Owen Gleiberman
May 24, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

FX2: The Deadly Art of Illusion

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
runtime
108 minutes
performer
Bryan Brown, Brian Dennehy, Joanna Gleason, Philip Bosco, Rachel Ticotin
director
Richard Franklin
distributor
Orion Pictures
author
Bill Condon
genre
Mystery and Thriller, ActionAdventure

We gave it a C-

The first F/X (1986) was an okay thriller that didn’t make canny enough use of the hero’s special-effects expertise. In FX2, Rollie Tyler (Bryan Brown) is once again teamed up with the ebullient detective Leo McCarthy (Brian Dennehy). This time they’re trying to foil a conspiracy centering on eight stolen gold medallions handmade by Michelangelo. Rollie comes up with a few amusing gimmicks — the most irresistible involves a mechanical clown whose body moves in perfect synch with whoever’s controlling him — and Brown, with his arch Aussie deadpan, makes an appealingly lean and mean hero. But the movie itself is convoluted and almost unbelievably lackluster. Even more than before, the filmmakers fail to make Rollie’s magic bits organic to the suspense. C-

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