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Overall Rating
3.33

Awesome40.74%
Worth A Look: 18.52%
Average: 3.7%
Pretty Bad: 7.41%
Total Crap: 29.63%

1 review, 21 user ratings


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Mannequin 2: On the Move
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by Scott Weinberg

"One of the most awful sequels in the grand pantheon of awful sequels."
1 stars

Ah, the sequel. Surely nothing stinks of quality and craftsmanship like a sequel. I'm not talking about those shoddy follow-ups that were created solely to win awards, like Godfather 2, but the REAL sequels. The ones to comedy flicks that inexplicably made money. The 1980's and early 90's were positively expectorating great sequels every week, and if you think I'm nuts, then you've never had the pleasure of sitting through Mannequin 2, Major League 2, Weekend at Bernie's 2 and Police Academy 2. Now THERE are some well-crafted sequels.

Varied reactions of friends when I informed them that I'd be reviewing Mannequin 2: On the Move:

Erik: "Dude. Too easy. Fish in a barrel."

Oz: "Better you then me, you masochistic jew, you."

Thom: "There was a sequel to Mannequin?"

With support like this behind me, I trudged off to the video store to actually rent a movie called Mannequin 2: On the Move. Yeah, I'd seen bits and pieces of it on cable TV, but I wanted to get the full "Mannequin" experience, plus the barely-stifled giggles from the idiot at the video store made me smile.

A brief sidetrack into cinematic history:

In 1986, I read that a new movie was about to start production in my hometown of Philadelphia, PA. Other than a random Rocky sequel, very few films had been filmed in Philly, so I was quite excited to check out the locations. The original Mannequin was filmed mainly at the historic old John Wanamaker's store in Center City, and it was kind of a thrill to see a movie being made in the same spot where I'd seen the Christmas light show every year. (Yeah, weird that a Jewish kid would be taken annually to a Christmas light show, but there you have it.) Based on the amount of lights, cameras, and people running about, my 16-year-old mind conceived of some massive cinematic masterpiece...and it was being made in my home town!

A few months passed and I almost forgot about the whole thing. (This was long before the Internet was around to forcibly jam movie news down your throat through the use of pop-up ads and something called "Harry Knowles".) Imagine my mild interest when I noticed an ad for the movie Mannequin! Hey cool! So I saw the movie and kinda liked it - partially because I thought it was funny, but mainly because I'd proudly branded it a "Philly" flick. Audiences made Mannequin a surprise hit, grossing over $42 million in 1987 dollars. Critics widely dismissed the film as low-minded and poorly-directed slapstick with no heart, no edge, and essentially zero laughs. (It would take another 14 years before I'd realize how right they were. Mannequin is almost unwatchably amateurish.) But, like I said, the flick made some coin, so Hollywood logic dictated that a sequel was in order.

Let me put it this way: Imagine you're feeling the worst dental pain imaginable. That's Mannequin. Now imagine that same excruciating dental pain, only now a 300-pound mule is repeatedly kicking you squarely on your unprotected testicles. That's Mannequin 2. It's so bad that it may force you to re-think your passion for movies and consider taking up thumbsucking-in-a-fetal-position as your newest hobby. Mannequin 2 is so bad that you'd easily accept my supposition that the film was in fact directed by three spiders, a goat, and a dedicated gust of wind. I've seen meals that were better movies than Mannequin 2.

Since I dropped three bucks to rent this abysmal fart of a film, I feel I should at least give you a taste of what it's about. It's about a mannequin who comes to life once in a while, the dolt she woos, and the world's most unrealistically flamboyant and atrociously obnoxious homosexual character ever conceived by a carbon-based life form. There's the requisite "back story" dealing with reincarnated princesses, magical necklaces, and goofball villains - but let's cut to the chase. This movie deserves to be flushed more than it does watched.

William Ragsdale (the "head" in Herman's Head) gives a stellar performance in the film. Well, he would be stellar were he playing the color white, but since he's expected to portray an actual human being, let's just say he's more transparent than Wonder Woman's jet. Kristy Swanson plays the titular dummy, and she does indeed go "on the move" in that she often walks and moves her arms about. Aside from being cute and perky, she's also a real dolt where punchlines are concerned. Meshach Taylor (the only actor with the distinguished honor of appearing in both Mannequin epics) takes his 'mincing, shrieking, and moronic' character from Part 1 and amplifies the mincing, shrieking horror of it all to a literally unbearable degree. For those fascinated by lesser-known character actors who will do literally any movie in the universe for 5 grand, Terry Kiser (Yep, dead old Bernie himself! What an actor!) and Stuart Pankin show up to humiliate themselves mercilessly. I've seen starving kids in Somalia with more pride.

While the moviegoing drones of America deserve most of the blame for Mannequin 2's inception, some responsibility must lie with the filmmakers. Michael Gottlieb and Edward Rugoff were the screenwriters for the original, and if you thought Mannequin was some freak aberration of bad moviemaking, keep in mind that these two whack-jobs also gave the world Double Take, The Shrimp on the Barbie, and Mr. Nanny. The four (!!) screenwriters for Mannequin 2 all went on to pen sitcoms for a living, except for one (Betsy Israel) who hasn't worked since.

Look, I can see how the original Mannequin could be high up on some movie freak's guilty pleasure list. Although it's a clumsy and childishly-made film, there may be little bits of fun to be had. Mannequin 2, however, is filmmaking at its most painfully stupid and howl-inducingly inept. More of a lazy remake than an actual sequel, the only thing "on the move" about this flick will be the effect it has on your bowels. And yes, much to my chagrin, large portions of this awful, awful sequel were also filmed in beautiful, scenic Philadelphia - and for that, I weep almost monthly.

If I could make one suggestion to my hometown's Film Bureau, let it be this: If the slack-jawed mouth-breathers ever show up asking to film "Mannequin 3: Still Partially Undead!" here, I pray you bludgeon them to death with a cheese steak. We already have Eagles fans; we don't need another scourge like these damn Mannequin flicks.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=2330&reviewer=128
originally posted: 07/10/02 14:29:17
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User Comments

9/09/09 JB If it was so bad, then why did the writers of "Enchanted" steal the script? 3 stars
5/18/08 Jeff Anderson An improvement over the 1st somewhat thanks to a bouncy, good natured attitude & it's fun. 4 stars
11/16/07 Joe Slade This movie is great. Mark Gray gives an oscar performance! 5 stars
10/20/06 Michelle S IT was Hilarious! Didn't like 1 but loved 2 5 stars
9/18/06 Raymond North I liked Mannequin, but I could not stomach this movie, it just stank. 2 stars
6/10/05 Heather I saw this movie as a small child and since then it has had a place in my heart... 4 stars
7/25/04 Scott total family entertainment 5 stars
7/16/04 corvettebabe awesome movie 5 stars
5/01/04 Marshall I love this movie 5 stars
1/02/04 Johnny Trajkovski Love it, mannequin 1 best, Part 2 not so good but still ok 5 stars
9/03/03 Vinnie fun to make fun of, classic music, and kristy swanson is hot! 5 stars
8/07/03 Grace WU I don't know why so many people said it is a bad movie. I think this moive is romantic and 5 stars
4/09/03 Mayra Lomeli Its such a great movie, so romantic and funny, I like it very much. 4 stars
3/06/03 Danielle I like the movie very much. I even waited for a DVD release on the stores. 5 stars
2/10/03 Dan Bullshit mate, this film is a veritable cinematic gem. I love it and i also love the eagles 5 stars
9/30/02 Charles Tatum So bad I plucked out my eyes and pissed on them 1 stars
7/11/02 Mr Math Mind numbing. 1 stars
4/25/02 Butterbean Why was this made? The story didn't even bother to build from the first movie. 2 stars
3/31/02 michelle its... o..k... not that bad. 4 stars
1/27/02 Geegorp Screw the world - I love this movie. Rare that cinema romance lacks all argument. Adorable 5 stars
10/22/01 Andrew Carden Prtety Good Acutally. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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  02-Oct-1991 (PG)

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