I fell asleep during TURTLES, was mildly amused by BTTF III, but had a terrific time at GREMLINS 2 today. Yes, it's true, the performances by the special effects are generally better than the performances by the actors, and the film has more rubber logic than most, but it's FUN!
Yes, you can guess the story. Gizmo winds up in a research lab after his owner, the old Chinese man, dies. The research lab in in "Clamp Tower," a massive New York sky scraper that contains various cable networks (including things like "The Archery Network" and "The Safety Channel"), a mall, restaurants, and the headquarters for Clamp International. Of course, Billy and Kate, the heros from the first film, also happen to work in that building. Billy rescues Gizmo from the genetics lab (run gleefully by Christopher Lee), but your typical series of catastrophes happen to little Gizmo and gremlins rapidly infest the entire building.
Since there's a genetics lab to trash, the gremlins mutate into a variety of bizarre creatures, including a winged gargoyle, spider-monster, and a quasi-intellectual, pipe-smoking Yuppie. There are more sight-gags, parodies and wonderful bits throughout this movie. There's the "Movie Police," "Microwaving with Marge," and some amusing cameos by various Warner Brothers characters. There's an on-target parody of Kate's "Why I Hate Christmas" speech (though it was a tad too long) from the first movie, and great satire of corporate personality throughout the film.
The movie is rated PG-13, though most of the violence happens to gremlins and to the set rather than to any humans. Our nine-year-old liked the movie, but didn't really start laughing at it until after the gremlins popped out all over.
The puppetry and radio-controlled gremlins in this movie were both extremely well-done. The gremlins have a little more personality in this film than in the first one.
GREMLINS 2 took a good idea and made it better. I hope Dante & company quit while they are ahead. I'm not sure how the movie is doing. We saw it in an empty theater today, which is a shame because the movie is a blast.