Out in space on a desolate planet, human Charlie McFadden and the shapeshifting bounty hunters Ug and Lee search for a vicious, worm-like creature. After killing the beast, they depart the planet. Soon afterwards, they receive a new assignment by Zanti, head of the High Council. He tells them that Critters are still on Earth and must be destroyed. With that, they set a course for Earth. Noticing Charlie brooding, Ug inquires what is wrong. Charlie states his reluctance to going back after two years and asks, concerned, whether they would leave him there. Ug reassures him they had no such intentions.
Back on Earth, Brad Brown is visiting his grandmother in Grover's Bend and word gets around the town fast implying he became well known after the events of the first film. Shortly after the bounty hunters arrive, the Critters eat a man's (dressed as an Easter bunny) stomach out. No one believes it was the Critters, thinking it was a farming accident until the Critters terrorize the town. They grow in large numbers. Lee is killed and devoured by the Critters, causing Ug to slip into a deep depression and revert to his alien form. The remaining people of the town devise a plot.
They lead the Critters to a burger shop in an attempt to blow them up but fail. The Critters then come together into a large ball and begin heading to the church (rolling over a man, killing him). Just before they reach the church, Charlie flies directly into them with Ug's spaceship, seemingly destroying the Critters and sacrificing himself. Ug then takes on Charlie's facial feature in honor of his bravery. It is later revealed the next day as Brad begins to depart that Charlie survived by using a parachute and stays on Earth, becoming sheriff of the town. Ug departs in a new spacecraft, still wearing the guise of Charlie.Scott Grimes as Brad Brown
Don Keith Opper as Charlie McFadden
Terrence Mann as Ug
Roxanne Kernohan as Lee
Liane Alexandra Curtis as Megan Morgan
Barry Corbin as Sheriff Harv
Tom Hodges as Wesley
Douglas Rowe as Quigley
Lindsay Parker as Cindy
Herta Ware as Nana
Lin Shaye as Sal
Sam Anderson as Mr. Morgan
Eddie Deezen as Hungry Heifer manager
Garris got the chance to direct after having worked for Steven Spielberg on the television series Amazing Stories as a screenwriter. The film was shot in Santa Clarita outside Los Angeles.
The film was released theatrically in the United States by New Line Cinema in April 1988. It grossed $3.8 million at the box office and was the last film in the series to be released theatrically.
The film was released on VHS and laserdisc by New Line Home Video later the same year. In 2003, New Line Home Entertainment released the film on DVD. The film was re-released in a set containing all four Critters films on DVD by Warner Bros. in 2010.
Rotten Tomatoes reports that 33% of nine surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 4.1/10. Film critic Roger Ebert gave the film 1 out of 4 stars, writing, "It lacks all of the style and sense of fun of the original Critters (1986) and has no reason for existence".
Critters 2: The Main Course was followed by Critters 3 and Critters 4, directed by Kristine Peterson and Rupert Harvey, respectively. Critters 4 used outer space scenes from this film, as well as from Android (1982).
In an episode of The Simpsons, Homer Simpson attempts to beat a world record by gathering everyone in Springfield and making them stand on each other. They then form a ball which rolls down town, and one man who is too slow to get away from the ball is run over.