Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997) — Best sequel number one

“Who’s ready to party on the big boat besides me?”

Justin’s rating: Scope and Listerine combined do nothing to take this bad taste out of my mouth!

Justin’s review: I remember seeing Speed 2: Cruise Control in the theaters like it was yesterday. Because it was yesterday. Anyway, there I was in a deserted screening of the touted Jason Patric blockbuster, eyes wide with anticipated wonderment, heart fluttering with hope and cholesterol. Then the images leapt off of the screen and adrenaline shot through my veins.

However, that was just the trailers. The actual movie happened something like this:

ME: [minute five] Whoopie. Well, they’ve about rehashed every single joke from Speed 1, so hopefully it’s all gold from here!

ME: [minute seventeen] So… a cruise ship? That’s kind of dull. Oo! Maybe it has secret rockets and it transforms into a spaceship!

ME: [minute twenty] No rockets.

ME: [minute thirty-five] Huh.

ME: [minute forty-two] I asked for BUTTER on this popcorn, not imitation Clear-Sludge!

ME: [minute fifty-one] Well, we’ve passed the point of no sucking return. Even if the remaining time is nothing but precious originality, this would still be a waste of time.

ME: [minute sixty and yelling at the screen in a mostly-empty theater] YOU KNOW, FOR A MOVIE WITH THE WORD “SPEED” IN THE TITLE, NOTHING IN THIS MOVIE IS FAST! THAT’S WHAT WE CALL “FALSE ADVERTISING!”

ME: [minute seventy] I wonder if the Jehovah’s Witnesses are hiring. I’ve always wanted to be part of a freaky cult.

Yes, by going to see this, I inadvertently ordered the supersized meal of Dreck with a side of Disappointment. Be ye not fooled by Siskel and Ebert’s “Two Thumbs Up!” recommendation (seriously), for the only way you could redeem this movie is if you took away its sequel status, made it a stand-alone film, took out that horrid “Cruise Control” subtitle that made a bad pun at the expense of putting an image of a grandmother driving 35 in a 75 mph zone into your head, and threw some free cartoon shorts onto the screen before the main feature. Then Speed 2 would merely be a boring mediocre film, instead of a disaster of stupid proportions.

There’s no excuse for the pathetic “nice try” attempt here. Take a franchise that isn’t even a franchise — it was just one film — then plow ahead with a sequel even when the main actor from the first movie was more interested with touring with his band than being in this (true story). Then, instead of giving the lead role to Sandra Bullock, which would have at least the honor of being original for the genre, just throw in another black-haired stony-faced guy to fill in for Generic Action Hero. Then, why not, place most of the movie on a vehicle that is most commonly associated with “all you can eat buffet” and “moves about 10 miles per hour,” give your lead (and only) villain the singular trait of being chummy with leeches, and patter out with filler dialogue… Ladies and gents, you have yourselves a stinker.

I was so let down by this film, in fact, that I engaged in the time-honored tradition of moviegoers by screen hopping into a different movie showing right after seeing this. Slight rebellion and minor illegality, yes, but I felt it justified by having thrown my money into the deep pockets of soulless studio execs.

Oh, what movie did I end up hopping into and seeing without paying for it?

Batman & Robin.

I’m not joking.

My screams will last for the ages.

One comment

  1. Crikey! It’s lucky you made it out of there alive. I’d have been strapping the paddles from the emergency heart-starters onto myself and plugging them into the mains current…

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