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IF2: Interceptor Force 2

A brand new cranky shape-shifting alien pays a visit to planet Earth—and this time it's really mad

*IF2: Interceptor Force 2
*Starring Olivier Gruner, Roger R. Cross, Elizabeth Gracen, Adrienne Wilkinson and Nigel Bennett
*Directed by Phillip J. Roth
*Written by Patrick Phillips
*SCI FI Channel
*Premieres Saturday, Nov. 30, at 9 p.m. ET/PT

By Kathie Huddleston

T hey're back. It's been four years since Sean Lambert (Gruner) went up against the shape-shifting alien that wiped out his team and had to be nuked out of existence. Interceptor Force is now a government organization that is considered "the final line of defense," and Lambert is once again called upon to check out the crash of an alien ship, this time in Russia. Things are even dicier, however. It appears the alien's target is a Russian nuclear power plant.

Our Pick: B-

Lambert and his buddy, Nathan McAllister (Cross), lead a new IFORCE team to the site, where they meet up with the Russian soldiers who have already secured the area. The Russian commander refuses to let Lambert's team enter the plant, insisting that his team check things out first. The Russian soldiers find themselves fighting something for which they're not prepared, as the cranky alien prepares to blow up the power plant in an effort to cause an explosion that will kill millions of people and have global implications.

When the Russian soldiers don't return, Lambert and his team go in and find bodies everywhere. While they do have a couple of weapons that may be able to hurt the silicon-based creature, the events begin to play on their paranoia. Since the alien can impersonate anyone it kills, each member of the team becomes suspect.

Unfortunately, the team doesn't have time to sort out who's who. There's a bunch of nuclear warheads with a timer that's set to go off in the plant, and if Lambert can't figure out how to kill the alien and his team can't stop the timer, the fallout will be "1,000 times greater than Chernobyl."

Bigger, badder and even better

IF2: Interceptor Force 2 is bigger, badder and has better special effects than the original 1999 SCI FI film, which, at the time, was the channel's top-rated film ever. This time an alien with an attitude isn't just threatening a little Mexican town. No, it's end-of-the-world time if our heroes don't save the day. Of course, there are still plenty of silly story elements, but none that seem to matter once the action starts.

Once again, the producers have brought in a decent cast to back up action guy Olivier Gruner. Fans of genre shows will recognize some of their favorites, with Roger Cross (First Wave) as McAllister and Elizabeth Gracen (Highlander) as the tough Sikes standing out.

The story itself has plenty of goofy moments and plot holes. Yes, it would be nice to have done without the beautiful-babe-scientist love interest, the pigheaded Russian commander or what ends up being a one-note performance by the alien, but Interceptor Force 2 isn't about making an original film. It's about making a film with a bigger scope with lots of action and some cool special effects. Screenwriter Patrick Phillips does have some fun with the paranoia the situation creates, and the script works best when he focuses on the interaction with the IFORCE team members.

However, the best thing about Interceptor Force 2 is the special effects. There is a very nifty opening sequence as the alien ship leaves its base and travels to Earth. Later, there are lots of scenes when the alien interacts and fights with the actors. The CGI is top-notch and really makes Interceptor Force 2 more than just another film about a nasty shape-shifting impostor alien that wants to destroy the Earth.

Fans of the first film should enjoy Interceptor Force 2 and those who missed the original film will have no trouble picking up on the story. While IF2 could certainly be smarter and more original, there's plenty of action, including a cool-looking badass alien, and Gruner knows how to make a fight look good. — Kathie

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Also in this issue: Die Another Day, Dinotopia and Santa Jr.




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