Sex, drugs and rock 'n roll.
Based on the popular magazine featuring scantily-clad women with unbelievable bust lines, Heavy Metal 2000 is the sequel to the original 1981 film Heavy Metal. This time around we get the story of filthy space pirate Tyler (voice of Michael Ironside, Total Recall) and his retrieval of a key to some sort of chamber that can grant the possessor immortality. Unfortunately, the price of immortality is madness, but never mind—who cares if you're ga-ga if you get to live forever? There's a whole backstory to this key and the race of beings who owned it, but it's too complicated and trite to write about here. Anyhow, the only one who can stop him is Julie (voiced by Julie Strain), who is also searching for her kidnapped sister. Julie speaks softly and carries two perky nipples. Tyler and Julie seem to spend endless amounts of time racing around the universe shooting at each other with really big animated guns. Tons of fun for the whole family.
I will come right out and admit it: I never saw the original Heavy Metal. After watching Heavy Metal 2000, I can't say I think this is a bad thing. Heavy Metal 2000 sports some of the most mediocre animation this side of Masters of the Universe. In an age of computer effects and intricately animated movies, Heavy Metal 2000 comes off as a shoddy, Saturday morning effort sans the creativity. Yes, there are a few scenes that feature computer generated effects. However, here's a little hint to the filmmakers: if you're going to include some CGI, make sure the rest of the animation looks good or the whole mess will look undeniably paltry in comparison. The story, such as it is, is low-rent—not one plot point comes off as original or very interesting. The characters are all blasé and flaccid; Michael Ironside rolls out his best snarling voiceover as the resident baddie, while Julie Strain sounds as if this film is her first ever acting gig. Uggh. If you listen hard enough you'll even hear punk rocker Billy Idol as the wise Odin. Note to Mr. Idol: stick with crooning "Eyes Without a Face" on nostalgia tours. Maybe Heavy Metal 2000 wouldn't have seemed so boring had it been made ten years earlier. By today's standards it's a pointless feature that's been done better in countless movies, including Titan A.E. and Disney's newly released Treasure Planet. However, if you've ever felt the need to watch an animated naked woman stuff an animal horn into a man's throat, here's your chance.
Heavy Metal 2000 is presented in a new Columbia "Superbit" edition that features enhanced sound and video presentations. The transfer is presented in the film's original 1.85:1 aspect ratio with an anamorphic enhancement. This picture looks very good with solid colors and sharp black levels throughout. There was no bleeding or pixelation anywhere in the image. Overall I can't complain about Columbia's work on this transfer—everything appears to be in top notch order. The soundtrack is presented in two options: DTS Surround and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround. Both the DTS and Dolby 5.1 mix are solid efforts with rollicking music and effects throughout. There are numerous explosions and rapid gunfire in almost every scene, making this a very hearty soundtrack. All aspects of the mix are free of any excessive hiss or distortion. Also included on this disc are English, Spanish, and Portuguese subtitles.
Like almost all the other Superbit titles, Heavy Metal 2000 is void of any and all extra features. Unless you count scene selections as an extra, in which case you've apparently paid the price for immortality.
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