The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter
Time Out saysThis sequel to Wolfgang Petersen's ambitious film finds young Bastian (Brandis) returning to the dream world of Fantasia to save the Childlike Empress and her kingdom from an expanding and engulfing 'Emptiness'. Reunited with his alter ego Atreyu, and aided again by a menagerie of creatures (flying dog Falkor and the mountainous Rockbiter are joined by man-sized twitchy bird Nimbly), Bastian is lured into the deceitful web of sorceress Xayide (Burt), unknowingly selling his soul as he trades memories for miracles. Directed with pedestrian ease by Miller (of Man from Snowy River not Mad Max fame), this lacks the clumsy charm of its predecessor, its ropey narrative woefully failing to lash together the visual set pieces. While the intriguing themes are present and correct - the death of imagination, the loss of memory and identity - they are so swathed in cynical schmaltz as to be rendered all but sterile.