The Russian and U.S. governments combine forces in a joint venture that would send a ship into space to recover data information from the spaceship Discovery whose computer Hal 9000 mysteriously malfunctioned and caused the deaths of four astronauts. This sequel to Stanley Kubrick's 1968 masterpiece 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY in no way comes close to matching that legendary film. One simply shouldn't expect the dactylic rhythms or enigmatic secrets of 2001. That being said, as sequels go it's not bad at all though it fails to deliver the goods in its promised "something wonderful is going to happen" finale. Instead of "something wonderful", we get the idealistic drivel of a Shangri-La philosophy, sci-fi style. Technically, the picture is a marvel as attested by its five Oscar nominations in the technical categories. The acting is solid if unspectacular. Efficiently directed by Peter Hyams, who wrote the screenplay based on Arthur C. Clarke's novel. The cast includes Roy Scheider, Helen Mirren, John Lithgow, Bob Balaban, Keir Dullea, Elya Baskin, Mary Jo Deschanel, Douglas Rains returns as HAL 9000 and Candice Bergen voices his female counterpart, SAL 9000.