By the sound of it, THE FLY II doesn't seem as if it would be a "good movie," and subsequently I'd avoided it for years, assuming the worst. Now I'm prepared to say, without reservation, that THE FLY II is dad-blammed fantastic and one of the great sci-fi films of the 1980s.
The directorial debut of Chris Walas (one of the FX masters of 80s creature features– from GREMLINS to THE FLY to ENEMY MINE to ARACHNOPHOBIA to NAKED LUNCH), THE FLY II has a tremendous eye for visual detail and some of the finest practical effects I've ever seen.
We have spectacular makeup á la THE FLY and ENEMY MINE,
viscous ALIEN/THE THING-esque cocoon props,
mind-blowing gore that nearly puts Tom Savini to shame,
and a titular creature whom history may well remember as one of the last great movie monsters before our fun was ruined by CGI.
And since this isn't a full review, I'll share a few random observations:
#1. There's a nice Cronenberg shoutout when a random Bartok security guard happens to be reading THE SHAPE OF RAGE, the first major scholarly study of the Cronenberg canon.
#2. An amusingly acerbic cameo appearance by John Getz ("Stathis," the quasi-villain and Goldblum rival from THE FLY 1).
#3. A sensitive, pathos-filled lead performance from Eric Stoltz, who probably scored the gig based on his ability to deliver even when covered in makeup (MASK), but who in every sense transcends what you'd expect from a sequel to a remake of a sci-fi B-movie.