Wishmaster 2
Dir: Jack Sholder
Star: Andrew Divoff, Holly Fields, Tiny Lister Jr, Paul Johansson, Bokeem Woodbine
Cert / Year: 18 - R / 1999
Format: DVD R2

Small time thief Morgana (Holly Fields) gets more than she bargains for when a robbery of an art gallery which she is involved with goes wrong. In the ensuing gun fight with security guards and police, the large Persian statue of the god "Ahura Mazda" which she is hiding behind is hit by a bullet and a large fragment of the statue falls to the floor at her feet. Grabbing the huge jewel she notices jutting out from the statue fragment, she makes for the exit with her boyfriend-in-crime, only to be cornered at the bottom of the stairs by a guard. Shots are fired and they are both hit, fortunately for Morgana the bullet with her name on it is deflected by the large jewel, saving her life. As she takes the jewel from her pocket it gets hot and breaks upon the floor, leaving her life saving trophy and mortally wounded boyfriend on the floor, Morgana flees the scene. So she naturally misses the messy rebirth of the vicious, malevolent Djinn who reappears in the sly form of Nathaniel Demerest (Andrew Divoff). The Djinn is back, and is hot on the heels of Morgana as he charges the jewel in preparation for the impending dark armageddon......

Despite the "Wishmaster 2" title, this isn't really a sequel as such. To be honest this seems to have virtually nothing whatsoever to do with the original movie as it trundles along on its own silly little tangent and shows complete disregard for the first film and its clever and witty story written by Peter Atkins. Once again Jack Sholder is foolishly given the reins of a film sequel project so like he did with the terribly dissappointing Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge, he deems it neccessary to inject it with a cocktail of intellectual banality and inappropriate homo erotic meanderings. Thankfully this time, the film is not so intent upon exploring the lurid fascinations of a teenage boy and his fruity gym teacher but a couple of suspect set pieces are evident. This time around Sholder conjures up a male lawyer who sodomises himself, and a prison full of inmates who have a fascination with being "intimate" with each other, on the whole this really does dull the story and offers little for the viewer to actually care a jot about. On top of the usual Sholder garbage, he tries to rework the original and get more giggles as he dumbs the story right down to base level as he throws the story into a heavy pseudo-religious arena and throws cliche after cliche as he moves the film to "Las Vegas". This does of course offer the film several angles to pursue, and it does..... but quite badly.

This is a pale, lack lustre imitation of the original and the "new" Mcguffins (plot devices) don't work, now the Djinn needs to claim 1001 souls in order to charge the jewel before he needs to pursue the one who awoke him in order to grant the three wishes and bring about the end of the world. This is of course a quite ridiculous premise and to be frank, only seems to have been included in order for Sholder to shoot part of the film in a prison (maybe he likes the showers) and take a couple of holier than thou swipes at the casinos in Vegas as the Djinn grants everyones wish. You just WISH that Sholder had nothing to do with this film and any subsequent films get a big budget, decent director and the superb Andrew Divoff reprising his role as the Djinn.

The budget was obviously lower for this venture and it shows. The effects in the first film were impressive and worked well, afforded some notable screen time and brought plenty to the stage as the Djinn went about his vicious machinations. Unfortunately, the effects are terrible and don't hold up very well, if they don't look cheap and nasty they look totally false and farcical. The Djinn make up is given a bit of a reworking, not that it really needed it but it still looks pretty cool. As for the other effects, well you get a woman who literally "craps out", some pseudo religious waffle on a crucifix, a man devolves and not to mention a particuarly gory and gruesome prison break. There are a couple of instances that bear more than a passing resemblence to some Sam Raimi works, which now look cliche.

Andrew Divoff leads the cast of relative unheard ofs and lesser known "talents" that populate this trashy tale of the Djinn. Divoff hams it up and obviously relishes the job, but the poor story and dull means that much of his performance does appear quite forced / strained. He manages a few of his menacing and expressive looks as you would expect but do nothing, unlike the first film where each glance or grin signified something coming. Thankfully there is a new female lead, in the form of cutey Holly Fields as rebellious goth rock chick Morgana who must seek redemption and change her "wicked" ways if she is to defeat the evil Djinn (COBBLERS!!). That is another of Sholder's ridiculous stereotypes which he uses to shoe horn in an unneccessary religious aspect to accompany his dreadful retelling of Peter Atkins' story. Fields doesn't do a bad job at all to be honest, admittedly she is a bit wooden and whingy but she works well with Divoff and enjoys a pretty good screen pairing with Paul Johansson as the obligatory young priest trying to remain pure amidst the sinful modern age. Again, he is a little too wooden to be anything other than dressing and he manages some moments which are quite "television series bad". Some good supporting performances by Bokeem Woodbine and Tiny Lister Jr. but nothing special.

Wishmaster 2 doesnít measure up to the original and even as a "straight to video" offering it is barely entertaining, leaving the viewer questioning his / her will to live due to its ineptitude. If you liked The Wishmaster then don't watch this as you probably won't like it. Not a patch on the original, this is dull and unengaging, virtually soporific in its tedium. It does contain one or two darkly amusing sequences but nothing to really grab you or suggest as "best bits" in order to reccommend it. Unlike the original, Andrew Divoff is pretty much alone here and is unable to rely upon the supporting performances of other movie "bad guys" or a horrendous female lead that is so bad it would make a potato wreak of talent in comparison. Admittedly, despite being unable to steal the show mainly due to him being the star, Divoff hams it up and provides a new improved, grinning simpleton Djinn.


Evil never dies (but you do wish that Jack Sholder would)

Rating: 1 out of 5

Picture 4.3 Fullscreen Good transfer but only in fullscreen
Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 Boring surround sound track
Features Dreary static menu
Photo Gallery
Production Notes
Cast Notes
Verdict Not that your bothered, but there is little of interest here. A dismal presentation backed by dismal extras, the lack of animation on the disc is backed by the lack of animation and atmosphere in the film.

Rating: 1 out of 5

Reviewed by Logan Back Top Home