Bottom Line: It means I really love you all when I decide to watch Speed 2.
Directed by: Jan de Bont
Starring: Brian McCardie, Christine Firkins, Colleen Camp, Francis Guinan, Jason Patric, Lois Chiles, Michael G. Hagerty, Sandra Bullock, Temuera Morrison, Willem Dafoe
SPEED 2: CRUISE CONTROL is widely considered one of the worst sequels ever made. That’s totally agreeable, once we put aside the fact that there’s only one thing that ties it to 1994’s SPEED, which is Sandra Bullock’s character. Actually, it’s not even that. The only true similarity between the two films is her character’s name, really, because she has lost all personality, all sarcastic charm that we loved in that action movie from three years earlier. Here, she has to make up an excuse for why her boyfriend in the first film doesn’t make an appearance in this sequel. Though her character explains it differently, it’s really because at least Keanu Reeves–as well as everyone else in the original cast–was smart enough to say “no” to this disoriented sequel. It’s too bad Sandra Bullock wasn’t.
When SPEED 2 begins, Annie Porter (Sandra Bullock) already has a new boyfriend, Officer Alex Shaw (Jason Patric)–why another cop? Almost as soon as she has finished and failed a driving test–she explains in the first film that her license had been revoked because she had been excessively speeding–Alex surprises her with a cruise to the Caribbean. Everything is wonderful until a mad passenger, John Geiger (Willem Dafoe), hacks into the ship’s computer system, speeds it up, and heads it toward a large oil tanker.
Whereas SPEED was implausible fun, SPEED 2 is a thoroughly quizzical bore. The first half an hour is a fluffy romance. Alex waves tickets to a cruise liner in front of Annie’s face, Annie complains, cut to the next scene when they’re on the ship and suddenly Annie is having the time of her life, flaunt the grandeurs of the cruise ship, flaunt Annie’s love toward Alex, yadda yadda yadda. There is little transition to the panicking of the action sequences that begin nearly thirty-five minutes through, and we’re still stuck in the bright, happy, cheerful state of mind that blanketed the film for so long. The worst part about these action sequences is that somehow, they can’t manage (even with a villain who is slightly less corny than Dennis Hopper) to make a human heart accelerate any faster than it normally does. The first SPEED was a well-done thriller. Acting, camerawork, and music guaranteed heartrate to double. But those all seem to drown here. I got tired of predicting and laughing at every action that happened, so I got bored. I got bored of being bored, so I asked for some chloroform.