Picks and Pans Review: The Fly Ii

updated 02/27/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/27/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

To anyone planning to attend this film: First, take a plane trip. Be sure to save the convenient paper bag from the seat pocket in front of you. Bring it to the theater. Next, do not even think about eating anything. Finally, do not close your eyes during the gory, anatomically insightful or otherwise yucky parts, because you won't see more than 15 seconds' worth of movie. The original remake of The Fly was stupidly disgusting, too, but before director David Cronenberg went loopy, Jeff Goldblum registered a substantial performance as a brilliant scientist who makes a clumsy error that turns him into an ill-tempered fly. In this movie, Eric (Mask) Stoltz plays the son of the Goldblum character; like Goldblum, Stoltz is an accomplished actor, but before he has a chance to do anything, guts are spilling everywhere. The idea is that because of the insect genes he inherited, Stoltz grows up amazingly fast. By age 5, he looks, thinks and acts like an adult—the sort of adult who when he's with his girlfriend, Daphne (Spaceballs) Zuniga, starts looking as if he'd really rather be buzzing around an open sore. Soon Stoltz has metamorphosed into giant fly status and is squishing, stomping, flinging about and dripping powerful digestive juices onto every evildoer in sight, with the exception of the person who talked him into accepting this part. What happens will not surprise anyone who has seen Son of Frankenstein. The film is the first directing job for Chris Walas, who needed four writers to do the screenplay. (It must have been fatiguing to have to keep writing "Slime oozes out as body twitches.") Walas has a reputation as a special-effects genius (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Gremlins, The Fly), but as a director, he would seem to be in, oh, the larval stage of development. (R)

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