Film Review: Weekend at Bernie’s II (1993)

Release Date: July 9th, 1993
Directed by: Robert Klane
Written by: Robert Klane
Based on: characters by Robert Klane
Music by: Peter Wolf
Cast: Andrew McCarthy, Jonathan Silverman, Terry Kiser, Barry Bostwick, Troy Byer, Tom Wright, Steve James

Artimm, D&A Partnership, TriStar Pictures, 97 Minutes

Review:

“Why would you need to guard a dead man stuck in a two foot refrigerator?” – Richard Parker

Let me preface this by saying that this is a sequel that never needed to be made. Also, even though I love the first movie, I didn’t see this one when it came out and I actually never committed to watching it until maybe a decade ago.

Back when I first saw this, I thought it was a really weak sequel that jumped the shark almost immediately when Bernie’s corpse becomes a voodoo zombie and I pretty much dismissed it and never watched it again until now.

Having several years to marinate on it, I figured I’d give it a rewatch to review it. Besides, I just reviewed the original one, so why not follow it up with this?

Weekend at Bernie’s II takes a zany movie that was pretty much grounded in some sort of reality and turns it on its head, making a voodoo spell animate Bernie’s dead body. Although, the spell was done poorly, so Bernie only moves when he hears music and then it makes him raise up and walk in the direction of where his stolen millions were stashed. However, he doesn’t just walk, he dances and wiggles his head like a boomer at a Jimmy Buffett concert.

This is just a bad movie, through and through, yet I still found it kind of amusing and even more so, this time around. I think that’s because I was already disappointed by it and knew what to expect. Also, already knowing what parts of this I didn’t enjoy, allowed me to focus more on the positives.

The biggest positive is the return of Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman, who are a charismatic and amusing duo.

Also, Terry Kiser got to up the ante in this picture and they really allowed him to do his thing more. With the goofy added voodoo schtick, it did provide Kiser with the opportunity to move and be more active in a fresh way. It opened the film up to new gags, as opposed to rehashing the same things from the first flick. Looking at the voodoo plot twist that way, kind of salvages it.

This was also one of the last movie’s to have Steve James in it, as he died shortly after this was released. He has a fairly small role but I always loved the guy because of how cool and badass he was in the first three American Ninja movies.

Sadly, Weekend at Bernie’s II just doesn’t come close to what the original was. This is probably why this movie is mostly forgotten but the original still has its fans. While I liked this more on a second viewing, I doubt it’s something I’ll ever watch again unlike its predecessor.

Rating: 5.25/10

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