While not entirely awful, this sequel could have been so much better. While watching, I was thinking that someone had a good story idea, then the producers said "No, we need more sex! More gore! More violence! And mix all that together!" So what we end up with is more horror than sci-fi, a kind of unsettling mixture of John Carpenter's "The Thing," "Showgirls," and " The Manchurian Candidate. "
Natasha Henstridge, Michael Madsen, and Marg Helgenberger are the only returnees from the first film. Marg is government scientist Dr. Baker, who has cloned the dead Sil (Natasha Henstridge) from the first film, and has now bonded in a sisterly sort of way with the more human alien clone named Eve. In fact, one big change from the first film is that both the male and female aliens are greatly humanized, causing the audience to sympathize for them in a way that was not possible in the original film.
However, the dialog is clunky, and stupid at times. Some scenes and situations just make no sense whatsoever, and the characters do things that are inconsistent and at times, incredibly dumb. Other scenes are just so ridiculous and unbelievable that you wonder if you are watching an Ed Wood movie instead of a moderate-budget franchise film.
The blood and gore quotient is really upped from the first film, as are the (violent and explicit) sex scenes. The special effects are well-done, but rely more on shock value and grotesquery to push their point.
On the good side, we discover where the alien race that Sil / Eve represents is from, and what their intended purposes are. And we get to see Madsen and Helgenberger together again, as they had good chemistry in the first film.
There's lots of gore, nudity, sex (always ending in a violent death or two), so if you are squeamish about any of that. proceed with caution with this one. There are two more sequels after this, "Species III" and "Species: The Awakening." I have not seen either, but they both went straight to DVD so my expectations are low.