This is the never asked for sequel to the 2007 film I reviewed a few years ago. Written by Emerson Bixby the son of the man who wrote the first film and who worked tirelessly to get that film produced when his father died. The film also had actors from Star Trek, (notably Michael Dorn who is really good, I wish he was in more things) and includes Vanessa Williams as the main character's new love interest.
The story is more complicated than the first film and it suffers from that in some ways. The immortal college professor is in another job and a group of his students put a series of dubious facts together and discover his secret, tell a character from the 1st film (William Katt) who wrote a book about that experience and lost his career as result. John, the immortal who is also beginning to age and heal slower, is about to leave and move on again when the students come to his house to delay him so the discredited professor can identify him with certainly. So they knock him out and tie him up, leaving him with the born again Christian of the group who decided he is not Jesus but the anti-christ, stabs him and then... it sort of becomes a narrative mess. The other students arrive with his old friend and find blood everywhere and the student and John gone. They somehow get away with not calling the police. I guess the kid's mom never wondered where her son went or filed a missing persons claim The same goes for John's now ex girlfriend who lived there with him. She came home, finds blood and a chair covered in duct tape in the basement and never freaked out and called for an investigation? The worst part is the after titles sequence... back at the discredited professor's house the "FBI" comes in the form of one man who we never see and causes John of being an immortal serial killer... What? Is it Christian boy or the "other" immortal John mentioned forth first film or... ?
The adult actors are well played but the students are cardboard cutouts for the most part and needed more acting guidance to pull off their roles. The film seems more like a TV movie and was maybe a sort of pilot for a proposed series. The standoff between Christian boy and John is interesting in many ways but the result of that scene is just confusion all around. Apparently, John WAS Jesus in some sense who accidentally started a religion after a particularly good talk he had on a mount. He's been hiding ever since. This lacks the mystery and ambiguity that made the first movie work so well. Bixby, the son, does have a good handle on his father's characters but it would be impossible to get job at any college without proper ID, a work history etc and the police would most likely find John and the missing kid in time. We live in a very different world these days and hiding from it in the present day United States is not really possible.
There is a love of the subject that carries this film away from being just plain bad, it's not. It still held my attention but didn't affect me as the previous film did. I would have explained less, not more and spent more time on the plot... probably cutting the students out it completely and making more about the personal relationships John has left behind over the last few decades. If does deal with that here and there and those parts are the best parts to me.
Would I see a third film or a TV show? Maybe. There is something good in here left over from the first film that still could be molded into something more than a made for TV followup. Please cast Michael Dorn for that one and I'm in.