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sandra bullock in high heels and wielding a chainsaw ?
yup , it's gotta be summer .
just when you thought the pointless sequel had gone the way of franchise films and direct-to-video releases , into port slams speed 2 : cruise control , the gloriously godawful follow-up to the 1994 sleeper about a bus rigged to explode if it slowed below a certain speed .
the gimmick , this time , is an ocean liner rigged to , well , crash into stuff .
sound exciting ?
dennis hopper's disgruntled bomb squader , the villain of the first film , has given way to willem dafoe's disgruntled computer programmer , a maniac whose main beef has something to do with having to use live leeches , i kid you not , as a self-treatment for copper poison- ing .
( and said poisoning induced by prolonged exposure to electro- magnetic fields , no less !
calling dean edell . . . )
so , he overrides the boat's computer , convinces the crew to abandon ship , and sends the remaining passengers , those who couldn't evacuate in time , on a col- lision course with destiny .
( oddly , no one thinks to just . . .
jump off the back of the boat . )
with keanu reeves electing not to return-- perhaps he read the script ? --
the job of john mcclane goes to jason patric ( sleepers ) , as the * second * la cop and swat team member that that bus drivin' babe annie ( bullock ) has dated .
( what are the odds ? )
they're on this caribbean cruise for pleasure , as are a handful of requisite stock characters , including a deaf teenager ( ! ) who has a crush on the hero ( ! ! ) who also knows how to sign ( ! ! ! ) .
( and you thought the raptor slam was a cool summer movie move ?
wait till you see the feats that * this * little girl can do , when stuck on a shipboard elevator ! )
bullock is her pesky , perky self , though she ends up with far less screen time than her top billing suggests .
( those paying attention to her bikini- and tank- tops probably won't complain , however ) patric is the main man in motion and that's damn good , 'cause when he stops to talk , he's only slightly less monotone than his predecessor .
( his first lol line is to ms . bullock : " i'd like to boogie with you . " )
of course , nobody in front of the camera embarrasses themselves quite the way that returning director jan de bont does .
he also produced this mess , which is insulting even by the most lax summer standards .
( con air , buddy , father's day , romy and michelle's high school reunion , murder at 1600 , 8 heads in a duffle bag , anaconda , vegas vacation , meet wally sparks , metro , bevery hills ninja , the relic , all is forgiven ) .
worse , he's spent a hundred mil on a premise that doesn't even live up to its title !
there's no sweat-inducing motion of the ocean here-- just two hours of shaky handheld camera work and a handful of cross-cut exteriors , all leading up to the big slam , when the love boat sideswipes an oil tanker and then plows into a harbor town .
( oh , how far we've come in twenty years .
remember the simple fun of seeing a locomotive smash into railway station in the silver streak ? )
admittedly , either of the aforementioned sequences is worth the price of admission .
it's just the rest of the movie-- the other hundred or so minutes-- that's pure nonsense .
and wonderful nonsense at that .
i know he didn't intend to , but de bont has done one thing right : he's created the hands-down funniest film of the year .
so , now , allow to present a few more things that made me laugh :
o a box with a big label : " fiber optic converter "
o plain english , whole-sentence computer instructions
o an entire sequence devoted to opening a fire door
o jason patric's character walks onto the bridge and immediately understands everything that's happening
o a ships' navigator who speaks in a scottish accent and actually gets to say " i canna override it ! "
o willem dafoe's amazing arm-mounted keyboard
o two living , breathing adults ( bullock's character and the first mate ) who have to be told , step by step , how to disconnect a trip wire from the pin of a hand grenade .
duh
o " no wait ! "
screams the ship's intercom
o yet another damn dog in peril
o fishing reel .
pontoon plane .
memories of weekend at bernie's
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