Movie Review; Lost Boys: The Tribe

Ok…first thing first, for any big fan of the original Lost Boys, you have got to already know that this movie will disappoint you.  It’s inevitable, isn’t it?  Even with that in mind, did I find it disappointing?  Yes.

Chris and Nicole Emerson have lost their parents; they died in a car accident.  They apparently have no one else in the world except a horrible aunt…so they relocate thinking she’ll help them out with a home, but no such luck.  Moving to Luna Bay, they quickly discover that the local surf scene is much more interesting than elsewhere; as the waves are ridden by a gang of blood suckers…one of which falls for Nicole.  “Hilarity” ensues.

There are good things about the movie, and bad things about it…one of the worst things is that if a few actors, and plot lines had been changed ever so slightly, it would have actually been a decent sequel.  First, the bad; it was as if the creators of the movie wished to gross everyone out.  That seemed to be the whole point of the movie.

Fake blood and guts galore.  Wonderful.  I can get that from any second rate horror flick out there; it is a disservice to the original that was all about a new and different story told with emphasis on characters and their relationships…and life, as well as a new take on the vampire myth.  Yes, the original had fake blood too, but the focus was not on the cheesy effects.  I didn’t like the overdone (and changed) makeup of the vampires in this one; the more subtle metamorphosis of the vampires’ features in the first was much more preferable.

The sex scenes.  Gratuitous.  They seemed to be inserted into the movie, not for any real plot device or any real reason…but just to try to get teenage boys to rent and watch the movie hoping for a glimpse of skin, which they would get plenty of.

The acting…I usually don’t like to say negative things about people’s acting, but they definitely could’ve gotten a different lead actress to play Nicole Emerson.  I don’t think it was entirely her fault, but I could not buy the sibling chemistry between Nicole and Chris in the movie.  Again, that chemistry pales in comparison with the original siblings of Michael and Sam.  Why do I place more “blame” on her?  Because, even in scenes with Angus Sutherland, I never lost sight of the fact that she was acting.  I saw her (Autumn Reeser) rather than her character, Nicole…to me, she seemed distinctly uncomfortable.

I suppose some would count this next bit as SPOILERS: Corey Feldman does make a return as Edgar Frog.  What upset me a bit about this was that with a few changes, the character of Edgar Frog could’ve really taken center stage and pulled the two movies together.  As it stands, it is almost as if the director just told Corey to act like he did in the first one.  The result?

Edgar Frog is now a man in a full grown adult body, but despite all the things he’s seen and done, he’s still acting and talking like an adolescent.  I get it; it was supposed to be funny…but the character could’ve really been surprising and fresh if he had indeed grown up in every sense of the word.  A good thing about Edgar’s character?  Corey Feldman himself did a great job stepping back up to the plate.

Now, other good things?  I did enjoy Tad Hilgenbrink as Chris Emerson; he fit the part, acted well, and really seem to get the “Emerson” vibe down, filling Michael’s shoes (Jason Patric from the first movie).  Also, Angus Sutherland, who is Kiefer Sutherland’s younger half-brother, did a wonderful job of helping the audience recall “David” from the original while giving us a whole new character of “Shane;” leader of the new generation of lost boys.

Shane’s character was definitely a high point…though his “tribe” was totally pathetic; which would lead to me questioning his fictional judgment.  Angus did a lovely job being “striking” in a totally different way than Kiefer was in the original…if you’ll recall Kiefer’s “David” had very very few lines, and was striking in sheer looks and attitude.  Angus has many more lines, and I enjoyed the manner in which he delivered those lines…his tone and inflections are what made Shane’s character striking. (I also enjoyed a secondary character; Evan played by Greyston Holt.)

Yes, the other boys in the tribe…who would want to live with their characters into eternity?  Bleh.  In the first movie, I got the distinct impression that the lost boys actually cared for one another, and enjoyed being together.  The new guys?  Apparently torturing each other, and being totally psychotic pigs was on the top of their lists.  They weren’t a group of guys you would even think of as “cool,” as the original ‘boys came off on screen.

Overall, you could skip this movie and not miss much; if you liked the original and don’t mind a bad sequel, wait ’til it gets really cheap to rent or comes on TV.  It does introduce new characters into the Lost Boys movieverse, and brings in old faces too…but as far as advancing any actual plot, it kind of fell flat (we are left to guess in the movie whether the Emerson siblings are Michael and Star’s children, or niece/nephew/cousins).  I do know that they released a “Frog Brothers” comic book that may enhance the story, and fill in some gaps.

For those who care about such things; this is indeed rated R for good reason; lots of blood and gore, nudity, sex scenes, profanity, etc…

If you do decide to watch it, make sure you watch into the credits for another “surprise” cameo…

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