Roy Scheider plays the astronaut/skipper of a U.S.-Soviet space mission, sent to find out what happened to the missing Discovery flight that carried Keir Dullea into the beyond in the original 2001. —allmovie guide
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Abstract ideas: ruined. Interpretation: ruined. Tone: ruined. What's left: another boring, ultra-linear SFX exhibition. There's a reason Kubrick went out of his way to DESTROY ALL THE MATERIALS from 2001.
Once you get over the sacrilege of not only making a sequel to 2001, but making it direct, prosaic, and sentimental, this is an absolutely not-bad sci-fi film that's had the decency to be largely forgotten, so the original can still stand alone.