Cocoon: The Return (1988) Directed by Daniel Petrie. With Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Courteney Cox, Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Jack Gilford and Steve Guttenberg.
Much of the cast that made the 1985 Cocoon film such a warm experience return for this sequel, which is set 5 years after the events of the previous adventure. Not returning, however, is original director Ron Howard, who reportedly refused association with this sequel, for fear it could undermine the meaning of his own film.
The key characters from the previous film return to Earth for a brief visit. At first, all seems well, but during this time, they start to age and suffer aches and pains. After a little time to contemplate, some of them start to question where they really belong.
It’s not that Cocoon: The Return is a terrible film, it’s just that it goes nowhere and attempts to cover the same ground, but without the same spring in its step that the 1985 film had. The ensemble cast all give it their spirited best, but the screenplay dawdles around, stubbornly refusing to venture outside of a stagnant, predictable central narrative about saving one of the aliens from the research labs of The St. Petersburg Oceanographic Institute. BIG yawn.
This sequel could easily be described as ‘set in its ways’. It offers nothing new in return for your time investment, with seldom few moments to even so much as raise a smile. Hume Cronyn and Don Ameche give it a go, but even their admirable enthusiasm can’t stop the rot. There is also a forced attempt to tack on a cosy story arc for Steve Guttenberg’s character, which as a final note for the film, sums up its ill-advised existence. Ron Howard was right. 2/5