Species 2

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Species 2

Species 2 stars Justin Lazard as the womanizing, JFK-like son of powerful senator James Cromwell. Lazard is chosen for mankind's first mission to Mars, but upon landing, he and another member of his crew (a comparatively plain-looking woman who is conveniently dispatched early on) are contaminated by an alien virus that transforms them from freshly scrubbed American heroes into sex-crazed alien killing machines. The government, meanwhile, has inexplicably created a clone of the alien from the first movie (Natasha Henstridge) for the ostensible purpose of studying ways to destroy the species. Soon, the strapping young astronaut is on a killing spree, and the two surviving members of the alien-fighting team from the first movie (Michael Madsen and Marg Helgenberger) are recruited to destroy Lazard before he can breed with Henstridge and create a race of super-aliens. The first Species should have been an entertainingly trashy big-budget B-movie. It had a terrific cast and a sleazy-but-potent high concept: a sex-crazed alien—with the body of a supermodel and a strong aversion to wearing clothes—being chased by a group of slumming character actors. Unfortunately, Species had all the flaws of bad B-movies (cardboard characters, weak dialogue, moronic plotting) with few of the strengths of good ones (economy, wit, visceral thrills). Species 2 is a marked improvement over its anemic predecessor, largely because it doesn't take itself nearly as seriously: Richard Belzer is cast as the president, and gruff mercenary Michael Madsen reacts to the news that there is once again a killer alien on the loose with the slightly weary resignation of a man who has just learned that his favorite team lost a game in overtime. Though it never really taps into the whole JFK-as-alien-sex-fiend plot as a source of satire, Species 2 is still the superior piece of trash its predecessor should have been.

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