Speed 2: Cruise Control

USA - 1997

Movie Review By Alex Lau

Let me say one thing up front: "Speed 2: Cruise Control" isn't as bad as I thought it would be. However, I expected it to be putrid, and it just barely escapes that distinction.

Sandra Bullock is back as Annie, the slightly spacy, temporary bus driver from the first "Speed" movie. Director Jan de Bont is also back, with his frenetic non-stop-action style that barely gives the viewer time to breathe, let alone time to realize that there's very little discernible plot.

Keanu Reeves is gone, essentially replaced by Jason Patric. Patric plays Annie's new boyfriend Alex, and he's a daredevil cop, just like Keanu was. He neglects to tell Annie about this, though, so to apologize, he decides to take her on a cruise to get away from it all, and so they can get to know each other better.

Alex picked the wrong cruise, of course, and no, it's not because of Kathy Lee Gifford. Rather, this cruise is the target of an evil computer programmer, none other than Willem Dafoe. Apparently Dafoe was fired for bleeding himself with leeches at work, or something like that. I'm a little weak on the details.

Anyway, lots of stuff happens, as Annie and Alex try to stop the bad guy from stealing the loot and blowing up the boat. That pretty much sums it up. It's "Speed" on a boat.

Unfortunately, "Speed 2" adds up to considerably less than the sum of its parts. For one thing, director de Bont seems to have something against using a tripod, because the camera is constantly jumping around, never holding steady. It's enough to make you literally seasick. For another, someone has got to hook him up with a screenwriter that can write dialogue that real human beings would actually say.

Bullock, Patric, and Dafoe give perfectly passable performances, but almost all the excitement and suspense that made "Speed" so fresh and entertaining is missing from "Speed 2: Cruise Control." Action, just for the sake of action, is no substitute.

© 1997 Alex Lau Air Date: 6/18/97

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