Maureen Stapleton and Wilford Brimley in Cocoon: The Return (1988)

Cocoon: The Journey Back

"Cocoon" was quite a nice movie, it was amusing and charming and although it ended with some older ladies and gentlemen being beamed aboard a spacecraft to start a new life on another planet it did have closure. As such when "Cocoon: The Return" was released 3 years later it was sadly a case of the studios trying to capitalize on the popularity of the original. And it is very evident when watching it that they didn't really have much of a storyline or one which had a point but just came up with something as a vehicle for the old team to return and behave like teenagers again.

A few years after Art, Ben and Joe (Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley and Hume Cronyn) along with their wives went off to live on a far away planet they return along with Kitty (Tahnee Welch) when a group of scientists start discovering the remaining cocoons on the ocean floor. As Kitty and her Antarean friends try and save the remaining cocoons, the old men and women catch up with their earth based friends and family. But being back on Earth becomes tough for these old guys as they realise how much they missed those they left behind. And whilst they may have eternal youth when they are away from Earth the years soon start to catch up with them now they're back.

Courteney Cox as Sara in Cocoon: The Return (1988)

What is with out a doubt the biggest disappointment with "Cocoon: The Return" is the lack of a worth while, interesting storyline. What we get is a continuation of the first movie with Kitty returning to earth as the remaining cocoons are in threat of being discovered by some scientists and at the same time those old guys and girls who went off to live on another planet return to catch up with their earth based family and friends. Now that sounds actually better than it is because quite frankly the storyline about the cocoons takes a back seat as the OAP antics take precedence over them.

The thing is that yes it is fun watching the likes of Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn and Don Ameche behaving like teenagers with rampant hormones. But there is only so much of these OAP's behaving badly you can take before it becomes repetitive and as such "Cocoon: The Return" feels like it is padded out with too many scenes revolving around these loveable old guys having fun rather than delivering anything close to an interesting story.

To give it credit the whole set up with these old men and women is more that just about having fun as it once more touches on the subject of growing old, death and moving on when loved ones dies. And as such there are times when "Cocoon: The Return" is quite touching as these elements are fully embraced. But sadly so many repetitive scenes of these old men and women having fun precede these touching scenes that you become slightly numb to it all.

As for the story about the cocoons being discovered by scientists, well it is probably one of the weakest storylines which isn't helped by a permanently smiling Courteney Cox as Sara one of the main scientists. No offence to Courteney Cox as she is dazzlingly beautiful but the character itself is so weak that you almost find yourself laughing when you shouldn't.

As for the rest of the cast well it's very much a case of all the faces from the first movie returning for more of the same. So we get the trio of Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn and Don Ameche having copious amounts of fun as they act like teenagers and Jack Gilford being whiney as ever as their earth based friend Bernie. Then you have the delightful women including Jessica Tandy, Maureen Stapleton and Gwen Verdon all filling the screen with old fashioned charm as they act like young girls. And on top of that you get Steve Guttenberg, Barret Oliver and Tahnee Welch all doing pretty much the same as what they did the first time around. But it often feels that all these actors are just going through the motions as they struggle to breathe life into a dull, manufactured storyline.

What this all boils down to is that as a sequel "Cocoon: The Return" is pretty much a movie which tries to capitalize on the popularity of the original. It gives us a pretty pointless storyline and then fills the movie with the antics of the old men and women as they return to earth. It's fun for a time but the longer it goes on the duller it becomes as it gets repetitive and although it touches on a few tender subjects surrounding love, death and moving on it's by no means clever or subtle in doing so.