Axis Rising is the tenth movie of the Puppet Master franchise and the second in the Axis Trilogy and it begins the day after the events of Axis of Evil. It finds the Nazis still wanting to create the perfect super-soldier from the corpses of the dead and no matter what Dr. Freuhoffer tries, they all end in failure. He does have something that might provide a key to the answer he is looking for though – Tunneler, one of the puppets that were under Danny’s care from the previous film. Danny and his girlfriend Beth meanwhile are looking to put a stop to said Nazis, even though they have no experience in any matters of war or espionage, but they do have the rest of Toulon’s puppets which may be just enough to turn things in their favour.
Whereas Axis of Evil was sort of decent, Axis Rising was not and became a little too absurd. It was not in the zombie or puppet department which was palatable; it was in the actions of Danny, Beth and the rest of the Americans. It just seemed a little incredulous that Danny – a seemingly nobody, would become involved in everything that takes place during the film. It is funny to think that what he does stretches the limits credulity, not to mention the viewer’s patience to the breaking point while the thought of creating zombies is perfectly normal. What also does not help in the slightest is that Kip Canyon who played Danny, or any of the other actors for that matter, were very good. Add to all of that a script which is lacking once again, though was it really the script that was bad or merely the people delivering it? Also, where did Danny’s limp go?
Yet again, the only redeeming feature of the movie are the puppets and they did not get nearly enough screen time which was a big mistake on the part of Charles Band. Most of the films have featured the puppets quite prominently and yet this time around they were more like props to accentuate the main protagonist, in this case Danny. Perhaps if the majority of the film was not so bad, the average viewer would not mind so much, but when you work with terrible material and are either blind to it or simply do not care, using the puppets more would not have been a bad thing.
There are some new puppets in the film, one named Bombshell who is modeled after the clichéd and incredibly buxom blonde German woman played by Stephanie Sanditz – who also happens to be one of the only decent actors present despite her more obvious assets, and three more including Blitzkrieg, Weremacht and the very racist Kamikaze. What is really nice to see is that unlike most of the newer puppets that made their debuts throughout the series, these ones, even when you include Kamikaze, looked pretty fantastic. While this was thought to be the last entry in the series, there is still one more film coming which is supposed to be released in 2016 and thus perhaps, we will be able to see these new puppets, including all the favourites, one more time. If you watched Axis of Evil, you should watch Axis Rising no matter how bad it is and hopefully, things will come together for the final part and Axis Termination, will be much better.
2 out of 5