Gang of Roses II: Next Generation

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“Why? No, really: why?”

There are films which get a sequel because they’re successful. There are films which get a sequel because they are good. And then there’s a sequel to a film which was sub-mediocre, and appeared to vanish without causing even a ripple after its straight to video release in 2003. As a measure, nine years later, it hasn’t even reached 750 votes on the IMDB. Yet, we get this: a sequel that is neither needed, nor demanded by the public, and which manages to be even more boring and badly-constructed than its predecessor. Most movie-makers acquire at least a measure of technical skill as their career progresses, bur La Marre seems to have forgotten what little he knew a decade ago.

La Marre and Lamont Clayton are the only returning names from the original here – there’s a claim that Cassie is an member of the gang of female outlaws there, but neither actress Charli Baltimore nor her character seem to have been in it. She’s sitting in jail with the combination to a military safe, and for some reason, divulges the plan to break the safe to her cellmate Collette (Pratts), about two minutes after they’re introduced. Cassie is killed during an escape attempt, but Collette, with her knowledge, slides in to the gang, who then sit around a hotel room for what feels like ever. Eventually, they head to the town of San Juevo, and prepare for action, not knowing they are being stalked by Lee (Casseus) and his gang, out for revenge on the women. Yes, even though they are completely different ones from the first film. That’s the level of coherence you can expect from this.

Somewhat of a troubled production, apparently, with Taylor and La Marra getting into a brawl on set. Sure that improved the creative atmosphere immeasurably. But even the cheapest publicity stunt couldn’t have saved this wretched mess, which has exactly two decent scenes: one with one of the Roses speaking to the pastor of the San Juevo church, and another interacting with a little girl. That’s it. The action is horribly staged – the film budget couldn’t even run to fake blood, it seems – and it’s a merciful release that the film runs 15 minutes less than I was braced for. The balance is made up with La Marre’s entry to the 2012 World’s Least Amusing Out-takes competition. It’s a sure winner there: the only possible award for which this possesses any chance.

Dir: Jean-Claude La Marre
Star: Teyana Taylor, Eurika Pratts, Claudia Jordan, Gabriel Casseus

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