Heavy MetalMichael IronsideJulie Strain
Heavy Metal 2000
Medium: film
Year: 2000
Director: Michael Coldewey, Michel Lemire
Writer: Simon Bisley, R. Payne Cabeen, Kevin Eastman, Carl Macek, Eric Talbot
Keywords: Heavy Metal, animation, SF, boobs
Country: Canada, Germany
Actor: Michael Ironside, Julie Strain, Billy Idol, Pier Paquette, Sonja Ball, Brady Moffatt, Rick Jones, Arthur Holden, Alan Fawcett, Jane Woods, Elizabeth Robertson, Luis de Cespedes, Terrence Scammell, Vlasta Vrana
Format: 88 minutes
Url: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119273/
Website category: SF
Review date: 26 August 2010
I like the design. They've drawn some atmospheric backgrounds. This film is taking place in a dirty, unfriendly, immersive SF universe, but what's more it's giving it lots of screen time. I found it evocative, actually.
I have now run out of good things to say about Heavy Metal 2000.
It's not a horrible movie, but it's deeply mediocre and not really worth anyone's time. Firstly, some background. Heavy Metal is a comics magazine that's best known for having lots of nudity in it, but more importantly has lots of stories that are beautifully painted and/or from respected European artists who'd otherwise be almost completely unknown in America. A while ago it got bought by Kevin Eastman, who created the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. However in addition to that, Heavy Metal is also a 1981 animated movie inspired by the magazine that's basically an anthology package of random cool nonsense and nudity. It's not a classic or anything, but it's kind of fun.
Heavy Metal 2000 is the follow-up movie, except that it's not an anthology and has a single storyline instead. It's a bit like the last and most boring segment, Taarna, of the original film, except that this time no one rides a pterodactyl. I don't think there's a single interesting thing about it. The characters are one-note, macho and unlikeable. The plot would still feel formulaic as a twenty-minute Saturday morning cartoon. It's not ambitious enough even to be bad. It's just stolid and unremarkable, the storytelling equivalent of only eating bread and potatoes for a month. However the corollary of this is that it could have been far worse. For the most part I didn't mind the film and was even sort of enjoying it in a neutral kind of way, but I'm afraid I did get a bit bored by the last twenty minutes. There's fighting and stuff. The end.
Frankly, what matters here are the visuals. I've already praised the backgrounds. There's also some passable violence, but unfortunately the nudity is rubbish. The characters are drawn too simplistically to come alive, either clothed or otherwise. I couldn't tell the difference between the two female characters, for instance, except by remembering that the one who'd been captured by the villain was Kerrie and the revenge-driven one with an unpleasant attitude was Julie.
The puerile sexuality gives the film a bit of personality, though. There are some wildly phallic spaceships here, while the flight control system at Neo-Calcutta gives Julie approach coordinates of A-N-U-S-6-3-7-0 and a visa file number of U-R-F-U-K-D-8-8-1. It's also worth mentioning the heavy metal soundtrack. I'm not saying I'd buy the CD or anything, but in this context I like it.
The most famous name in the voice cast is Julie Strain, wife of Kevin Eastman and the star of a ridiculous number of ridiculous films. You've got to love some of these titles. Armageddon Boulevard (1998), L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies: Return to Savage Beach (1998), Babewatch Biker Babes (1999), The Bare Wench Project 2: Scared Topless (2001), etc. There's probably more ingenuity in those titles than in some of the movies. In fairness she's appeared in a few better-known films like Beverly Hills Cop III and Naked Gun 33 1/3, but only in roles like Annihilator Girl and Dominatrix. Of all her filmography, I'm probably the most tempted by a very small H.P. Lovecraft movie series I hadn't known about: The Unnamable II: The Statement of Randolph Carter (1993), in which she plays "Creature". Anyway, Julie Strain is extremely tall and quite has a fan following, so her cartoon avatar here both looks and sounds like her. Her voice acting isn't great, but it's not painful or anything.
This film is neither good nor terrible. It simply exists, lumpen and uninspired. There's no reason to hate it, unless you're comparing it to what you were hoping it might be, or even perhaps its predecessor. It has a video game sequel, called Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.2. It's an exercise in sex and violence that might almost have been worth watching one day if you were bored, if it weren't for the existence of Japan. Compare this film with anime and laugh until you burst. You could still do worse, though.