A few years after the incident in Gremlins, Billy and Kate have movied to New York where they work for media mogul Daniel Clamp. Meanwhile, Gizmo's former owner has just died and he's been captured for the genetics part of the Clamp building. A little while later, a certain someone gets wet, creates a new Gremlin species, and learns to finally fight back after years of abuse. And while Gizmo and the surviving humans fight back, the Gremlins and their evil leader, the Brain Gremlin, are planning to escape when it gets dark. And if they do, New York will experience a new Hell.
Directed by: Joe Dante
. Starring: Zach Galligan
, Phoebe Cates
, John Glover
, Robert Prosky
, Robert Picardo
, Christopher Lee
, Haviland Morris
, Dick Miller
, Jackie Joseph
, Gedde Watanabe
, Keye Luke
, Kathleen Freeman
, Don Stanton
. Music by: Jerry Goldsmith
I was in for more of a surprise than I thought when I saw Gremlins 2 - The New Batch. But of course I forgot all the rules. Don't get them wet, keep them away from bright light and never ever feed them after midnight. So they are back bigger and badder than ever before. My feeling with this film is that you don't take it too seriously and just have some fun, because that is all Gremlins 2 is trying to do, tickle your funny bone.
Yesterday it was rural Kingston Falls. Today it's the Big Apple - and lots of wild anarchic comedy - because a new batch of mischievous green meanies is on the loose. Billy and Kate have moved to New York and are reunited with Gizmo, the cute little Magwai. They are also forced to save the day, once again. We told you the rules. You didn't listen. Now you'll have to face up to the consequences. And have a blast doing it.
The most impressive part of Gremlins 2 are the Gremlins themselves. They are simply breathtaking. My favourite character would have to be the 'Brain' Gremlin. Some of the quotes he comes out with are hilarious. In his many different situations he is just a comic. I enjoyed it when he recovers from drinking the brain serum, in the brokerage room, the TV interview and when he gets the whole Gremlin gang singing the chorus 'New York, New York'. Out of all the movies I have seen, I would have to say that the 'Brain' Gremlin is my favourite character of all-time. The voiceovers in this Gremlins were outstanding. The most dominant voice in the whole film belongs to Tony Randall, whose talents shine out as the voice of the 'Brain' Gremlin. He did those voiceovers to perfection. He stared in the 70's TV series 'The Odd Couple'. If he wasn't involved in this movie, I believe it would have been a real let down.
Other Gremlins that were of great significance for this film include the Salad Gremlin, Electricity Gremlin, Funny Gremlin, Dumb Gremlin and just plain stupid Gremlin. But for truly great special effects, the greatest Gremlin is the Spider Gremlin. When he starts to chase after Kate and Marla in the hallway, it is remarkable to see him walking along and the underneath shots of him. In fact he almost looks real. This leads me to give praise to the special effects team and its leader, Rick Baker. They would have had a huge job and they did it perfectly in this film.
I must admit that the directing and producing of Gremlins 2 would have taken a lot of time and patience. Steven Spielberg and his production team did a hell of a job, as did director Joe Dante. There were some extraordinary scenes and they would have taken a serious amount of directing to get just right. Some of the scenes which standout for me include nearly all the Gremlin shots (eg. scene in the control tower, the abuse with Gizmo and of course the 'Brain' Gremlin who was just superb), with all of them causing havoc in their own wacky kind of way, the scenes in the Hi-Tech Clamp building, the Gizmo scenes are much better, considering that he is given a lot more latitude in this movie. Voicing Gizmo for the second time is Howie Mandal and he is pretty good as well. Yet one of the most hilarious scenes in the movie would have to be in the TV Kitchen with the somewhat drunk, Microwave Marge.
The human cast of this film takes second fiddle to these ugly little monsters. Back in reprising roles are Zach Gilligan and Phoebe Cates. They were great in the first movie and nothing has changed second time around. Also appearing again are Dick Miller and Jackie Joseph as the Futterman's. They were unlucky in the first film and are essential, in my opinion, in the second. I recently saw Dick Miller in the small role he had in the 1984 classic, Terminator. The new cast members in this movie include John Glover, Robert Proskey and Harviland Morris. Glover was exceptional as Daniel Clamp. His silly antics as the boss of a Hi-Tech. office building are very funny. Likewise, Proskey is hilarious as the roving reporter through all the mischief and mayhem (especially in the TV interview with the 'Brain' Gremlin just brilliant). Morris plays Marla, Billy's boss, someone who is very tense, hardworking and a terrible flirt.
The story isn't that important in this movie. Ultimately it is about these little green monsters that are inhabiting a Hi-Tech office building in New York City, and having fun doing so. But the most interesting part of this script is the way that this film sends up certain well-known movies and icons. It first of all it pokes fun at the first film (with movie reviewer Leonard Maltin) and then takes off movies such as Batman and Rambo, plus there is a Gremlin version of the famous musical, Phantom of the Opera. In one scene there is a Gremlin playing with Lego, a famous line of children's toy and one who is promoting Warner Brothers themselves. This aspect of the film was truly crazy, but very funny too.
Overall Gremlins 2 is a different kind of sequel. By the time it has bagged its predecessor and other known movies, musicals and famous icons, this movie is about to explode. Many sequels are criticised for not being that great. My understanding of a sequel is that it is in some way better than it's original, and I feel that Gremlins 2 fills the criteria. I wouldn't be able understand it, if people don't like the classic sequel, coz it is very original. Gremlins 2, The New Batch - 'Is that civilised? No clearly not, fun but in no sense civilised!'
Review by Old Joe from the Internet Movie Database.