Heavy Metal 2000 (2000)

Rating: **
Alternate Title: F.A.K.K. 2
Written By: Kevin Eastman, Simon Bisley, Eric Talbot
Cast: Michael Ironside, Julie Strain Eastman, Billy Idol

A disappointing effort that seems to echo the current flavor of "Heavy Metal" magazine. A space miner named Tylor (Michael Ironside) uncovers a glowing green shard that holds the key to immortality. An unfortunate side effect is that its influence drives him insane. He hijacks a spaceship and terrorizes the galaxy in his search for the fountain of immortality. One of the worlds he plunders is home to Julie (Julie Strain) and she swears vengeance on him for killing everyone she's ever loved. So Julie chases Tylor around the galaxy and finally has it out with him at the temple of immortality.

God bless Kevin Eastman for reviving the struggling "Heavy Metal" franchise and keeping his wife employed, but the story and execution are way too adolescent. The forced in-your-face attitude leaves a bad taste in your mouth and makes you cringe at its lack of subtlety. I would have probably liked this film when I was thirteen, but now my taste in violence and erotica is more... refined. The animation is fair to good, but employs a jarring and awkward combination of traditional cel animation and computer generated animation. (reminiscent of "Invasion: Earth," "Titan A.E.," or "A Chinese Ghost Story" (1997) ) The art direction is schizophrenic and all over the place. Pick a style and stick with it, people! The story uses a simple "rape and revenge" formula, with weak character development and lame dialog. Unfortunately, we are never invited to really care about any of the characters - just who they're going to beat up next. The film also shamelessly borrows elements from the original "Heavy Metal" (1981) and blatantly rips off the entire "Taarna The Defender" sub-plot. Like "Spawn" (1997) and other adult-oriented animated titles, this could have, and should have been much better. Instead, it seems content to just be a sex and violence exploitation flick.