Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day 257: Hitcher II: I've Been Waiting For You - Rank 2.5/5


"The Hitcher." What a weird film to choose for a straight-to-DVD sequel. "The Hitcher" is a fairly obscure title as it is, and it's certainly not like it raked in a ton of dough. Not only that, but the original was also a film that not only required a great suspension of disbelief - it necessitated taking your disbelief, packing it in a box and shipping it across country (though, admittedly, "The Hitcher" is a guilty pleasure for me). And yet, here we are.

The sequel is entertaining enough, though it has two strikes against it. First, it requires an even greater suspension of disbelief than the original, which I can live with. But, that brings me to strike number two: Jake Busey is no Rutger Hauer. Hauer was positively intimidating in the first film. You had no doubt he was a serial killer (in either the film or real life for that matter). Busey? Not so much. He waltzes through the film with a puckish glee that seems uncharacteristic of the "Hitcher" character.

The premise is that he is the reincarnation of the devil that C. Thomas Howell's Jim Halsey was plagued by twenty years earlier. Howell returns as his character, along Kari Wuhrer as his fiance. Howell serves as a source of exposition (though unnecessarily so - after all, how many folks who have never heard of "The Hitcher" are going to buy a copy of "Hitcher II?") as well as a reason for the pair to end up back in Texas as he hopes to resolve the inner turmoil that's been plaguing him for the past two decades. After that, he's promptly killed and soon Wurher is pitted against Busey's "Hitcher." The film is mildly entertaining, but to me, all it truly accomplished was putting me in the mood to rewatch the original again.

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