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‘Critters 2: The Main Course’

By Richard Harrington
Washington Post Staff Writer
May 04, 1988


Mick Garris
Scott Grimes;
Liane Curtis;
Don Opper;
Barry Corbin;
Terrence Mann
Children under 13 should be accompanied by a parent

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Critters are just meat-eating gremlins, which is probably why we're seeing "Critters 2 -- The Main Course" before "Gremlins 2." Unfortunately, while the original "Critters" was that rarity -- a well-made, well-acted, well-thought-out and often funny furry creature feature -- its sequel is all too mundane.

"Critters" laid an egg at the box office the first time around, but its critters apparently laid some eggs in a Kansas barnyard because two years later, it's Easter Sunday in Grover's Bend, time for a little extraterrestrial resurrection. Before you know it, you can hear the pitter-patter of rolling fur balls and the sound of sharp little teeth gnashing, and, boy, were they born hungry! Say goodbye to the Easter bunny.

Meanwhile, back in outer space, two cruising galactic bounty hunters are told there are residual space porcupines left from their last pet-stop on Earth, so a quick U-turn is in order. Outside of Scott Grimes, as the kid who saw it all the first time around, Terrence Mann and Don Opper are the only returning actors, as Ug, the hunter-transformed-into-a-rock-star, and Charlie, the town-drunk-finding-his-identity, respectively. There's also Ug's mate Lee, who finds an inspiring shape in a discarded Playboy magazine.

These critter-busters quickly get down to work. The town rallies around itself, the man-eating dustmops make a voracious comeback with a new, improved self, and so on.

The critters (created by Chiodo Bros.) are nasty-fun and sure do get around for not having any arms or legs, and there may indeed be some release from watching them killed to pieces in so many different ways.

But overall, "Critters 2" is flat, lacking the kinetic energy, tight pacing and generally better acting of its predecessor. Director Mick Garris, who wrote this sequel with D.T. Twohy, is all teeth and no bite, which leaves this "Main Course" very unsatisfying.

"Critters 2: The Main Course" is rated PG-13 and contains some gore.

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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