5.31.2008

The WTF? Worst Films Extravaganza Presents: Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)

DIRECTED BY
Jan de Bont


STARRING
Sandra Bullock - Annie Potter
Jason Patric - Alex Shaw
Willem Dafoe - John Geiger
Temuera Morrison - Juliano

Year - 1997

Score - 0.5 Howls Outta 4


In 1994, an action film took the world [and the box office] by storm called SPEED. Not only was it an exciting, action-packed, nail-biting film - but it also propelled former BILL AND TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE [or BOGUS JOURNEY, whichever film you prefer], Keanu Reeves, to superstardom. It also put former DEMOLITION MAN co-star Sandra Bullock on the A-list. It was one of those one-shot action flicks about a bomb underneath a bus that needed to go above 55 mph to prevent the bomb from blowing up the vehicle. There was no need for a sequel or a franchise for this harmless film.

But in Hollywood, when money talks...bullshit walks.

And bullshit we got in 1997 when SPEED 2: CRUISE CONTROL was released to the unsuspecting [and uncaring] public. The thing I hate other than remakes - I'm sorry..."re-imagings"- are pointless sequels. SPEED 2 is a pure example of a film that should have never been made, let alone distributed in theaters. I mean, who the hell wants to see a boat hit an ocean liner because some disgruntled bastard wants revenge? I'll watch the end of TITANIC for that kind of crap. And as much as that film is overrated, at least James Cameron knew how to pace the scene to make it tense and visually exciting. SPEED 2 has none of that. Just boring cops, boring maniacal villains [how is that even possible?], and a perky and bubbly Sandra Bullock playing the same role she always does in films like this. So sit back and play shuffleboard, because this WTF? review of SPEED 2: CRUISE CONTROL is docking at Wolf Harbor. Throw an anchor on this one, boys, because this ship is sunk!

PLOT
Bubbly Annie Porter (Sandra Bullock, reprising her role from the original SPEED) is torn about her love life. After dumping Jack [played by Keanu Reeves in the previous film] after surviving that whole bus nightmare, she's been seeing Alex Shaw (Jason Patric) who also happens to be on the S.W.A.T. Team. Upset that Alex kept this fact away from her, Alex decides to whisk Annie away on a cruise to the Caribbean for some relaxation. They keep saying that it's gonna be the perfect vacation, meaning that something bad is gonna happen [cliche]. While they share some alone time on the ship, they're clueless to the fact that a crazed computer genius named John Geiger (Willem Dafoe) is aboard ready to destroy the ship by hacking into the cruise's computer network and directing a corpse straight into an oil liner! Gasp! Why he does this? Well he got fired because he was dying or something. Some retarded reason like that. Plus he wants some jewelry the cruise ship is showcasing. Anyway, Alex and Annie figure it out and decide to find a way to stop Geiger because everyone on the ship sinks like the Titanic.

REVIEW
I have three words for SPEED 2: CRUISE CONTROL:

WHAT THE FUCK!!??

Let me just begin with this: If Keanu Reeves would rather tour with his hitless band, Dogstar, than get paid $15 million dollars for a film, your film SUCKS! And boy does SPEED 2 suck harder than Amy Winehouse at a crack den. For over 2 hours [which felt like 2 days], I kept asking myself why was this film even produced? What's the point in seeing SPEED on a fuckin' ship? With less interesting characters and a really boring hero-villain dynamic? Does anyone care for another fuckin' SPEED? Because I sure didn't back then and I still don't!

Where do I begin with this one? Hmmm...maybe I should start with the characters. God, are they ever annoying! There's like 20 fuckin' supporting characters in this film and NONE of them are interesting! All they do is smile, whine, and scream. Well except for that deaf girl who seems to have the ability to climb like fuckin' Spider-Man and escaped a stalled elevator. Do I mention that she's a little whore too? She couldn't wait to get into Alex's pants. Maybe she's a big fan of THE LOST BOYS, I dunno. Yep, you get the stereotypical characters: the fat stupid guy, the black stupid photographer, the skinny and fat stupid sisters, the two hysterical stupid parents, the stupid control freakish ship officers, etc. None of them appeal to me. I was hoping they did crash into that oil liner. Save me 2 fuckin' hours!

Speaking of Alex, boy was this guy just the smartest, most able to do everything but smile, person in the whole fuckin' world! It was like watching McGUYVER but with a worse actor and lamer tricks. He knew Gieger was a villain the moment he spotted him. He knew how to work his way around a cruise liner and block every obstacle Geiger placed upon him. He can deep sea dive with ease. He can jump on planes and save his girlfriend. The man can do it all! What a really boring hero! This dude has no flaws. Sure, he's too much of a cop but is that really something bad? Plus it's treated like a non-issue after a few mentions of that very characteristic. How can we root for someone who seems to be perfect in saving people's lives? He's a robot, not a human being. You can't really relate to him at all.

And John Geiger ain't no better either. Who the fuck crashes boats into oil liners? Why couldn't he just fuck with the crew through their technology, steal the diamonds, got off the boat, and then blew it up? Simple as that! But instead, he's busy playing cat and mouse with Alex, revealing every single bit of his evil plan as the film rolls on. And then he takes Annie as a hostage. For what reason? If you're planning on killing EVERYONE on the ship, who are you trying to coerse into negotiating with you? I understand Geiger's motives, but how he attempts to achieve them is really confusing. What the fuck is up with this guy?

I think the thing I hate most besides the characters and the stupid retread of SPEED [but on a boat! Hyuk! Hyuk!] is the direction by Jan de Bont. SPEED was awesome. TWISTER was very good. But this...this is just a piece of shit. I mean, the movie is called SPEED 2! Yet, NOTHING IN THIS FILM MOVES FAST!!!!! Where's the excitement? The suspense? The tension? Not even a boobie? What gives!? All I got was some asshole shaking his camera inside a cruise ship, all leading to a very ridiculous sequence where the ship destroys a town harbor. And directed very generically by the way. Gee, color me excited. Even the explosions were dull. And was that a fuckin' cow in one of them!? And everything before that is ridiculous as well. Nothing makes fuckin' sense to the point where I thought this was a spoof of SPEED. But nope, this was as serious as it was advertised. Too bad...it could have been one of the best comedies of 1997.

The acting was blah. Jason Patric is a good actor but not in a film like this. He doesn't smile, he's so serious that I think he's already rehearsing for NARC before even getting the part years later, and he has the charisma and personality of a printer. Say what you want about Keanu Reeves, but at least he knew to have fun in the original SPEED. Patric doesn't know how to lighten up, ruining the film for me. Your girlfriend is being played by Sandra Bullock in a bikini. Smile and cop a feel! Not Patric...this guy wouldn't even have chemistry with a tree. Horrible casting decision.

I wish I could say the same about Willem Dafoe as the villain, John Geiger. Dafoe is capable of playing an exciting villain. Just watch SPIDER-MAN for that, where his protrayal of the Green Goblin is one of its many highlights. But here, Dafoe seems to be going through the motions. You know...look menacing, force a crazy laugh, shoot a gun, steal the hero's girlfriend, and so on? Dafoe acts like he wants no part in this film. He has no energy, no spunk, and no excitement to be playing this level of villain. Not that I blame him really. It's a pretty cliched part. Maybe he was hoping for more sex with Madonna, I dunno. At least he would have been motivated in his role.

Out of everyone, Sandra Bullock is the only actor who seems to understand what kind of film she's actually in. She's likeable, she's spunky, and she's actually quite funny as Annie. She should have been the lead character, but is treated as a supporting one. Sure, she uses this schtick in every film she's in, but at least it works! And she does it well. Plus she's in a bikini. Who doesn't want to see that? But it still doesn't help make the film any more watchable. Still, Bullock is the only one who comes out smelling like a rose in this one. I like her in this film, which I can't honestly say about anything else.

Interesting trivia: SPEED 2 was the original vision of DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE.

Thank you Bruce Willis for forcing a new and BETTER script. I knew there was a reason why I'm a fan of yours.

THINGS I'VE LEARNED WHILE I HAD THE MOTION AND THE NOTION TO ROCK THE BOAT

1. Annie Porter is a horrible and reckless driver. And she doesn't even stop to collect car insurance. MISS CONGENIALITY she ain't!

2. If your girlfriend or wife is mad at you for lying to her, buy her off with an expensive gift. Hey, it worked for Kobe's and A-Rod's wives, didn't it?

3. UB40 performed on the Seaborne Legend. Pretty ironic since I think I need some "Red, Red Wine" to get through the rest of this film.

4. John Geiger puts leeches on himself for therapy. That's funny because this film is leeching off my precious time.

5. The captain of the ship drowned after being pushed overboard. I thought all sea men could swim? I guess the captain was shooting blanks.

6. Geiger damaged the boat to steal diamonds. I guess they're not only a girl's best friend.

7. Annie Porter can weild a pretty mean chainsaw. I see someone wants to star in the next TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. Leatherface will use his saw and Annie will use the horribleness that is PREMONITION. Oh man...Leather doesn't have a chance.

8. The deaf girl wanted to fuck the much older Jason Patric. Hey, save that B.S. for Jamie Lynn Spears!

9. Geiger brutally manhandled Annie to take her hostage. He must have seen HOPE FLOATS. Totally understandable.

10. A cow flew out of the blown up fuel tanker. I didn't realize Kathie Lee Gifford was on the ship!

THE FINAL HOWL
SPEED 2: CRUISE CONTROL is one of the most boring, generic, and all-time bad action films anyone can see. Only Sandra Bullock saves this from being a total failure. If you want to watch a good action film, watch the original SPEED or the DIE HARD films. You'll get more than your money's and time's worth. As for you, SPEED 2, you can cruise on into the WTF? Vault. Oh yeah, you can also...KISS MY ASS!!!

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