Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (3)
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| DVD (3)
A step up from Critters 3, even if the Crites often register as an afterthought.
A dearth of adolescent ideas and cheap effects that appeal to the intellect of a nine-year-old.
Filmed back to back alongside 'Critters 3' and the first critter movie not set on Earth.
This movie follows on where the third movie left off. Charlie (Don Keith Opper) is about to destroy the last of the Crite eggs but is stopped by an activated hologram message from his old bounty hunter friend Ug (Terrence Mann). Ug tells Charlie to load the eggs into an incoming pod so they can be sent to him (in deep space). Of course Charlie being the bumbling goof that he is, gets trapped inside the pod and whisked away into deep space. 52 years later the pod is picked up by a salvage ship who eventually bring it to a space station so as to hand it over to Ug. The crew find the station abandoned and under control of a malfunctioning central computer; things get worse when the crite eggs hatch.
So yes this movie does sound like your standard alien horror flick. Team of space pirate types find a mysterious pod. They take it to an equally mysterious space station. Alien is unleashed and everyone gets eaten, the end. But lets be honest here, what did you really expect from a fourth Critters movie? The salvage team of roughneck space pirates are your stereotypical bunch really. You have the captain (Anders Hove) who this time is the ships weirdo. The token young guy who we the audience is supposed to root for. The token sexy female (Angela Bassett). The token tough guy with rebellious hairstyle. And the token intelligent nerdy looking guy (Brad Dourif) who basically does anything technical.
The space station they are instructed to go to is again your very typical looking space station type location. Everything is generally very dark and industrial looking with lots of railings, pipework, grates, shafts, dim lighting to disguise obvious sets, plenty of similar corridors, and control panels. Here and there you might see a room that is white in colour because its a medical bay or sleeping quarters or whatever. But overall its a very gunmetal grey looking environment.
Visual effects wise its as you might expect. The exterior space effects with ship flybys are pretty bad looking with terrible model and bluescreen work. Interior sets were actually fine but limited in a [i]Red Dwarf/i] kinda way. It was amusing to see the actors perform on the exact same corridor set over and over but from different angles (obviously supposed to be different sections). Twas also amusing that there were so many ducks and shafts that could fit an adult human in and had grates at either end that are so easily pulled off. Handy for quick escapes and whatnot.
As with the previous movies the actual crite effects are once again on top form. I'm actually surprised because you'd half expect the creatures to look worse with each sequel (often the norm) but here they still look just as good. They haven't been played with design wise, they're still just the same as the original crites. Same colouring, same size, same little claws, same glowing red eyes, but apparently no dart action this time.
I guess the real problems arise from the plot (not that you'd expect anything more). For instance, why exactly has Ug turned into a bad guy for this one? He's apparently becomes a part of the intergalactic council (and something called TerraCor? Is that part of the council??) and has become a 'company man' so to speak, [i]'things change'[/i]. But I find it difficult to believe that Ug would flip on his old friend like that. Secondly, why does Ug actually want the eggs? This is never really explained. I'm guessing that now he's evil he wants to do evil things with them? Then looking at the pod and how Charlie got stuck in there; how come he didn't age over the 52 years in...deep sleep? Or was he frozen? The pod was designed to look after the eggs for a long period of time, not a human. So how come Charlie even survived this?? Then there's the question of how the remaining salvage crew knew how to fly Ug's ship at the end, eh why ask?
Despite the obvious issues with this movie I actually think its OK. This is only the second time I've seen this but its not as bad as I thought it was. Sure its not as good as the first two but it holds its own. The change of scenery is refreshing for the franchise (as was the previous third movie locale). The effects are generally solid, the cast is surprisingly decent, and the horror and gore is acceptable (but nothing amazing). Its played a bit more seriously this time with not as much comedy, but it just about works. I recommend if you like the previous entries or simply enjoy a good silly horror comedy.
im pretty sure Brad Dourif is still trying hard to not be known as "the guy from critters 4" by appearing in such contemporary classics as "drop dead sexy" and "National Lampoons Lucky virgins 8"
Critters 4 is the worst critters film in the franchise. The third one was a fun, mediocre ride, but this film is pretty pointless. The story is poorly crafted even by Critters film standards. The film could have been a fine end to an amusing series, but it ends up being a failure. The first two Critters films were great fun, and the third was amusing as well, but this last one feels like they scrapped the bottom of the barrel, and didn't focus on building on a fun. I'm sure that given a rewrite, Critters 4 could have been a fine conclusion. But theres just too many things going wrong on screen. I personally feel they should've just made three Critters films and left it at that. The idea is interesting, but the story is poorly crafted and you lose interest after a while. this is a film that should have been made only if the story was strong enough. What you have with Critters 4 is a film that tries to take off , but doesn't because of a bad script that recycles the same old tired ideas.
Surprisingly dull and boring finale to the series which see's the Critters - all two of them - riot in a space station in the year 2045. Things just got a little too serious, there was no fun factor and very little mayhem. Brad Dourif won't look back on this as one of his high points.
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