Like its lugubrious predecessor, THE NEVERENDING STORY II: THE NEXT CHAPTER is everything a children's fantasy adventure shouldn't be--self-important, built on characters who serve blatantly obvious plot points, and oppressive in terms of physical production and storyline. In the
undistinguished tradition of RETURN TO OZ and THE BLUE BIRD, this film is impressed with its own good intentions.
As in the 1984 original, young protagonist Bastian (Jonathan Brandis), still coping with his mother's untimely death, must find inner courage by popping inside the pages of a magical book, a children's adventure story in which he plays the heroic leading role. As the sequel...