|Release: 1989, Rating: R, Runtime: 96 min.|
After having loved The Toxic Avenger, I had the disappointing experience of seeing The Toxic Avenger Part II and not enjoying it as much. Now, don’t get me wrong, there was some stuff in the movie that I enjoyed, of which I will get to soon, but overall, I felt like Troma was trying a little too hard to replicate the success of the original. So, let’s get to mopping up this review, by reading on… okay that was lame.
Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: The Toxic Avenger travels to Tokyo to search for his father and leaves his home Tromaville open to complete domination by an evil corporation.
The Toxic Avenger Part II was released in 1989, 5 years after The Toxic Avenger and picks up the story with the town of Tromaville being crime free and full of people dancing in the streets. Toxie is still living with his girlfriend, who for some reason has been renamed from Sara to Claire. Due to the lack of crime to fight, Toxie spends his days helping Claire at the clinic for the blind, coaching basketball, or taking blind people on nature walks that take place on the roof of the buildings.
Everything is peachy, until the Apocalypse Inc. group decides that the town of Tromaville, is a little too crime free and vow to destroy Toxie and turn the town into the toxic wasteland it should be. After attempting to kill Toxie, resulting in an amazing 10 minute fight scene, with all sorts of baddies, consisting of several different stereotypes, Apocalypse Inc. realize that Toxie is going to be a lot harder to waste (ha! puntastic) and decide the only way to eliminate Toxie, is by sending him to Tokyo and getting the Japanese to kill him, by the way of technology. So, they convince his psychiatrist to tell Toxie that his father is in Tokyo and that he should seek him out. Toxie is ecstatic to see his father and heads on his way. While Toxie is busy looking for his father and fighting Japanese crime, Apocalypse Inc. gets on with their plan to ruin the now pleasant, but Toxie-free town of Tromaville.
|Yes, that’s Michael Jai White in his film debut.|
There are several noticeable things wrong with The Toxic Avenger Part II, but there are also plenty of things that it does right. There are scenes that are pretty darn funny and the gore can be fantastic, with lots of blood flying everywhere. I liked any of the fight scenes with Toxie, with the opening fight being the best, with several small fights in Tokyo, also being a highlight. Also, we once again get a face full of nudity, with boobies flying at you in all directions. Having said all that, we now come to the bad.
First, the acting. I understand that the part of the “charm” of Troma, is the awful acting. I really do understand, but in The Toxic Avenger Part II’s case, the acting is worse than awful and crosses the line of charming and enters into slightly racist (can you even be “slightly” racist?) with the Japanese stereotypes. Everyone was trying way too hard and the acting was so far over the top, it was out of sight! Also, the voice of Toxie was changed in Part II and gone is the eloquent voice of the first Toxie and instead we get this newer version, who sounds too generic in my opinion. Next problem, is the story, which as you can see up top, is a little convoluted. I know we need to move the story along and change things up, as you don’t just want to rehash the original, but the story can’t find a thread to grab on to and the bad guys of the film, Apocalypse Inc., end up being a side story to the father plot line, which gets wrapped up way too quickly in the end. Plus, the movie feels like it drags on a little too long.
I’m not sure about this, but it feels like The Toxic Avenger became a hit or something in Japan, so The Toxic Avenger Part II was made for them, with a majority of the movie taking place in Japan. That doesn’t mean everyone else won’t end up enjoying the movie, as it does still have some fun in, as I said above. Yes, the negatives do outweigh the positives by a lot, but when you’re talking Troma and Toxic Avenger, I’m wasn’t expecting any of the sequels to be able beat the awesome Part I. So, with that said, it doesn’t reach the heights of Part I, but it still overall ends up being a somewhat enjoyable experience. I say, recommended for fans of Troma, Toxie and anyone else that likes cheesy, corny fun.