Confessions of a Film Junkie: A review of “Candyman 2: A Farewell to Flesh”
By: Brian Cotnoir
Am I really reviewing a sequel film for the second consecutive week? Oh well, this what I decided to watch this week, so here I am to talk about it. How awesome is the movie “Candyman”? I wouldn’t say that I’m a fan of the film, but I am definitely a fan of the character. Daniel Robataille aka the Candyman has to be one of my Favorite Movie Villains and one of the Most Underappreciated Horror movie icons of All-Time. A lot of that has to do with actor Tony Todd’s terrifying and sinister performance. He just makes the character so interesting that I want to know everything about him...yet, Candyman’s ultimate flaw is that his background story is not established concretely, and there are dozens of questions that fan and other movie viewers have about his origins. Well fortunately for us, some of those questions were answered in it’s 1995 sequel “Candyman 2: Farewell to Flesh”.
The film opens up in New Orleans with a recap of the Candyman legend being told by Professor Philip Purcell (the only recurring character besides Candyman from the first film). After the book signing, Purcell runs into a man named Ethan Tarrant, who claims that he betrayed his father years ago, and it resulted in his father’s death. After Purcell is physically attacked by Ethan inside of a bar, he rushes into the bathroom to splash some cold water on his face and make sure that he didn’t suffer any personal injuries. Purcell turns up dead, and Ethan is accused of committing the murder. Ethan claims that he did, it but his sister Annie—a school teacher—doesn’t believe him. After pressuring her brother, Ethan confesses that he believes it was the mythical and mysterious Candyman who murdered Purcell. Annie can’t understand why her brother would take the fall for some mythical creature, and decides to do some investigating. She learns more about Candyman’s legend from her students, and again writes his legend off as nothing more than a silly little ghost story, but once one of her students goes missing she begins to wonder if Candyman is more than just a legend.
|Oh so he's not going to sing a song about Willy Wonka?|
So what I like about “Candyman 2: Farewell to Flesh” is we did get more of the Candyman’s background, at times this film felt more like a prequel than a sequel. Tony Todd is still terrifying and still phenomenal in his role as the Candyman, and the story is better than in the first “Candyman” film; at least in my opinion. However, the film does have its flaws. Part of the allure of Todd’s Candyman in the first film was we didn’t really see him on screen a lot, and he didn’t have a lot of lines, so that made me more interested in finding out about him. Now, while I was happy to get more of the Candyman’s background story, I just feel like Tony Todd was shown too much in this film, and was given way too much dialogue. Every time Todd spoke in “Candyman” it was intense and spine-tingling. Now the more he speaks in “Candyman 2: Farewell to Flesh” the less intense his words become, and he’s just not as scary. There was also this random Canjun DJ whose voice could be heard throughout the film, but he wasn’t really narrating, and I can’t figure out why they chose to use him so much in the film, because his presence does not affect the plot in anyway. Like at least the DJ character in the movie “The Warriors” served a purpose as to why she was in the film, but the DJ character in “Candyman 2” serves no purpose. He doesn’t help Annie in anyway, he’s not revealed to be the one character who knows how to stop the Candyman, hell they don’t even make him like a lackey character whose being controlled by the Candyman to mislead and taunt the main characters...he’s just there prattling on with his fake-a$$ Canjun accent. I honestly wish they would’ve done away with this character all together.
And again, this film felt like it was trying to cram too much story into just a 95 minute film. At times, it felt like I was watching a Prequel/Origins story, and other times it felt like it was a Sequel to the first film, and still left me with a lot of question (that I hope will all be answered in the third “Candyman” film). Not to mention a lot of the Digital and Computer Generated effects for this film were VERY primitive by today’s standards, and looked very sloppy and unprofessional. I’d say on it’s own, “Candyman 2: Farewell to Flesh” is a solid 3-out-of-5 stars. It had a good story premise, and Tony Todd is still great as the Candyman, and if any film studio ever planned to do a reboot of the “Candyman” franchise, I would recommend that they use this films story to base the new films story off of; I think it has a lot of great ideas, and could make for a great Horror film reboot.