Eddie & The Cruisers II: Eddie Lives!
Michael Rhoades, Anthony Sherwood, Mark Holmes, David Matheson, Paul Markle, Kate Lynch, Harvey Atkin, Vlasta Vrana, Martha Quinn, Merrill Shindler, Sunny Joe White, James Rae, Michael 'Tunes' Antunes, Ulla Moreland Update Cast
In 1964, Eddie Wilson, the leader of the up-and-coming band "Eddie and the Cruisers," had a falling-out with the head of Satin Records over their new album, "Season in Hell." The angry Eddie took off in his car, and tragedy struck.
In the early hours of the morning, Eddie's car was pulled from the river, apparently having driven off a bridge. Eddie's body was never found.
But, as we saw at the end of the previous film, Eddie survived, and is now in hiding.
20 years later, we find Eddie living in Montreal. Under the name of Joe West, he's gotten himself a construction worker job, and has recently met an artist, Diane Armani, who wants to paint him (his face).
New tapes have been discovered of Eddie apparently performing with someone else, and Satin Records wants to exploit the hell out of them by releasing them as singles as well starting a "Eddie Lives" promotion, where Satin Records will give a cash reward to anyone who has proof of the whereabouts of Eddie. This plot has no connection to the main plot and could have been dropped.
Eddie decides to start a new band (called Rock Solid), comprising of Rick Diesel, a player for a club band who Eddie takes under his wing to improve his guitar skills; Stewart Fairbanks, a concert pianist; Hilton Overstreet, a sax player that Eddie once saw perform; Charlie Tanzie, a drummer recruited for, not only his drum skills, but his possible female sex symbol status and Quinn Quinley, a decent bass player who boarded along with Charlie.
Eddie's gruff demeanor whips the band in shape, and they play many clubs and even a college before they're recruited to play the Montreal Spring Music Festival.
Eddie and Diane's budding relationship, along with Rick's combination of rebelliousness and plain stupidity, causes headaches for Eddie. He also decides to make good with Sal for the disappearing act he pulled 25 years ago, as well as decide whether to reveal to the world that Eddie lives.
Will Eddie reveal his existence to the world, and will Rock Solid be a hit?
Watch and find out.
Trying to follow up the classic original would be a tough act unless a good script was on board. Unfortunately, it wasn't.
Charles Zev Cohen and Rick Doehering have constructed a follow up that is not up to par with the first. Plenty of terrible dialogue and bad continuity (In here, Sal says that he was Eddie's best friend, when in the first, Eddie treated him like crap and Sal was very bitter at Eddie for dying), not to mention some plot holes (Eddie must have gone to the Clark Kent School of Extremely Thin Disguises, as his Joe West disguise is just a moustache and nothing else). Characters do some stupid and strange things, Rick's stalker-ish behavior over Eddie, to get him to join his band is one and Eddie acts like a conceited jackass, which is apparently okay if you're a dead geinus rock star in disguise. We're supposed to like him?
The performances are pretty bad. With the exception of Michael Pare and Matthew Laurance, the new cast, comprised mainly of Canadian local talent, suck. Marina Orsini has no chemistry with Michael Pare, making it a stretch to think they're in love. Bernie Coulson, as Rick, is one of the most annoying characters ever put on screen, right next to Jar-Jar Binks. Anthony Sherwood, as Hilton, is the only one good enough to come out with some dignity. Harvey Atkin, as Lew Eisen, the head of Satin Records, is a generic baddie that you will forget quite easily.
Cameos all around by Michael "Tunes" Antunes as Wendell Newton (in a flashback), Bo Diddley (as himself), and Larry King (as himself) are welcomed, and provide a nice distraction from the horridness of the film. King has the best scene, fielding calls on his radio show by women who claim to have married Eddie.
The direction by Jean-Claude Lord is decent, but still not up to par with the first film.
The redeeming aspect of the film is the soundtrack, provided once again by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band. They contirbute some catchy numbers and are arguably the best thing about the movie.
Overall, it's worth it for the soundtrack and for the cameos, but other than that, it's a bad follow up to a classic original. Rent it or see it on TV.
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