight is peppered with shit that would probably embarrass Friedberg & Seltzer. Especially when everything in between is even worse - scenes of Toxie wandering around Tokyo (lot of fish out of water "humor") or talking to either of his two love interests (one of them another blond woman who is blind, but not the same one as the original) are about as dire as they come. Worse still are any scenes where the villains are discussing their evil plans, which make little sense even for a Troma movie and are played by the film's worst actors. At one point the villainess even explains what happened "in the first movie", despite the fact that this is supposed to be a direct continuation (meaning, it's not like Halloween III where they watch Halloween, as it's established as a separate movie-verse).
To be fair, there are a couple of funny lines here and there, usually in the otherwise grating voiceover from one of the two actors who play the character this time (neither of them are the guy from the original). I liked his observation that he knew he had to be half-Japanese because he always had non-American urges to work hard and not live off of credit cards, and there's an inspired bit (probably stolen from something) where someone quotes Shakespeare and the person they're addressing offers "Fuck you!" and attributes it to David Mamet. With roughly 1000 more lines like this, the movie could have been tolerable.
But alas, it's just an endless series of not particularly exciting or funny sequences, culminating in a car chase between Toxie (in the back of a taxi) and the villain (named "The Black Rider" - second one this week!) that's about as low-key as you can imagine for the climax of a movie. That the Black Rider is an out of nowhere villain that we have zero association with is the least of its problems (though it gave me unfortunate flashbacks to last month's pathetic Bourne Legacy), but at least there's a couple of car explosions along the way to break up the tedium.
I later learned that the film's first cut was nearly four hours long, which would explain the half-assed "ending" of this one - it's basically the halfway point of a movie. The 2nd half was turned into Toxic Avenger III, which I guess I'll suffer through soon enough just so I can see how his uninteresting fight against the evil corporation all plays out. At least that one's a minute shorter, so I'm already more likely to prefer it.
What say you?