Speed 2: Cruise Control
Reviewed by Arno Mikli
Rating: 4.5 Beans
t looked ever so promising with lots of promising ingredients : lots of action in the form of a car chase and a runaway pleasure cruiser (with speedboats, an oil tanker and a plane thrown in for good measure), Sandra Bullocks's popularity, a brief but spectacular explosion that dwarfs the one seen in Speed when the bus hits the pane, and the good reputation left behind by Speed. Why, then, does this film fail to live up to its precedessor?
Two main reasons come to mind.
The first of these was the decision to include comedy in this film, and in particular the way comical little scenes are intertwined with the action scenes.
For example, the suspense and action of the boat hitting the dry dock at the end of the film were marred by unnecessary comical intejections involving people and property located at the dock. The car chase at the start of the scene was similarly spoiled by distracting shots of Annie's driving problems. This depiction of Annie Porter (Sandra Bullock) as a real-life Mr Magoo whenever she drives a car conflicts badly with what we saw of her in Speed, and not what would've been expected or desired by that film's fans.
These mixtures of action and comedy just didn't work.
The second reason is the handling and portrayal of the crisis on the pleasure cruiser.
There were too many feasibility problems. For instance, why were there no guards on the boat to look after all that jewellery? Would someone as well informed about about the boat's structure as John Geiger (William Dafoe) was have overlooked the manual controls of the ship's propellors? Just how many people did leave on those lifeboats? Virtually the entire crew and passenger list still seemed to be there after the cruiser was supposedly largely evacuated.
Then there's the way the crisis itself was expressed. This reviewer found it harder to care about the plight of the passengers of the cruiser the way he did to the passengers on the bus in Speed. For example, the plight of the deaf girl in the stuck elevator created no suspense and only a little interest, mainly because of the way in which the situation was portrayed. This sort of thing, where the audience fails to care much about a character that they are supposed to care about, is always a bad sign in a script. To be fair, the film does eventually take off in terms of making the audience care about the people in trouble but it never reaches the heights that it should be reaching.
Some trivial aspects of the crisis had too much time spent on them. The leeches that Geiger likes to carry about with him and the rain that appears rather suddenly in the middle of the film are examples here.
Other aspects of the crisis seemed pointless. For example, what was the point of that scene where Geiger, when he is impersonating a crew member (also for no clear purpose), poses for a photo with those passengers?
In short, the script needs some major overhauling.
By way of concluding remarks, this reviewer must say that while this film is not as bad a sequel as, say, Grease 2 , it remains a disappointment. It is recommended only for Sandra Bullock and Jason Patric fans, and those who are not especially fussy about their action films.
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