Today I watched Keita Amemiya’s Zeiram 2 (1994)
Zeiram 2 is not just a return to the characters and setting of the original, it is also largely a retread of the same basic plot. That being said it does it all bigger and better which makes it a satisfying sequel even if it does not really grow past the bounds of the first film. The budget is markedly higher and so there are plenty of good effects, cool costumes and inventive action.
Zeiram 2 picks up some years after the events of the first, Iria and Bob have been using modern Earth as a base of operations for their space-bounty-hunting. They come under attack from an army of ne’er-do-wells after they come into possession of an ancient piece of technology. A robot is sent in as backup but it turns out that the robot is in fact an upgraded Zeiram back to wreak destruction upon pretty much anything.
Zeiram’s upgrade leads to a greater diversity of action as does Iria’s equally improved arsenal. There is also a greater diversity of problems to be solved, the environment is used much more effectively to hamper the heroes attempts at survival. The movie also, very smartly, gives more time to character development and rounds out the recurring characters more. This gives the suspense more weight and also makes the humour more natural and enjoyable. While in the first film the two earthlings were fairly useless, here they can finally grow a little and have their moments to shine.
So While this movie does not expand very much on the first’s premise, it does deliver a tighter, more well thought out version of he same. All the fun remains even if more than a few scenes and scenarios have that feeling of deja-vu. There are some inconsistencies with the story which are brought about because of a lack of exposition in some points and in others the exposition is a little too thick, but otherwise this is a very entertaining action movie with all the imagination one should expect from an Amemiya project. 4/5
for reference here is my review of the first film: