Pooya | Sep 23, 2020 | 0
TBT Review: ‘Splash, Too’ Barely Makes A Drip
I have to admit I may have a problem, I will often seek out sequels to beloved movies no matter how ridiculous or unnecessary they are.
Yeah most people will find out that a movie has a sequel and go, “Why? What was left to tell?!” and move on with their lives. Unfortunately I’m the kind of person who frankly is made more interested by that sort of thing. We have here a sequel to “Splash,” an early Ron Howard, Tom Hanks film that introduced us to Daryl Hannah and it’s typically viewed as a fun sweet little movie. I just introduced it to my little sister a few weeks ago and it still holds up very well. However, you want to know a phrase I would not used to describe the movie? Cliffhanger ending, because yeah everything is pretty much wrapped up. I mean there are questions as to what happens to some of the characters afterwards, as there are with any movie, but not enough to build entire film about it. However, Disney apparently decided it wanted to disprove that and made a sequel to “Splash” called “Splash, Too.” To say it’s not very good would be an understatement, but I made myself watch it out of pure curiosity and I suppose I can sometimes be a glutton for punishment so let me relive this experience by going over a review of this made-for-TV movie that frankly never should have been made.
Cinematics (Cinematography, Acting, Plot, etc.) – 2
So let’s first talk about the most noticeable change, none of the actors return with the exception of the secretary. We have Amy Yasbeck who replaces Daryl Hannah in the role of Madison the mermaid. She probably does the best job of all the new actors, but she still feels a bit miscast. The less said about the actors replacing Tom Hanks and John Candy the better. However, the worst performance has to go to our new antagonist who is vaguely like the Eugene Levy character of the first film, but nowhere near as interesting both in character or performance. He looks a little bit like old Weird Al Yankovic. All of the rest are stock sitcom characters. The one that’s kinda cool is the neighbor husband who is played by Jerry Seinfeld’s dad from “Seinfeld.” I was reminded of “Cocoon: The Return” which is another unnecessary sequel to a Ron Howard film, but is surprisingly decent. A big part being due to almost all the actors returning which this sequel sorely lacks. Not much to comment on with the cinematography; it’s a made-for-TV movie and it looks it. Which is to say it doesn’t look terribly impressive.
Now let’s discuss the biggest problem; the entire story of this movie hinges on forgetting the entire point of the last movie. So in the original, Madison is under some sort of spell that allows her tail to turn into human legs when they’re out of (salt) water and she’s under a time limit to visit with Allen before she has to go back. If you watched the deleted scenes on the DVD, then you know there was a whole sequence of her meeting with a sea hag to set this up. They cut it out to provide more mystery as the film played out and so you the audience could share in Allen’s frustration in slowly learning the rules. In the end of the movie Allen is given a choice of either going with Madison to live under the sea with her or stay in New York. Allen after undergoing his character growth of the story decides to go with her and they swim away together. If he’s with her then he can swim and breathe under water. I always assumed maybe he was going to become a merman or something like how she was going to become a regular human if she stayed on dry land past the spell. I just noticed for the first time in all the years I’ve watched the film at the very end in the background you can see a HUGE underwater city that Madison and Allen are swimming towards implying that there is a whole society of mermaids that he’s joining. So other points like Freddy, Allen’s brother who serves for a majority of the movie as the comic relief, gives Allen a speech about true love and how important it is to recognize it when it’s there and not let it go even if it isn’t how you were expecting it to be. He makes a HUGE sacrifice by letting himself get arrested so Madison and him can escape.
Ok so with that out of the way, guess how this sequel opens? Allen and Madison are living alone on a tropical island, Madison can change into a human while out of sea water, she also now has the magical powers of creating visions of places far away and can even mentally project thoughts into the people’s heads who appear in those visions. They see Freddy is a free man despite helping in the infiltration and kidnapping of a mermaid from government/military property. The Wikipedia article says it takes place 4 years later, but I don’t recall the film itself stating how long it takes place after the first. So there’s our setup, Allen is missing New York and through one of Madison’s visions learn that Freddy is sinking the company (again ignoring the character growth of that character from the first film) and decides to head back to New York just like that. The time limit that was such a big part of the original is gone and makes me wonder what she was talking about having to go back home in a week if she was going to keep the fish tail turning into human legs power. They get back and Allen gets a big tycoon to entertain the idea of letting his company do business with theirs as long as there are no screw ups.
This plot actually gets forgotten as a story of Madison trying to rescue a dolphin from a research center takes over. We have a repeat of a number of scenes that resets them and all their growth. In fact, it kinda makes the case that maybe they shouldn’t be together if they’ve learned NOTHING from the last film. Also, remember in the last film where Madison and the existence of mermaids are exposed to the world and the President of the US? Again Allen would be an extremely wanted man, but when he returns to New York he doesn’t hide his identity and no one seems to remember this is the “man who slept with a fish” that reporters were hounding. It’s kinda like “Ghostbusters 2” except even worse with me pulling my hair wondering how are we this far back to square one?! However, one of the dumbest parts (and something it shares with “Cocoon: The Return”) is that it does the exact opposite of the ending. Allen decides he wants to stay in New York and luckily for him Madison (who can’t stop talking about the sea and salt water in this movie) for some reason wants to stay. She says she likes learning about humans, but it feels so out of character for her. Needless to say I will not be keeping “Splash, Too” in my head canon during my next watching of “Splash.”
Entertainment Value – 1.5
This section tends to be longer for me in my reviews, but since there’s not much entertainment value to be had this will be a rather short one instead. I got a few chuckles from the movie, but no real great jokes. I was also bored and this was honestly a chore to force myself through. The biggest laugh I got out of it was accidental. There’s a scene early on where Freddy refers to Allen as “the white Bill Cosby.” And the only reason that made me laugh was because… well, I’m sure you’re aware of current events. The rest of the jokes are fairly safe and seem to belong on a Disney channel sitcom (makes me wonder if this wasn’t originally planned as a pilot) which is doubly disappointing as the original “Splash” was the first Disney film to be considered edgy enough so they created their own sub studio Touchstone Pictures to release it.
Rewatchability – 1
Would I watch this movie again? Not if I have anything to say about it! I mean I definitely could and I wouldn’t put this on one of my worst films I’ve ever seen list, though it definitely would go on my one of the worst sequels I’ve ever seen list. “Cocoon: The Return” this movie is not. And just to be clear, “Cocoon 2” is not a good movie or anything, but it is a hell of a lot more entertaining than this sequel to an early Ron Howard classic.
- Entertainment Value
Due to my bad habit of tracking down every sequel to films I like, I forced myself to watch this. From the stupid plot that makes NO SENSE and does everything it can to undo the first film to the lackluster performances from actors who are no replacement for the originals. There is as little of a reason to watch this as there was to originally make it. I give it 1.5 stars out of 5.
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