“Emmanuelle 2: The Joys of a Woman” – Chris Luedtke

There comes a point where I just want to give up. Certain films reach such lowly expectations that just manage to exceed standards that I thought never existed. More often than not, these films seem to be sequels or, in this case, leeches that are already sucking off of a dry wound. I’m acquainted with the typical bad sequel that recycles the formula of the first, but Emmanuelle 2 manages to dig a hole that hits the other side of the planet.

Emmanuelle (Sylvia Kristel) and her husband Jean (Umberto Orsini) continue to enjoy their strings-free marriage as they hit up Hong Kong. Along the way, they meet a slew of characters that only help to heighten their pleasures and push forward their deepest sexual desires.

I admit to my mistake. I’m sorry I rented this. It’s not the first time I’ve said this, I know. If you’ve seen the first Emmanuelle, then you can expect everything that one had to offer, minus one thing: plot and/or story development. I’ll give Emmanuelle 2 credit for knowing what it is, and that’s an experimental skin flick. Why should one waste their energy writing a script if all the audience wants is topless girls and softcore sex? Granted, there’s a heavy fixation on making things romantic, but Emmanuelle 2 involves more of an “on the spot/in the moment” sexual fixation. There’s little build-up to any of the characters.

Characters are about as interesting as a ripped piece of tissue paper. There’s no substance, no color to speak of. There are only people getting naked and talking about minor personal problems and those they’ve screwed or have yet to screw. Trust me, that last sentence just gave this film more depth than it could ever let off if it wanted to. Emmanuelle is the only draw here, because you can expect her to be naked about fifty percent of the time. If you’re looking for depth beyond what’s under the clothes, go rent a part of Michelangelo Antonioni’s Incommunicability Trilogy.

Because there’s a lack of plot, I can’t really say much beyond this, because what’s not there can’t be criticized. Emmanuelle 2 has its audience: people that like softcore porn. Sure, the first one has some artistic value to it and manages to be a really meh flick. But Emmanuelle 2 throws what made the first one watchable and trades it for more topless, softcore sex. If you’re into this sort of film, then you’ve probably already seen it. The rest of us should just stay away.

Rating: ★☆☆☆

-Chris Luedtke

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