F/X 2: The Deadly Art of Illusion (1991) - Rotten Tomatoes

F/X 2: The Deadly Art of Illusion (1991)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

F/X 2: The Deadly Art of Illusion Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

In F/X 2: The Deadly Art of Illusion, Bryan Brown returns as movie special-effects designer Rollie Tyler. Having barely escaped with his life after being duped and exploited by the villains in the first F/X, he isn't too eager to channel his talents into police work again. He'd much rather design harmless playthings for the kiddies. Still, detective Mike Brandon (Tom Mason) manages to convince Rollie to help the cops trap a dangerous voyeur. When Brandon is killed, Rollie suspects there's more to the story than meets the eye. With the aid of his old buddy Leo McCarthy (Brian Dennehy, likewise a veteran of the first F/X), Rollie uncovers a vast conspiracy involving both the police and organized crime. Of course, this compels Rollie to come up with a series of dazzling live-action special effects to confound the bad guys.more
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: Bill Condon
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 13, 2000
Orion Home Video


Bryan Brown
as Roland "Rollie" Tyle...
Brian Dennehy
as Leo McCarthy
Philip Bosco
as Ray Silak
Tom Mason
as Mike Brandon
Dominic Zamprogna
as Chris Brandon
Lee Broker
as DeMarco
Philip Akin
as Detective McQuay
Tony De Santis
as Detective Santoni
Ross Petty
as Consiglieri
Jeri Craden
as Aunt Kate
Phil Jarrett
as 1st IAD Cop
Richard Sali
as 2nd IAD Cop
Neil Elliot
as Movie Effects Man
Leland Crooke
as Movie Director
Biff Yeager
as Police Sergeant
Foster Fell
as Policeman
Jenifer Chatfield
as Movie Scriptgirl
Kurt Reis
as Judge
Damir Andrei
as Defense Attorney
Charles Ivey
as Defendant
Caroline Yeager
as Desk Sergeant
Robert Kennedy
as Computer Store Clerk
Dwayne McLean
as Mall Guard
Gerry Quigley
as Supermarket Manager
Harvey Chao
as Chinese Vendor
Harry Booker
as Prison Priest
Bob Clout
as Confessional Priest
Jack Newman
as Art Expert
Walker Boone
as 1st Mansion Guard
Michael Rhoades
as 2nd Mansion Guard
Gene Mack
as 3rd Mansion Guard
Shane Cardwell
as 1st Mobster
Michael Woods
as 2nd Mobster
Matt Birman
as 3rd Mobster
Tony Katsaras
as Policeman
Dennis Scott
as 1st Cop
Damir Andre
as Defense Attorney
Dee McCaffrey
as Chambliss
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for F/X 2: The Deadly Art of Illusion

Critic Reviews for F/X 2: The Deadly Art of Illusion

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (7)

There should be a special category for movies that are neither good nor bad, but simply excessive.

Full Review… | October 30, 2001
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 10, 1991
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | November 16, 2001
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for F/X 2: The Deadly Art of Illusion

This sequel is more exciting and great special effects with Bryan Brown than the original. Brown seeks the help of ex-cop Brian Dennehy when he gets into trouble.

Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer


Half-hearted followup to the first film isn't nearly as good.

Anthony Valletta

Super Reviewer


The original "F/X" is a personal favorite of mine from the 80s when it comes to the suspense/thriller genre with a good dose of action. Even with that praise I'm hard pressed to believe that it really needed a sequel. The original had a solid rap-up for a good story that did not warrant the audience to revisit. Still five years after the fact "F/X 2" was released not surprisingly to a luke warm response.

Everyone's favorite intelligent movie special effects artist Rollie Tyler (Bryan Brown) returns only this time he's given up the special effects business for good and has moved on to making high tech children's toys. This doesn't stop his new lover's ex-husband to ask him to provide some nifty illusions in order to catch a killer. Obviously not learning from his first experience, Rollie accepts and predictably the stunt turns sour with his lover's ex getting his throat sliced. Smelling a cover-up, Rollie enlists the help of his old buddy Leo McCarthy (Bryan Dennehy), now a private detective, to save his life.

Typical with sequels the plot is just a muddled down carbon copy of the original. I mean what are the chances Rollie would be part of a police cover-up twice in his life-time... seriously?! His illusion trickery this time around also seem far more forced, shoed-in to the plot in order to meet the audiences expectations in how he outsmarts the baddies (though the mechanical clown is the most memorable). Due to this director Richard Franklin, responsible for the respectable sequel "Psycho II", is handcuffed to the script and Lalo Schifrin's music, though not bad, seems more like a rejected score for "Romancing the Stone".

What helps this sequel rise above its predicable plot is the return of its high caliber cast headed by Bryan Brown and Brian Dennehy. In the first "F/X" they were mostly off screen from each other but here they get plenty of time and material to bounce off one another. I also dug how they brought back Dennehy's little crush as the cutesy computer nerd. Their flirting was one of the nice highlights of the original and it's nice to see that aspect brought back.

"F/X 2" is a by-the-numbers sequel. It's just plain and simple not as engaging as the first trying desperately trying to make up for the fact by shoe-horning in scenes of "movie magic" despite our character not even being in the profession any longer. The chemistry between our two leads makes it worth a watch but not worth a hunt. If you can find it in a double feature with the first "F/X" then I say go for it as it is watchable, just not memorable.

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