Heavy Metal 2000 a little light on plot

BOB THOMPSON

, Last Updated: 12:37 PM ET

Not quite hardcore, Heavy Metal 2000 is a sexy sci-fi action cartoon for the head-bopping, hair-whipping, whipper-snapper set.

It's extreme, wicked, totally without redeeming merit. Cool, some might say.

Blood-letting, grinding rock, the F-word and lots of space-aged gunplay are highlights. Way cool, others might say.

In this sort-of sequel by Michael Lemire and Michael Coldewey, vulgarity is brazenly offered as a proud contrast to the usual cutesy animation devices.

The original Heavy Metal was a 1981 vignette-laden Canadian cartoon showcasing some of the voices of the SCTV crew, notably John Candy, Eugene Levy and Harold Ramis.

This Canadian-German co-production is one simple yarn, based on the novel Melting Pot, by Kevin Eastman, Simon Bisley and Eric Talbot.

Generally, it's the good vs. evil deal.

A marauding, near-immortal space pirate, Tyler (voiced by Michael Ironside) is the villain.

The heroine, Julie (Julie Strain), is an adventuress warrior survivor. She shoots an automatic weapon with the best of them. She also looks pretty good in her ripped outfit.

But seriously, she's seeking revenge on the nasty dude, Tyler, after he wipes out her family and the colony where they live.

Tracking him in the aftermath, Julie follows Tyler into hyper-space, then to a planet far, far away.

It is here that an odd Odin (Billy 'White Wedding' Idol) tries to help Julie in her quest to eliminate the demon man whose self-healing powers have made him nearly indestructible.

For Julie, time is of the essence. Tyler is close to ruling the universe as an immortal demon.

This is not good, in a bad kind of way.

Ah, then there is a showdown. The climax underscores that Heavy Metal 2000 may be more mainstream than it pretends to be.

(This film is rated AA)


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