Child’s Play 2 (1990)

*. I’m sure I saw Child’s Play 2 when it came out. Thirty years later I found I couldn’t remember a thing about it. That may not mean very much — I find it happens a lot — but on the other hand . . .
*. The success of Child’s Play guaranteed a sequel. It’s pretty clear, however, that they didn’t have any new ideas. Karen and Mike (Catherine Hicks and Chris Sarandon) are both dismissed with a wave of the hand and a bit of dialogue at the beginning of the movie, allowing us to push the reset button and basically go through the same plot all over again. Chucky has come back to terrorize little Andy (Alex Vincent), but the adults (foster parents played by familiar faces Jenny Agutter and Gerrit Graham) don’t believe him until it’s too late (for them).
*. Even many of the situations are the same. There’s another scene where Chucky is in the back seat of a car and gets the drop on the driver that I thought showed a certain lack of imagination. I also thought Chucky’s foul-mouthed dialogue was starting to wear thin, and was never very witty in the first place.
*. But for all that it’s a replay it’s not a bad flick. During his commentary on Child’s Play, screenwriter Don Mancini (who also wrote this film) mentions how Child’s Play was the most naturalistic of the series and that the movies gradually became more stylized and comic. That’s evident right from Chucky’s rebirth here, which is played as slapstick. And the final meltdown takes place in a Fisher-Price toy factory with all kinds of brightly coloured Playskool machines. It’s fun, but silly and kind of weightless in a way that the first film wasn’t.
*. This may not be the worst of the Child’s Play movies, but I find it to be the least memorable. Everyone plays well, including Christine Elise as the punky big-sister Tyler, but there’s nothing new here and I just had the sense that the franchise was marking time while trying to figure out what direction it wanted to go in.

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