VOICES OF: Michael Ironside, Julie Strain, Billy Idol, Pier Kohl, Sonja Ball, Brady Moffatt

2000, 88 Minutes, Directed by: Michael Coldewey and Michel Lemire

Description: On a distant planet, a fountain of eternal life has been locked away by a race of supposedly wise people, who have buried the only key deep in space. If found, the key will give directions to the planet, but will also drive the finder crazy--which is exactly what happens. On his way to the planet of youth, Tyler (voice of venerable character actor Michael Ironside) wipes out most of a space colony and kidnaps a sexy woman. His big mistake is that he doesn't kill the woman's sister, Julie (voice of B-movie actress Julie Strain), who then sets out on a mission of rescue and revenge.

Heavy Metal 2000 (also known as Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2) is a sequel of sorts to the 1981 animated movie, Heavy Metal. The original movie was "inpsired" by the Heavy Metal magazine, an American-ized version of the European adult fantasy comic book of the same name (its original title in French is "Metal Hurlant"). It resembled the magazine in that it consisted of several disparate story segments, each made by a different creative team of animators, writers and so forth.

The comics also usually had several such storylines in each issue, most of them liberally sprinkled with violence and sex. Strangely enough, this movie isn't based on any Heavy Metal comic, but instead on a graphic novel (I have never read) titled The Melting Pot, which features the talent of one Kevin Eastman. That Eastman also gave the world the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles should be a clue as to this movie's quality. That Eastman's wife, one Julie Strain, lends her voice talents to this effort should tell you a bit more too.

"The animation is of the quality that one expects from a Saturday morning cartoon . . ."

This "sequel", made almost 20 years after the original, only has one storyline and cast of characters. For some reason it reminded me of the final sequence in the original movie (which the movie's posters featured) and involved a scantily dressed female, erm, atop a flying dragon. It was also the weakest and most long-winded sequence in that movie and that should give you a good indication of how this movie is: the plot is wafer thin and the story stretched out beyond its breaking point.

It involves a mad man and his private army wiping out a settlement on a distant planet. A woman with big boobs survives and vows revenge. And that's it. No, really. Whereas the original movie had some sense of fun and had its tongue stuck firmly in its cheek, Heavy Metal 2000 isn't much fun at all. 

Both the plot and animation is of the quality that one expects from a Saturday morning cartoon. Only the crude bits of sex and graphic violence no doubt aimed at horny pubescent boys (is there any other sort?) sets it apart from such standard TV fare. Like the similar, but more mainstream Titan AE, it also features some contemporary metal songs that grate away on the soundtrack for no other apparent purpose except to sell soundtracks.

If you want some animated violence, sex and mayhem then rather check out some Japanese anime titles such as Ninja Scroll, Akira and the like. Or perhaps even the original movie.

But Heavy Metal 2000 isn't much fun . . .



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