Click here 1 and a half stars

FX2 poster Not special enough

Bryan Brown's second foray into F/X territory fizzles

"F/X2: The Deadly Art of Illusion"

Reviewed by Carlos deVillalvilla

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The sequel to one of the better (and most surprising) suspense films ever made finds Rollie Tyler (Bryan Brown) retired from the movie biz, now finding success as a toymaker. He lives with Kim Brandon, a beautiful divorcee (Rachel Ticotin), and her son Chris (Dominic Zamprogna). Her ex, Mike (Tom Mason), happens to be a cop.

Mike needs help nailing a serial killer, and he manages to get a reluctant Rollie to assist in setting up a shower scene to convince the killer that it's a beautiful blond in there, not the burly cop waiting to snare his prey.

Of course, things go wrong in a hurry and Rollie finds himself in a cesspool of corruption (again) with nobody to turn to but his old pal Leo McCarthy (Brian Dennehy) who is now a private eye. Together, they try to unravel the conspiracy before Rollie, his girlfriend and the kid develop a bad case of being dead.

DVD notes

The new DVD re-issue comes with an informative booklet, but little else.

The problem here is that the original "F/X" came at us from out of nowhere, with elaborate twists and turns and a great deal of misdirection to keep us off-balance, making us unsure of what we've really seen. The sequel doesn't get to use the element of surprise - we're actually looking for the misdirection - so we're dazzled with elaborate gadgets, one-liners and narrow escapes, all of which make a poor substitute.

Poor Bryan Brown. His career looked to be taking off after "F/X," but it never really did, particularly after the poor reception of the sequel. "F/X 2" has some entertaining moments, but by and large, it's like watching a magic show when you already know how he did the trick.

Theater or Video?
Boob tube is your only option.
DVD at Amazon.com.
VHSat Amazon.com.

See cast, credit and other details about "F/X 2" at Internet Movie Data Base.