By Matthew Turner (Birmingham)
Right, before I start I should mention that in my previous review of the original Speed I finished off by saying these words, “THE LESS SAID ABOUT SPEED 2: CRUISE CONTROL THE BETTER!” Yes, I know that I implied I couldn’t say anything on that movie but the temptation to vent on it has seemed too much.
I’m a fan of the late 90s movies and early 2000 up to present day, but also a fan of the old school ones to, so all my reviews will be a mixed bag of movies from over the years. I enjoyed Speed so much, and thoroughly enjoy watching it when I get the chance to, so you can imagine my excitement when a sequel was announced, and not only that, but Sandra Bullock would also be returning as Annie. However, alarm bells did ring when Keanu Reeves declined the offer to return so his leading man role was handed to ‘Mr. Sort of man of the moment’ Jason Patric (where is he now?!). The movie was this time to be based on a cruise ship, which again got the old alarm bells going because where could the idea of speed come in to play with that? I still approached the movie optimistically as Sandra Bullock wouldn’t have said yes if it was rubbish, would she? Well, the answer would turn out to be yes, as it’s well rumoured she only took the part so she could start having more of a go of her own projects later on (no need to review Miss Congeniality 2 I think).
The opening was great with the music score booming, which I adore that theme, and then coincidently the new couple of Annie and Alex are on a cruise where mad man, but rather a brilliant villain, Willem Dafoe threatens the whole ship and soon the action goes in to, erm, well… staged boring adventure seafaring rubbish that hides behind a well-known film title from a few years earlier. Only Annie and a brief appearance from bald headed Joe Morton as Captain McMahon from the original movie keep this movie anywhere near the classic original. Jason Patric only has one facial expression throughout the whole movie and poor Ms. Bullock looks like she is regretting ever going for that late night chat with Jan de Bont about her return to a franchise that, yes did deserve a sequel, but no it didn’t deserve this one!