The Fly II

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The Fly II
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Chris Walas
Produced by Steven-Charles Jaffe
Screenplay by Mick Garris
Jim Wheat
Ken Wheat
Frank Darabont
Based on Characters
by George Langelaan
Music by Christopher Young
Cinematography Robin Vidgeon
Edited by Sean Barton
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • February 10, 1989 (1989-02-10)
Running time
105 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $38.9 million[1]

The Fly II is a 1989 American science fiction horror film starring Eric Stoltz and Daphne Zuniga. It was directed by Chris Walas as a sequel to the Academy Award-winning film The Fly (1986), itself a remake of the 1958 film of the same name. Stoltz's character in this sequel is the adult son of Seth Brundle, the scientist-turned-'Brundlefly', played by Jeff Goldblum in the 1986 remake. With the exception of stock footage of Goldblum from the first film, John Getz was the only actor to reprise his role.


Several months after the events of The Fly, Veronica Quaife delivers Seth Brundle's child. After giving birth to a squirming larval sac, she dies from shock. The sac then splits open to reveal a seemingly normal baby boy. The child, named Martin Brundle, is raised by Anton Bartok, who is the owner of the company which financed Brundle's teleportation experiments and fully aware of the accident which genetically merged Seth Brundle with a housefly. Martin grows up in a clinical environment. His physical and mental maturity is highly accelerated, and he possesses a genius-level intellect, incredible reflexes, and no need for sleep. He knows he is aging faster than a normal human, but is unaware of the true cause, having been told his father died from the same rapid aging disease.

At age 3, Martin has the physique of a 10-year-old, and frequently sneaks around and explores the Bartok complex. He finds a room containing laboratory animals, and befriends a dog. The next night, he brings it some of his dinner, only to find it missing. He enters an observation booth overlooking Bay 17. There, scientists have managed to reassemble Brundle's Telepods, but not to duplicate the programming that enabled them to teleport living subjects. An attempt to teleport the dog fails, leaving it horribly deformed. It maims one of the scientists, horrifying young Martin. Two years later, Martin's body has matured to that of a 25-year-old. On his fifth birthday, Bartok presents Martin with a bungalow on the Bartok facility's property. He also offers Martin a job: repair his father's Telepods. He apologizes about the dog and assures Martin that its suffering was brief. When Martin is uneasy about the proposition, Bartok shows him Veronica Quaife's videotapes, which documented Seth Brundle's progress with the Telepods. Seeing his late father describe how the Telepods ostensibly improved and energized his body, Martin accepts Bartok's proposal.

As he begins work on the Telepods, Martin befriends an employee, Beth Logan. Beth invites Martin to a party at the specimens division, where he learns that the mutated dog is still kept alive and studied. Thinking Beth is aware of the dog's imprisonment, Martin argues with her, leaves the party, and goes to the animal's holding pen. The deformed dog, in terrible pain, still remembers Martin and happily wags its tail at the sight of him before he tearfully euthanizes it with chloroform. Martin is in a sullen mood for a while and denies having anything to do with the dog's death when Bartok questions him about it. Martin reconciles with Beth, and re-arrives at his father's "eureka" moment when he realizes the Telepod's computer need to be creative to analyze living flesh. Martin then shows Beth his perfected Telepods by teleporting a kitten without harm. They become lovers and have sex, but Martin begins showing signs of his eventual mutation into a human-fly hybrid. Martin devises a potential cure for his condition, which involves swapping out his mutated genes for healthy human genes. Martin shelves this idea when he realizes the other person would be subject to a grotesque genetic disfigurement.

Eventually, Martin learns that Bartok has hidden cameras in his bungalow. Martin breaks into Bartok's records room, where he learns of his father's true fate. Bartok confronts Martin and explains that he's been waiting for his inevitable mutation. He reveals his plan to use Martin's body and the Telepods' potential for genetic manipulation for profit. Martin's insect genes fully awaken and his transformation into a human-insect hybrid begins. He escapes from Bartok Industries. Bartok is unable to use the Telepods, as they are locked by a password. Martin also installed a computer virus which will erase the Telepods' programming if the wrong password is entered. Bartok orders a search for Martin.

Martin goes to Beth and explains the situation. The two flee. They visit Veronica Quaife's old confidant, Stathis Borans, who confirms for Martin that the Telepods are his only chance for a cure. They keep running, but Martin's physical and emotional changes become too much for Beth to handle, and she eventually surrenders them both to Bartok. Without revealing the password, he becomes enveloped in a cocoon. Bartok interrogates Beth for the password. Shortly after, the fully transformed "Martinfly" emerges from his cocoon and breaks into Bay 17. He grabs Bartok and forces him to type in the password, which is revealed to be DAD. He then drags Bartok and himself into a Telepod. Martinfly gestures Beth to activate the gene-swapping sequence and, despite Bartok's protests, Beth complies. Martin is restored to a fully human form, while Bartok is transformed into a freakish monster who is now kept in the same cell the dog used to be. In the film's final shot, as the Bartok creature leans towards a dish of food, it notices a fly.



Box office[edit]

The Fly II grossed $20,021,322 at the US box office and a further $18,881,857 abroad, resulting in worldwide total of $38,903,179.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 27% based on 15 reviews, with a weighted average rating of 4.4/10.[2] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 36 out of 100, based on 15 critics, indicating "Generally unfavorable reviews".[3]

Janet Maslin from New York Times gave the film a negative review, writing, "The only respect in which it matches Mr. Cronenberg's Fly is in its sheer repulsiveness, since this film degenerates into a series of slime-ridden, glop-oozing special effects in its final half hour."[4] Richard Harrington from The Washington Post offered the film similar criticism, calling the film's script "flat", and criticized the film's special effects as being "clumsy".[5] Author and film critic Leonard Maltin awarded the film a BOMB, his lowest rating, calling the film "Alternately dull and messy but mostly dull.[6] David Hughes from Empire Magazine awarded the film 3/4 stars, writing, "Whilst this fly is not as tightly scripted or keenly directed as its parent, it does have pace, breathless tension and the sort of gross-out effects that rules out kebabs for some time after the credits have rolled."[7]


Beginning in March 2015, IDW Publishing released a five-issue comic book miniseries titled The Fly: Outbreak, written by Brandon Seifert.[8] The story is a direct sequel to the events of The Fly II, and features Martin Brundle inadvertently causing a transgenic outbreak while attempting to cure Anton Bartok, to whom he had previously transferred his mutant genes.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "The Fly II - Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 1st July 2016
  2. ^ "The Fly II (1989) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Flixer. Retrieved 21 June 2018. 
  3. ^ "The Fly II Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 June 2018. 
  4. ^ Maslin, Janet. "Review/Film; Another Look at Insecthood As a Possible Way of Life - The New York Times". New York Janet Maslin. Retrieved 21 June 2018. 
  5. ^ Harrington, Richard. "'The Fly II' (R)". Washington Richard Harrington. Retrieved 21 June 2018. 
  6. ^ Leonard Maltin (29 September 2015). Turner Classic Movies Presents Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide: From the Silent Era Through 1965: Third Edition. Penguin Publishing Group. p. 478. ISBN 978-0-698-19729-9. 
  7. ^ Hughes, David. "The Fly II Review". Empire David Hughes. Retrieved 21 June 2018. 
  8. ^ Orange, Alan (December 17, 2014). "David Cronenberg's 'The Fly' Gets a Comic Book Sequel". MovieWeb. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 

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