In the talons of a hawk, Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time remains a dumb, time-travelling fantasy. The only saving grace might be unassuming fun. Adding to which, the film proves so self-aware that the hero Dar (once again inhabited by Marc Singer) passes a cinema advertising the very film he's in. Few spoofs can carry the sight gag to such an absurd level of perfection.
As for the plot, it's nonsense really. The wretched Arklon (Wings Hauser) captures Dar only to lose him during a scuffle. Encountering the witch Lyranna (Sarah Douglas) who'll side with just about anybody to achieve her goals, Arklon discovers the mysterious time portal. Apparently, it's a direct link to Los Angeles circa 1991. Meanwhile, Dar shows up but not before the wicked one makes his escape.
It seems a little tedious to elaborate on what's essentially a fancy dress mock-up. Singer -- whose gift for making animal friends in the first feature -- doesn't aquire any new allies apart from the annoying Jackie (Kari Wuhrer).
Meanwhile, there are set-pieces involving a shopping mall and a zoo, proving there's no budgetary limitation this movie won't stoop to. Many times in the picture making business, cost cutting allows the crew to think on their feet, finding new ways to summon creativity. However, director Sylvio Tabet -- whose only directing effort this was -- elected to cut corners in numerous departments. Perhaps the subtitle for his film should read: Through the Realm of Shortcuts.
Regardless, a silver lining awaits because composer Robert Folk delivers a nearly perfect orchestral score.
(Released by New Line Cinema and rated "PG-13" by MPAA.)