Gremlin's Attack the Big Apple
Having moved to the Big Apple, Billy (Zach Galligan) and Kate (Phoebe Cates) find themselves working for New York media mogul Daniel Clamp (John Glover) in his mighty, high tech office block. When Billy discovers Gizmo has been captured following the death of his owner and is being kept in a Science Lab in the same building he goes and gets his long lost friend. But things don't run smoothly when Gizmo accidentally gets a soaking and a new breed of evil gremlins start taking over the office block with devilish plans to take over New York.
I'm unashamed to admit that Joe Dante's "Gremlins" is one of my favourite movies; balancing comedy, horror and cuteness it's a hugely entertaining movie. But I had my doubts about "Gremlins 2: The New Batch" when the news came that it was going to be made. Would it just be a rehash of what we had in "Gremlins" and if not how could they take it to the next level. Well where else to take a movie if you want to take it to the next level and make it bigger, New York of course a favourite amongst movie makers. Plus as well as bringing back a few familiar faces, why not introduce several well known actors and increase the anarchy that these Gremlins get up to. Yes "Gremlins 2: The New Batch" is a bigger and better movie which gets better and better every time you watch it.
The thing with "Gremlins 2: The New Batch" is that to top what went on in "Gremlins" director Joe Dante had to pull out all the stops when it came to craziness. As such the emphasis of the movie has changed and so gone are the introductions and the focus turns to being funnier, crazier and more anarchic than ever. And there was no need to make it more complex or darker, just pedal to the metal fun and Dante achieves it. But I will admit that the first time I watched "Gremlins 2: The New Batch" I was a little disappointed as it seemed more like a collection of sketches, but the more you watch it the more it grows on you. Plus it pokes fun or mentions so many other classic movies as well as well known faces/ books that you end up noticing more and more each time you watch it.
As for an actual storyline, well frankly there isn't one, well not one which really is pivotal to the movie. Yes Billy and Kate have moved to New York and are working in unfulfilling jobs. The little old man who looked after Gizmo in his curiosity shop has died and the homeless Mogwai has been captured by scientists who happen to work in the same office block as Billy and Kate. But to be honest the storyline isn't important it is this time around just a vehicle for fun..
What does make "Gremlins 2: The New Batch" feel more than just a rehash of the original is along with the return of Zach Galligan as Billy, Phoebe Cates as Kate as well as Dick Miller as Mr Futterman there are numerous cameos including John Glover, Kathleen Freeman, Robert Prosky and most notably Christopher Lee as the head of the science laboratory. Lee near enough parodies himself from all those Hammer Horror movies he appeared in and it is entertaining to watch.
But the real stars of "Gremlins 2: The New Batch" are the gremlins not because the puppetry is in anyway superior to their previous outing but because there is a much wider array of characters. Like in the original there is the ring leader but also a variety of wacky, crazy and brainy gremlins which are all funny in their own right. Plus this time round the gremlins are more vocal and this gives them a further dimension which they didn't have in the original. Plus of course there is Gizmo who is as cute and adorable as ever.
What this all boils down to is as a sequel "Gremlins 2: The New Batch" is in that rare group of movies which are as good as, if not better than, the original. It may not have a really good storyline but you don't really expect it as all you really want is gremlin fuelled anarchy and "Gremlins 2: The New Batch" delivers this in waves of chaotic scene after chaotic scene.