Speed 2: Cruise Control

1997, Movie, PG-13, 125 mins

Review

SPEED 2: CRUISE CONTROL
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Poor Annie (Sandra Bullock), the plucky lass who got stuck on that bus with the bomb rigged to the speedometer! She's broken up with the wild man who saved her -- enough of these compulsive thrill-seekers! -- and nice, quiet new squeeze Alex (Jason Patric) turns out to be another daredevil cop. And there's worse to come: He's bought them tickets for a relaxing sea cruise to the Caribbean, but surprise, surprise -- there's a mad bomber on board. SPEED was a surprise hit. This is not a surprising sequel, popped out of the same-only-different mold. The bomb-planting maniac is toothy Willem Dafoe instead of Dennis Hopper, his lethal grudge is against a manufacturer of electronic systems for cruise ships rather than the LAPD, he-man Jason Patric has some hair on his chest where Keanu Reeves was waxed to lacquered, boy-toy perfection... but the bottom line is Sandra Bullock, a mad bomber and a ticking clock. Bullock works the spunky thing, even in some extremely mean-spirited scenes in which Dafoe seems to be channeling Bobby Peru, the sleazy, rotting-from-within psycho-rapist he plays in WILD AT HEART, but the movie by which she's surrounded is curiously listless -- dispiriting, even. Randall McCormick and Jeff Nathanson's script has a disheartening let's get on with it air, and the film feels like marathon training: Got through explosion in the engine room -- check. Saved soaking wet passengers in malfunctioning lifeboat -- check. Rescued little deaf girl who got stuck in the elevator shaft: check. Swam under the ship to jam engine blades and through flooded ballast rooms to operate manual rudder controls -- check. By the time you get to rescue Annie from the madman one last time, it's time to check out. leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh

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