Synopsis: In the tradition of the groundbreaking cult classic, HEAVY METAL, comes HEAVY METAL 2000, the sexiest animated sci-fi adventure ever. When lowly space pirate Tyler gets his hands on the key to the chamber of immortality, he becomes a powerful psychopath prepared to destroy anything and anyone in his path. After ravaging the peaceful planet, Eden, buxom avenger F.A.K.K.2 rises from the ashes of her fallen planet to hunt Tyler, rescue her kidnapped sister and reclaim the key to immortality. Fueled by the voices of MICHAEL IRONSIDE, JULIE STRAIN (who inspired the character of F.A.K.K.2) and rock’s bad boy BILLY IDOL, HEAVY METAL 2000 will blow you away!
Heavy Metal 2000 6.5
eyelights: the consistency.
eyesores: the sound editing. the soundtrack.
Due to my feelings about its forebear, and after seeing the soundtrack to the film in a second hand CD shop and discovering that I didn’t care for its tracklisting one bit, I never had the intention of seeing ‘Heavy Metal 2000’.
But then some guy I was buying snazzy b-movies from had the pair bundled together in a boxed set for just a few peanuts. Or were they pesos? Anyway, it was dirt cheap, and the price of admission was low enough that I figured that I might as well give it a shot.
After all, what did I have to lose, other than 90 minutes of my time?
It turns out that ‘Heavy Metal 2000’ bears no resemblance to the original other than in name. Unlike its predecessor, it is not an anthology, it doesn’t mix a variety of genres and artistic styles, and it doesn’t reserve its soundtrack to heavy metal acts.
What it is is a run-of-the-mill sci-fi/fantasy animated film with a bend for action over substance. You’ve seen plenty, I’ve seen plenty, and this one is nothing more than an indistinguishable drop in a bucketload of them.
…except that it is animated.
This time around, however, the animation was cohesive. Unlike its predecessor, which was made by various teams and then cobbled together, this one was made by just one studio. It doesn’t make it a better film, but at least it has a consistent look throughout. And, given that it’s just one story, it has a consistent tone as well.
The problem comes about in that consistent isn’t always synonymous with quality: you can have something that is consistently lacklustre – like the ‘Police Academy’ series, for instance. Or something that is consistently terrible, like the ‘Mirror, Mirror’ series of films.
‘Heavy Metal 2000’ is consistently forgettable, having nothing noteworthy on offer at any point of the picture. In fact, I’ve already forgotten much of what I’ve seen.
All I know is that our villain, he-with-the-ridiculous-name-of-Tyler, is infected by some greenish key to the Fountain of Life and, after ransacking and killing everything in sight decides to seek the Fountain itself. Julie, the lone survivor of one of his attacks, decides to get her revenge and chases him across the galaxy, missing her chance to even the score time and time again.
Our characters were voiced by the devilish, and massively underrated, Michael Ironside (who sounded especially youthful for an old coot in this picture), and Julie Strain, an adult entertainer (who sounded like she had never done voice-work before). Oh, and Billy Idol (yes, that Billy Idol!), who I took absolutely no notice of in his role as Odin.
And that’s it. That’s the calibre of actors that this film drew. Could certainly be worse. But could be waaaay better, too.
Oh yeah, and then there’s the soundtrack.
I can’t forget that – after all, the original film was founded on a soundtrack of “heavy metal” (hard rock, really… but back in the day hard rock was often qualified as “heavy metal”). This particular soundtrack tried its hand at expanding its scope from metal to “alternative rock” (whatever that is) to industrial.
It fails for a number of reasons:
1) The movie is called ‘Heavy Metal’. The soundtrack should, thus, obviously feature heavy metal music (now purely known as “metal”). Not “alternative rock”. Not industrial. Heavy metal. I love the other genres, but let’s have a little common decency and respect here.
2) The tracks that were picked were not especially good. Perhaps they were in their unedited forms, on their original albums, but the way that they were introduced into the film, via short snippets, truly didn’t do them any favours. I think that I heard one decent track throughout – and it was an industrial one. Ouch.
3) The tracks weren’t incorporated into the film with any subtlety or skill. Seriously, they would just come out of nowhere and end abruptly, forgoing any consideration for timing or tone. The tracks weren’t even appropriate for the sequences, completely missing cues and so forth – so it was a jarring experience to say the least. Whoever was in charge of the soundtrack should have been fired. At. Repeatedly. This was Amateur Hour in a way that is reminiscent of ‘Phenomena’.
Frankly, the main thing that ‘Heavy Metal 2000’ has going for it is that, at least, unlike ‘Blues Brothers 2000’, it was actually released IN 2000. That’s not much of a recommendation, I know, but that’s what you get from a B-level animated flick based extremely loosely on another B-level animated flick.
Meh. I’ve seen a heck of a lot worse, but there’s nothing in it that is actually worth the 90-minute investment of time. Hopefully, the 2012 iteration of ‘Heavy Metal’ (yes, there’s a third one now!) is an improvement. The series certainly deserves better than what’s been produced thus far.
Date of viewing: January 3, 2012