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

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