I loved “The Hidden”, the greatest of the surprisingly durable “alien cop chases bad alien on earth” genre. Kyle MacLachlan and Michael Nouri were excellent in the central roles, the various alien-possessed humans were all good…then, in 1993, they decided to make a straight-to-video sequel, featuring no returning cast members. But I’ll reserve judgement!
No good movie, though, has ever started by spending its first 15 minutes recapping the events of its prequel. It doesn’t even bother doing all the best bits! Anyway, after the alien exploded at the end of the first film, a dog just strolled into the middle of a crime scene, picked up a piece of alien flesh and strolled out. Luckily, that piece was an egg or something, because it takes over the dog, get itself to a disused factory, lays eggs and then goes into sort-of-hibernation for 15 years.
If you’ve seen any low-budget movie, you’ll know that this factory will be the location for a good half of what’s to come. The alien cop from the first one realises the alien didn’t properly die (and has conveniently mutated Nouri to the point he can be played by a different actor), but he dies and then backup from his home planet turns up, to meet with Nouri’s daughter, now all grown up. He does half a bad Kyle MacLachlan impression, they fall in love (given their first meeting nearly results in one of them getting shot, she warms to him incredibly quickly), etc.
It’s all fairly standard. The problem is, they almost deliberately ignore the rules they set up in the first movie, and they were good rules! Both the alien cop and the daughter could sense whether people were aliens or not just by looking at them, now, not so much; and the alien which would have been an egg at the time, remembers stuff which went on in the first movie. That any tiny fragment of alien could become a new alien just seems a stupid “what’s the best way to make a sequel?” 4am writers’ room decision. Why didn’t the good aliens send like a thousand agents to kill the bad guy alien? Why just one, if it’s so important?
Because the first movie used the city so well, this sequel is a bit like making “Titanic 2” and setting it on a liferaft. But even saying that, it’s not terrible – the two central performances are okay, some of the action is fun…it just feels so pointless. I’d rate this below “Alien Space Avenger”, to be honest. That had slightly less people sat around talking.
Rating: thumbs down