STARRING: Patrick Muldoon, Michael Sarrazin, Jane Sibbett, Catherine Blythe

1998, 101 Minutes, Directed by: Kevin Tenney

Note to film-makers: putting a lot of car chases and action scenes in your movie won't necessarily make it exciting to watch. It isn't the quantity, but the quality. In other words, it is how you stage those scenes that make it exciting to watch.

Think of Bruce Willis' facial expression when he has to walk barefoot through those shards of glass in Die Hard and you get the idea. Or the expression of pain when a bad guy hits Indiana Jones on his fresh shoulder wound in Raiders of the Lost Ark. That's right: what you want is acting. I'm not saying Willis is Laurence Olivier or anything, but the cast of bland unknowns in The Second Arrival sure as hell makes him look like Olivier in comparison!

Not that it is entirely their fault: the dialogue is clunky and some plot aspects in this sequel to the competent 1996 thriller The Arrival starring Charlie Sheen are simply laughable. (Example: a character not only figures out how to operate a computer program an interface in an alien language he doesn't understand at all, but also manages to hack it! Think of the stupid Apple Mac compatible aliens in Independence Day and you get the idea . . .)

The Second Arrival takes up events shortly following the original movie. Aliens are among us and plotting to speed up global warning to make the Earth more habitable to the aliens which dislike cold. Warning plot spoilers ahead! Even though this alien plot has been flushed into out the open by the character played by Sheen in the original movie, it has been laughed off as a hoax. End spoilers! It is now up to the Sheen character's half-brother to convince the world of this plot. The aliens are, of course, out to get him . . .

While The Second Arrival is no better or worse than most made-for-TV fare, the sad truth is that one expected a bit more from a sequel to film that managed to transcend its own low budget and lack of big name stars. If The Arrival could be entertaining and clever, then so can its sequel. However, since 1996 we have seen more than our fair share of aliens among us TV shows such as First Wave and the like.

It is definitely old hat by now - and The Second Arrival cannot overcome this serious case of sequelitis. Don't spoil your fond memories of the original The Arrival by renting this sequel. If you're in the mood for some alien invaders masquerading as humans fare then we'd recommend that you rather rent the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers or maybe the 1982 remake of The Thing . . .



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