September 11, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT
We gave it a B-

You know, so many of us have had an ex-Green Beret mercenary pose as a high school substitute teacher to avenge a murder and then uncover illegal faculty doings that I probably don’t need to tell you how much bloodshed and mayhem ensue in The Substitute 2: School’s Out. This made-for-video sequel to the 1996 Tom Berenger action flick moves along briskly and has some clever moments: Treat Williams’ mercenary, taming his misbehaving students through the skillful deployment of a yo-yo; B.D. Wong, as another teacher who is not what he seems, using a teddy bear as a Handi Wipe after spilling some blood. Director Steven Pearl can’t sustain this level of innovation through to the obligatory guts-and-guns blowout. Still, quite a few straight-to-video filmmakers could learn from this Substitute. B-

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