31 March 2020 | david_rudy_lee
Fun Sequel, but Not Great
Now I remember I first saw this movie when it came out on VHS. My dad rented it for my sister and me where I'm pretty sure I probably watched this multiple times before we returned it. I don't know if I've seen it since then. It did still stick with me despite that though. To get into this one, the synopsis is on his one thousandth birthday, an evil leprechaun selects the descendant of one of his slaves to have as his bride, leaving it up to the girl's boyfriend to save her.
We start this back in the back in the country of Ireland. A man is trying to flee, William O'Day (James Lancaster), but he's knocked down as if he ran into something. The Leprechaun (Warwick Davis) then appears. He informs his slave that he will be married soon which will free William. It turns out though that his bride to be is William's daughter, Shevonne Durkin. The curse happens when she sneezes three times without being blessed. William is faced with his freedom or his daughter being the bride to this creature. He decides to save her, which kills him in the process. The Leprechaun vows that he will marry his descendant before William dies as well.
For the credits we get to see Durkin throughout the years and different eras until we get to the present of the movie. The descendant is now Bridget. She's going to meet her boyfriend, Cody (Charlie Heath). He works for a haunted tour run in Los Angeles where we see him gaming some people into paying to on this, with one couple being Clint Howard and Kimmy Robertson.
With all of the tickets sold, he goes to get Morty (Sandy Baron) from the local pub, but the problem is that he's too drunk. Cody was supposed to take Bridget go-karting, but he has to break that plan to guide this tour. We see that it's not the greatest and that Bridget is upset. One of the last stops is Harry Houdini's house where a homeless man, Billy Beck, spooks them. The car leaves where he goes into the brush. He makes his bed by a tree that according to it's plaque it is from Ireland. He puts his bottle of whiskey down and something magical pulls it to the tree.
We then see the Leprechaun appear from it. Before heading off to find Bridget, he steals the homeless man's gold tooth. He leaves a wake of destruction as he tries to fulfill the legacy from a thousand years prior. He needs to marry Bridget on St. Patty's Day, which also happens to be his birthday. Things become problematic though when he loses one of his gold coins to Cody and realizes that it gives him an edge against this creature.
I should probably address what my biggest issue with sequels, which is continuity. This movie doesn't acknowledge that the previous one exists. I did hear on the 22 Shots of Moodz and Horror when they covered this movie as a franchise show where Double Shot J on that show gave a theory and after seeing this film, I agree with it. The Leprechaun in the first movie is different from the one in this film. Of course they're the same creature so they do look like, but they're two different Leprechauns. The one that wrecks havoc and is killed in that one isn't the one that we're following here. This one has been waiting a thousand years for his next chance to marry Bridget, so it doesn't violate anything as I feel he's right. Which would explain why the first film is ignored.
With that out of the way, this movie does introduce some things that I weren't in the original. I feel this one makes up a bit of lore. I've never heard associating that if you can steal the Leprechaun's pot of gold you get three wishes. Now I've heard these genies or Djinns. I have heard you do get a wish. There's a kill that is really the only time that plays with this idea and it is one that stuck with me from the mid-90's when I saw it. Watching this with a critical eye the logic is flawed and really is just to use this character's greed against him.
To get back to positives, I do like that they play up the fact that Leprechauns are tricksters. It really does lead to pretty much all of the deaths that we get in the movie and I even like that Cody knowing it allows him to play on this as well when trying to survive this night.
Now I want to shift this over to the pacing, which I think is fine. I never get bored with this movie. Its runtime of 85 minutes I think is right around where it should be. The movie never wastes any time. We get introduced to the lore that we need to know for this sequel and then it fills in from there as needed. I do think that some things were added for a bit of padding, but that's not an issue for me. If anything, I do think that Bridget is wasted a bit, but I think it would be a bit more difficult to have her running around. This movie is somewhat similar to the original as well in that the Leprechaun realizes his missing a piece of gold and wants it back. It also adheres to the gold piece protects the person who has it and it must be given back willingly.
That will take us to the acting. Davis is this monster and I love how he plays the role. I do have to give credit for the writing as there are just some hilarious rhymes that are dropped. His ability to do the Irish accents really helps as well. This isn't necessarily Oscar worthy, but perfect for this movie. Heath is fine. I do think that he brings a bit of street sense to the role as well as his charm. Durkin is someone that I saw in this and another movie growing up. She had a decent little run in the 90's and she is attractive in her own way. She doesn't really add much here, except I find her attractive in an odd way. I really like Baron as the dunk scoundrel in this movie. He really fits that role. I liked the cameos by Robertson, Howard as well as Tony Cox, Beck and Michael McDonald. They all rounded this out for what was needed along with the rest of the cast.
The effects were something else that worked for me here. I'm glad that this came out where it did right before CGI took off. Everything in this movie looked to have been done practical and it gives it charm. There's a death with a pot of gold in the stomach, steam to the face as well as a lawnmower scene. The worst would be a skeleton that walks around, but even that was fine. The cinematography I thought was also good with no issues there.
Now with that said, I find this to be a fun movie. I don't think really any movie in this series is great. This one kneejerk reaction is that it violates continuity. After hearing that podcast, I don't think that's the case. This one doesn't have the most interesting story and concept, but it did something different while doing a lot the same. It's not boring and the kills are pretty solid. I don't think that the acting is great, aside from Davis and Baron with Durkin being attractive. The soundtrack fits for what was needed in giving that Irish vibe. We also get to learn more about the Leprechaun mythos even though I don't think all aspects are actually based in legend. I would say that overall this is above average, but not by much. Not great by any stretch though either.