Friday, February 13, 2015

Quickie Retrospective: Mannequin Two: On The Move (1991)

Mannequin Two: On The Move
Director: Stewart Raffill
Starring:  Kristy Swanson, William Ragsdale, Meshach Taylor, Terry Kiser
Rated:  PG

Once again, left holding the bag
          ~Hollywood Montrose

So, when you have a successful, in terms of dollars, film what do you do?  Make another romantic comedy with the same director, Kim Cattrall and Andrew McCarthy?  NOOOO.  We gotta do Mannequin 2.  Its going to have to wait four years so people awareness and caring about the first movie is completely gone.  But do we bring them back?  Huh uh, two brand new people going through practically the same story.  For continuity freaks and fanboys, don't worry, we'll tie it all together by bringing back Hollywood, so this works as a series!  And thus, Mannequin Two: On The Move was hatched.
Coming on to direct the sequel was Stewart Rafill.  His best movie is probably Ice Pirates (Which I think is ok).  But, pull back the curtain and the rest is more fitting with Mannequin Dos.  Stewart is the man responsible the kids' E.T. knockoff Mac & Me (which yeah, I saw when I was a kid) and a movie that I want to see dearly because it looks so insanely bad, Tammy And The T-Rex.  That one has Paul Walker, Denise Richards and reteams him with Terry Kiser.  Rafill's look is uninspired and just plain cheap and generic.  The medieval scenes at the beginning honestly look like something out of Troll 2 or Leprechaun 2.  Everything just looks akin to a really big budgeted high school stage play.
The cast features early 90s "It Girl" Kristy Swanson (pre-Buffy) as the new Mannequin.  She's adorable, but her character is a bit ridiculous and way more off the chains and silly than even Kim Cattrall's was in the previous film.  But, in that one, the character managed to be charming.  I will give Swanson that she pulls off a pretty awful hair cut (Still made popular in some po-dunk towns) in the first half of the movie with ease.  What's funny as well, is when Swanson's "Jessie" becomes a mannequin (or really in this story a statue), she looks an awful lot more like January Jones than Kristy Swanson.  Fine, I'll take a jab.  I've seen her act and maybe IT WAS January Jones! 
Her male counterpart is that of William Ragsdale.  At the time the star of Herman's Head, he'll always been Charlie "You're so cool Brewster" to me from Fright Night.  Ragsdale isn't the world's greatest actor, which is why he slowly began disappearing in the 90s, but I honestly think he's pretty acceptable here and had this movie done well, I could see him finding a niche in comedy movies for a bit.  One of the other males in the film is baddie played by Terry Kiser.  Kiser is probably the best thing about the film, even if he is camping up a storm and just trying to be ridiculous at every turn.  It was only his second feature film out after Bernie (which was two years earlier).  And I still find his super long mole hair super friggin' gross.
Our link back to the first film is Hollywood Montrose, and man is it ever.  They step him up and throw him in everywhere.  The guy's flamboyancy and eccentricity is cranked up to the max in this film.  Meshach Taylor relishes in it and does what he's called upon to do, but its really a bit too much and obviously an approach of someone who "saw" Mannequin 1 and not someone who "got" Mannequin 1.  Oh man, am I really analyzing it like that?  The MANNEQUIN movies?  Sheeesh, I give up. Haha.
The whole movie is really just no good.  It waivers between being awesomely bad and then just generically boring.  But I think the generically boring wins out because for the most part this is just an unfunny comedy trying to replicate a mediocre funny comedy.  They also try to get us hooked on a new song.  Its a ballad called "Can't Believe My Eyes" performed by Gene Miller (A song also done by Air Supply, but no not here).  The song is pretty bad (IMO) and they keep playing it over and over.  I found it pretty comical ever time they would predictably start playing it.  You could almost play a game guessing or re-edit the film adding more of them to worthy moments.  Wait, scratch that, this movie is not worth that sort of time.  Anyway, when it gets to the end, the movie itself even gives up on that song and goes back to what worked the first time with pretty much the same ending from the first movie.  Probably trying to be like "Hey, before you stomp out of the theater, remember this stuff you liked and felt good about last time!".  
And really...we could talk about how I had some Mallrats flashbacks with how this movie climaxes, the weird dating service thing that Ragsdale's mom does, the dancing out at the nightclub, go cart mall chase or the meathead body builder henchman...SERIOUSLY all this stuff is in the movie (I know it sounds like I GOTTA SEE THIS, but its really not worth it), but I feel like I've already written enough about Mannequin Two: On The Move (Whatever that means).  I'm ready to move on. 

I'll be back...probably in March for another St. Patty's Day-esque retrospective which is...well, I've already told you...

Man, this movies has that trailer narrator voice that right when you hear him talk, you know you're in for a shitty movie

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