Review: Heavy Metal 2000 (film)
"Death to all carbon-based life forms" - or maybe just the ones responsible for this movie.
I watched it so you don't have to. This followup - not, apparently, intended as a direct sequel - to the 1981 animated feature Heavy Metal is so bereft of sense from start to finish that its release shouldn't have been just direct-to-cable but direct-to-landfill. The only thing that connects HM2K to its parent is the name - it's as if the original had been carjacked, and almost everything that made it worth watching was stripped from the wreck before they let you see it:
- They've ditched the anthology format that allowed so many diverse elements to shine in favor of a warmed-over plot, linear to the point of single-mindedness, that borrows heavily from the Taarna sequence of the original.
- There's no real style - no Möbius, no McKie, nothing recognizable - just anonymous (if well-rendered) frames from some third-rate Third World sweatshop studio, one after the other. The visuals are prettier, and devoid of the sometimes wavery execution in Heavy Metal, but they have no soul.
- The music's dull. One of the main strengths of the original was its soundtrack, even if the music on it was mostly not by any stretch of the imagination what musicians call "heavy metal." In this one the music is one-note drivel, apparently chosen by a committee of tone-deaf drones.
- The original shared with its European parent magazine its playful, albeit unrealistic, adolescent and sometimes misogynistic, attitude towards both sex and violence; this remake turns that into utterly stereotypical tits-and-gunfire.
- Worst of all, there's no humor. Though I thought the villain who is a dead ringer for Howard Stern was a funny touch, that might well have been an accident; this movie is unrelievedly grim even when it's trying to be funny. I can forgive a lot of plot holes - and Heavy Metal had more than its share - if the film can manage to be entertaining; Heavy Metal 2000 tried to stay serious all the way through, and it just didn't work.
Bottom line: the original was fun, and this one's NO FUN.
©2000 Alan P. Scott. All rights reserved.
Last updated December 11, 2000.