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Species 2 review

We start with a lyrical vision evoking the ominous majesty of the cosmos; a pop-corn-gagging FX sequence of rickety, egg-carton-and-washing-up-liquid-bottle spaceship puppetry clearly peeled off the Red Dwarf cutting-room floor. Cut to: the surface of Mars - - a hastily cleared piece of waste ground as viewed through a pink filter, with a sentient rope of snot for a monster.

Species 2 is shit. Not so shit it's funny, or so bad it's good, or, y'know, forgivably silly in an escapist, sci-fi kind of way. Just shit. It isn't exciting, scary, fun or entertaining, and, for all of the coy glimpses of Henstridge's tit-channel in the sub-Roger Dean airbrush-strokes of the ads, it's about as sexy as wanking and smoking at the same time. This is truly is as bad as it gets.

The first incarnation of Species was a misguided mess of unsteamy sex and shabby FX. This is far, far worse. It's a flabby mound of sci-fi fanboy flesh slapped onto a brittle skeleton of woe-ful genre clichés: the reluctant maverick only-hope; the sane guy in the asylum; the jive-talkin' Will Smith wannabe; dismal spats between ethical scientists and the self-serving military; and an agonising parade of unintentionally hilarious dialogue beamed in from a bad '50s B-movie (""Put her in the cyclotron!"")

Add some charmless steals from Alien, T2 and The Thing, drop in a truly unpleasant, tacked-on rape scene and wheel out the increasingly dire Madsen (a squinting vision of shifty Stepford `cool') for a gun-to-head role reprise as security expert Lennox.

Henstridge delivers her best nursery-school nativity play performance, although at one point she does wear an attractive flowery dress while sweating. George Dzundza, meanwhile, is infrequently amusing as sweary, alien-hating Colonel Carter Burgess Jr (""We have a national fucking emergency on our hands!"") But everyone point and laugh loudest at foolish screenwriter Chris Brancato, who seems certain he's conceived a cunning, carefully disguised analogy on medical ethics and parental anxiety.

However hateful and negative you think this review is, remember: at least I got some money out of it. It'll be the other way round for you. Be warned.

A pointless and woefully adolescent stumble into the blind alley of bottom-shelf sci-fi shockers. Film-making for the Beavis & Butt-Head demographic. No wonder the horror genre is looking backward if this is the only other way forward.

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