Why advertise a product you don’t really sell? I guess that’s the deal with this world; it’s always “25% more”, or “better than” the competition, or “newly improved.” Ginger Snaps II: Unleashed is like that product that promises so much, but delivers the “same as before” feeling- or experience.
Starting off beautifully after Ginger Snaps, we see Brigette (Emily Perkins), Ginger’s sister, whom infected herself at the end of the first film in order to stop Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) from unleashing her terror as a werewolf onto the world, taking shots of “wolfsbane” in order to subdue the effects of her transformation. This is an exciting idea because it starts Unleashed off where the first film kicked into high gear. But after a stalking werewolf looking to mate attacks Brigette – and a librarian stalker named Jeremy (the awesome Brenden Fletcher) is killed – Brigette finds herself trapped in a rehabilitation ward without the wolfsbane to prolong the changes.
My major gripe with Unleashed is the imagery portrayed on its official website, which really is overwhelming compared to the subdued nature of the film. Seriously, look at that image below, isn’t it awesome? That image is the “25% more” I expected in Unleashed. The ONLY time you see that image is in a dream sequence, but only showing above his shoulders and over flushed in reds and blues. So why bother with that scene, why go through all that trouble to make such a disturbing image if you’re just going to use it in a dream and not even show it? Because they wanted to make the film appear to be “better than” the original. F THAT!
If anything, this film is “less than” original, and barely equal in value to the first flick – personally I loved the first film, but I want more in a sequel. The anticipation I felt in believing that I would see Brigette transform throughout the film, like Ginger did, left me feeling disappointed to the full extent. We see Brigette’s ears elongate, we see her get a few sharp teeth, we even see her eye color change; and yet, no tail, no hair, nothing to bring the sequel up a notch.
It may sound as if I hated the film, but truly I didn’t. I actually enjoyed it; this is going to be one of the top-notch flicks you’ll find on your video shelves. It was just a major let down. The story was good, but nothing spectacular, the dialogue only mildly cheeballish, the acting above par, and the directing was well done. Emily Perkins was unbelievable as Brigette, taking her character to a new level. Ghost (Tatiana Maslany) was an excellent supporting actress; she played off this creepy, and yet psychopathic little girl with extreme talent. But some of the dialogue that was given to Ghost was ridiculous. As Brigette is putting Wolfsbane in her eyes, and explaining how it works, Ghosts says, “You like science? I do too.” Another scene, Ghost is explaining how her grandmother caught on fire and she says, “she went to stop drop and roll and she just got tangled more.” There are even more examples, but its not important.
What’s important is that Unleashed is an enjoyable film, yet nothing to get all psyched about. If you liked the first film, you will be pleased with the quality of Unleashed, but don’t expect it to be “better than” or “25% more” or “newly improved”, because it’s not, it’s like they filmed Ginger Snaps and Unleashed back to back. You’ll be able to see this overly hyped sequel in Canada as of January 30th or on US DVD April 13th thanks to the awesome Lions Gate Films.