Tuesday, November 6, 2007

It's Alive 2: It Lives Again

People get really stupid with their children. You see it all the time in the news: a man has just been convicted of ritualistically murdering an entire town, and as the judge sentences him to death the guy’s mom bursts into tears because her beautiful child doesn’t deserve such a harsh punishment. Everyone wants to think that their kid is going to be the next president or physicist or what have you and help save the world, but the reality is your child is about a thousand times more likely to be a gang member or a serial killer or a crack whore than someone that’s going to make any kind of real positive difference in the world. If I impart no other knowledge to my readership, let it be this: your child, at some undetermined date, will actively seek to replace you, and the only way you’ll be able to retain your place on this world is by ending his or her existence first. I’m talking violent revolution here, people. Do you have the nerve to join me?

This film, set a few years after the original, places us in a world where the mutant babies are coming out frequently enough to warrant the presence of pretty much the entire police force at the maternity ward of a hospital just in case the child about to be born winds up trying to eat everyone. Of course, since the police fully intend to kill the baby fresh out of the womb, the dad takes it upon himself to kidnap the doctors and force them to deliver the baby while on the road, before a dark rendezvous where a group of scientists takes the baby away to a secret facility where the mutants can be studied and (ideally) taught to live in peaceful coexistence with man. The facility itself, once the parents sneak themselves away there, is quite interesting; the original father of a mutant baby, Mr. Frank Davis whose tale was shown in the original, is spoken of in hushed tones, like a towering cult figure. There’s more vague environmental mutterings here as well; a crazy scientist working there spouts off about how the babies are the next step forward in evolution, and are specifically designed to adapt themselves to all the pollution in the world, this despite not a one of them ever having been tested to see how well they can handle pollutants at all.

The main characters, like in the first film, seem to be fairly realistic, fleshed out people, with both parents rather ferociously trying to protect their children from the law, at least until the babies get loose and start attacking everyone they encounter. Frank Davis, when he makes his climactic arrival, doesn’t quite have the impact of Harry Lime, but at least he tries. The ending, once the parents have finally started to get on board with the need to wipe the damn abominations out, is also really fun, giving us a great combination of police ingenuity and police incompetence. If it’s not quite as good as the first film, it’s pretty darn close.

Rating: ***

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