Welcome to 90 from the ‘90s; the movie-related post in which I watch, discuss and debate a film from the 1990s – a film that I’ve NEVER SEEN. Posting on a semi-regular basis, I aim to work my way through 90 movies that I’ve previously missed/avoided, recording my thoughts along the way.

I’m going to watch good films, bad films, forgotten classics, Oscar winners and everything in between. Some of these films you’ll be surprised I’ve never seen, others you’ll completely understand why I’ve avoided them for 20+ years.

The rules are as follows:

  • The film must be from the 1990s (1990-1999)
  • The film must be a movie I’ve not watched before

Today’s unseen ‘90s movie is…

F/X2: The Deadly Art of Illusion (1991)

F/X2: The Deadly Art of Illusion is the sequel to the 1986 thriller, F/X.

Full disclosure? I’ve never watched F/X or F/X2.

I’ve had plenty of opportunities over the years to watch both of the F/X movies, as they regularly appeared on television during the 1990s, but I simply never bothered to sit down and watch them. It’s a shame, because I understand that the original F/X is quite good and I actually want to watch them both.

Starting with F/X2 is probably a mistake, because if this film is rubbish it’ll put me off the original, but hey ho, this is 90 from the ’90s, so I’ve got to start with the sequel as it’s a 90s movie! Hey, I don’t make the rules…

…oh wait, I do.

Ah well, I’m watching F/X2 anyway.

So, what do I know about this movie?

Well, I know that Cocktail (1988) star, Bryan Brown plays a special effects expert and Brian Dennehy plays a cop. Both actors were in the original and presumably they worked a case together. 

Yeah, that’s about it.

*Clicks the play button*

5mins – The film is opening on a movie set. So far, this film looks a lot of fun, with (not surprisingly) some good special effects.

7mins – There’s a creepy animatronic clown in this movie. Kill it. KILL IT!!! Nothing good can ever come from an animatronic clown. Actually, nothing good can ever come from a clown – period! 

12mins – Ooohh.. some sax music is playing in the background. Somebody somewhere is about to have sex. I hope it’s not that bloody clown.

17mins – “The microphone is in the left breast.” If you think that’s impressive, you should see what I’ve got hidden in the crease of my right arm.

25mins – Bryan Brown has been roped in by the police to work on a case involving a pervert. Why do I think this case is going to go disastrously wrong? 

26mins 20secs – He’s got a knife!

27mins – Yeah, things have gone disastrously wrong. A cop is dead, the murderer got away and no one has bothered to ask Bryan Brown if he can make them a Shirley Temple. Have they not watched Cocktail?

32mins – I kind of get the feeling that this story would carry more emotional significance if I knew what happened in F/X. I could Google it, but where’s the fun in that?  

39mins – Oh jeez, that animatronic clown is back again! It’s freaking me out. KILL IT!!!

41mins – I’m currently watching a very prolonged fight scene. This fight scene has been going on so long that I almost forgot that for the past 41 minutes, Bryan Brown has been carrying this movie by himself. Where’s Brian Dennehy? Did anyone bother to tell him he’s in this movie?

43mins 30secs – Oh, here he is. 

48mins – Now that Dennehy’s on the case he’s calling in some old favours. Basically that means flirting with a woman who would never sleep with him in a million years. Only here it is implied she probably has… because it says so in the script. 

50mins – Oh, a Cocktail in-joke! Finally. I did wonder if anyone was going to make reference to Cocktail – other than me.

52mins 45secs – Dennehy is flirting with another woman now. He’s such a ladies man. Well, according to the script anyway. 

57mins – Since Dennehy has entered this movie he seems to be stealing all of the screen time. Is there a clause that says that Bryan & Brian can’t share a scene?

58mins – Nah, I’m wrong, both Bryan and Brian are on screen together. That friggin’ clown is back too. KILL IT!!!

1hr 2mins – You know, I’m over an hour into F/X2 and I’ll be honest, I expected a few more ‘effects’. Other than that bloody clown the special effects are pretty much non-existent. 

1hr 6mins – The killer in this movie is so lame. Sure, he’s managed to kill a couple of people and get away with it, but he is the most conspicuous person around. How do people walk past him in the street and NOT presume he’s a killer? Look at him – he looks like he kills on a regular basis!

Image: ©Orion Pictures

1hr 13mins 45secs – Wow. Brian Dennehy’s date has just been killed! I did not expect that. There she was, eating a hot dog and boom, dead! Killed in a wave of bullets. What a way to go. Death by bullet… while eating a hot dog.

1hr 14mins – When I go, I hope to be eating something a little more classy than a hot dog. Maybe a Ferrero Rocher or a white chocolate Magnum. Of course, when my time comes I want it to be painless and preferably in my sleep, so maybe I should start keeping a pack of Ferrero Rocher by the side of the bed just in case. 

1hr 15mins – Note to self: Pop to Asda on your way home and buy ’emergency’ Ferrero Rocher. 

1hr 16mins – Despite witnessing his date/girlfriend get shot to death, Brian Dennehy is surprisingly calm. In fact, if I didn’t know better I’d say he’s really not arsed that she’s dead. Bet she’s glad she went on a date with you now. Oh wait, she’s dead – she doesn’t care. 

1hr 24mins 30secs – At last! Bryan Brown is cranking out the special effects! I wonder what he’s got up his sleeve? Will it be some big budget pyrotechnics? Maybe a huge stunt involving a jumbo jet? Ooohh… what about a car that splits in two to reveal another, smaller car inside?!

1hr 25mins – Oh. Some fake snow and an oscillating fan? Is this the best he can do? Is that the extent of his special effects skills?

*Shakes head*

1hr 31mins – I’d like to say that things have progressed from the fake snow incident, but we’ve now reached a point where the special effects are nothing more than Bryan Brown running around pranking people. What the heck is going on? This film has descended into a shit version of Home Alone!

1hr 36mins – While Bryan Brown is dicking about with his (not-so) special effects, Brian Dennehy has been shot! I repeat: Brian Dennehy has been shot! This has to be some kind of fake-out, right?

1hr 37mins – Yeah – it was all fake. Bit predictable that. Oh well, at least things can’t get any worse.

1hr 39mins – Oh for f… that bloody clown is back again! And it’s flying a helicopter! A helicopter!!! What next? Clowns owning and operating restaurants? 

*Shudder*

1hr 40min – I hate clowns.

*Clicks stop*

Erm…

Watchable, but not very interesting. I really wanted to like F/X 2, but ultimately it was all very underwhelming and predictable. 

F/X2 started off promising, but the longer it went on the more it just descended into a dull action movie, devoid of any real action. Plus there was no real chemistry between Bryan and Brian.  

This hasn’t put me off watching F/X – I will watch the original at some point, but as far as this sequel goes, it was a one-time only watch. Done and dusted.

For past entries in the 90 from the ’90s series, check out: Teaching Mrs. Tingle (1999)Showgirls (1995)American History X (1998)North (1994)Jack Frost (1998)Psycho (1998)A League of Their Own (1992)Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)Patch Adams (1998)My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992)You’ve Got Mail (1998)Sleepless in Seattle (1993)Graveyard Shift (1990)Johnny Mnemonic (1995)Striptease (1996) Indecent Proposal (1993)My Girl 2 (1994)The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)Poison Ivy (1996)Body of Evidence (1993)Turbulence (1997)Fatal Instinct (1993)True Romance (1993)Newsies (1992)Contact (1997)The Pelican Brief (1993)Natural Born Killers (1994)Shakespeare in Love (1998)A Perfect Murder (1998)Quigley Down Under (1990)Of Mice and Men (1992),Friday (1995)Mannequin on the Move (1991)She’s All That (1999)Double Dragon (1994)Stay Tuned (1992)Murder at 1600 (1997),Weekend at Bernie’s II (1993)My Own Private Idaho (1991)Wagons East (1994)In the Line of Fire (1993)Postcards from the Edge (1990)Universal Soldier (1992)Passenger 57 (1992)Mo’ Better Blues (1990)The Client (1994)Good Will Hunting (1997)Pump Up the Volume (1990)Mr. Nanny (1993) Fargo (1996)Hudson Hawk (1991)So I Married An Axe Murderer (1993) and Timecop (1994).