Thursday 26 March 2020

Look Who's Talking Too (1990)

I knew there had to be a reason for me having never seen any of the sequels to Look Who's Talking before now. That would be because they may be awful (the verdict on the next one is due next week). Where the first film had the novelty of allowing viewers hear what a baby may be thinking as they make sense of the world around them, this sequel decides to . . . ummmm . . . actually, it decides to just keep doing that more. In a way that is much less entertaining.

James (John Travolta) and Mollie (Kirstie Alley) are now an item. There's another baby on the way. It's a girl. So Mikey (still voiced by Bruce Willis) has to figure out what is required of him in his new role of big brother to Julie (voiced by Roseanne Barr). Meanwhile, things start to become strained between James and Mollie, a situation not helped by the arrival of Mollie's brother, Stuart (Elias Koteas).

With Amy Heckerling returning to the director's chair, this time co-writing the script with Neal Israel, you would hope that she had an idea good enough to help her recapture the magic of the first film. That's not the case. Look Who's Talking Too isn't without very occasional moments of fun (one being the unexpected treat of watching Gilbert Gottfried dancing alongside Travolta), but it generally tries to rework elements of the first film with less wit and smarts. That's what many sequels do, of course, but it's harder to enjoy something that feels a lot lazier and poorly handled.

The adults don't do a bad job. Travolta and Alley still work well together, and I am always happy to see Koteas have some screentime. The aforementioned Gottfried cameo is as bewildering as it is highly amusing. If the film somehow managed to sideline the kids and stay focused on the adults then it could have been an okay, if unspectacular, comedy about parents dealing with the various issues that life throws at them. But this is a film trying to focus on the kids, and it's the kids who do the worst work. To be fair, they're not exactly to blame. Remember when Mikey seemed a bit too old by the end of Look Who's Talking to continue communicating with the inner monologue of Bruce Willis and not his own words? Yeah, that's a much bigger problem here, what with him being an older character, and the child seemingly unable to stop wanting to babytalk to anyone close enough to him in every scene. Although Julie is younger, it also feels as if she has already gone beyond the point of just having an inner voice. Willis and Barr deliver their lines in a fairly perfunctory manner, which also doesn't help, but there are a couple of fun voice cameos from Damon Wayans and Mel Brooks, with the latter portraying a bizarre "talking" toilet.

It's a shame that they didn't decide to either do away with the inner voice gimmick, or perhaps mix that inner voice with whatever the kids might have been able to say in person, because this could have been more bearable if that hadn't been the focus. As it is, you will end up smiling far too infrequently, rolling your eyes at the contrived finale, and being glad when it's all over.


You can buy this set here.
Americans can also buy that, or get this set here.

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