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Different Strokes for Different Folks, I guess ...
on January 25, 2004
Reading the variety of reviews here I see that some love this film and prefer it to the first. Some loved the first and didn't like this film. To each his/her own, I suppose. I preferred the original film and eagerly anticipated the sequel when I found out it had been produced.
I saw this movie back in the early 90's but didn't remember much about it except that Brad Johnson was in it, and it didn't seem as good as the first movie. So I ordered the movie used on the internet.
While I was watching the movie, I thought how cool it would be to have a time machine. Then I could go back before I saw the movie and get 98 minutes of my life back. By the time the movie got to the end, it had redeemed itself somewhat. One notable exception was the captivating Marjean Holden whom our hero meets in the (alternate) future. And the German scientist (Gerrit Graham), son of another German scientist from World War II provides (eventually) an interesting double (though it can be fairly argued triple) role.
It must be clearly stated. This movie is totally unlike the first film (except that it includes a bit of footage from the first), so prepare yourself. Apparently they were working on a tight budget and this shows up in the special effects.
I think the screenwriters (or film editors) decided to make the audience experience the same confusion as our hero does when he travels through time (I'm sure that didn't spoil the plot for anyone). For this reason, the film seems oddly disjoint and you have to be patient enough to wait for the ending to fully comprehend what happened. Are there plot holes? Yes, large enough to fly a plane through. But at least the ending brought the film to a (somewhat) logical conclusion. And for that I give the film three stars. If you watch the film a second time, it will make a little more sense regarding what the screenwriter/director were trying to accomplish.
If you like Brad Johnson (a decent actor with not much room to move here) and/or Marjean Holden you'll probably find enough about the film to like. But again I say, this is not at all like "The Philadelphia Experiment". When the F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Fighter was shown to the public, a host of (bad) films emerged with the F-117 as the centerpiece. I've seen a few of them and almost automatically avoid any movie where the F-117 is used because of this. If you can hang on until the ending, I think you'll understand the film better.
You may want to rent this one first, before you decide to add it to your collection. Maybe there will be a director's version someday on DVD. And without the trailers for some other obviously bad Vidmark films. I recommend fast-fowarding over the previews preceeding this film on VHS. Fortunately, these were not on the TV broadcast of the film when I first viewed it.