Annie Porter, the woman who was held on a bus with a bomb attached to it that will go off if it slows down. She dated the cop who saved her but broke up with him because he was constantly putting his life in danger. She would then date a guy named Alex who is also a cop but told her that he does a mundane assignment. But she eventually learns that he works for the same unit that the other guy worked for and is also addicted to danger. She wants to break up with but he surprises her with a cruise. She agrees to go. And he's planning to propose to her. But when he notices another passenger act peculiar, he can't help but try to find out what's up with him. He's Geiger, a computer man who designed the ship's systems, who was fired. He then takes over the ship's systems and sets it on a course that will send it into a tanker. Alex tries to stop him. Written by
Made worse by the knowledge of the brilliant film it succeeds
Having long since broken things off with her boyfriend, Annie and her new beau plan a romantic holiday on an ocean liner. When onboard a disgruntled ex-employee of the liner disables the computer controls and sets it on a collision course while he escapes with his goods. Alex has to take him on and try to stop the ship as it `races' out of control.
As if Twister hadn't done it already, Speed 2 basically showed us that the potential that was shown by De Bont's debut was clearly misplaced and he has yet to show he was really anything other than in the right place at the right time when it came to Speed. The smell of desperation is in the air from the very start when Reeves declined to star, although Bullock was more desperate and did it. This caused Annie to repeatedly state that `relationships built on etc etc never work out', all in an effort to explain it away and help the audience move on. That the film is constantly harking back to a much better film is a big problem, it would almost have been smarter just to move totally away than to retread.
The plot is plain silly and never gets close to being involving. To demonstrate this, I never once gave a rats' ass what was happening - people got crushed by the boat and mangled in it's propellers (unseen) but the film (or me) never care and never lingers. Likewise the supposed big climax is unengaging and smacks of desperation - bang for buck and all that. The whole set up never really feels immediate or threatening, even when the boat swings out of control it is difficult to feel terrified as the boat slooooowly goes towards the tanker, worst come to worst people can jump off to safety. The cruiser setting also is daft when seen beside the bus concept - the vast majority of the audience will ride a bus quite often, very few of us can relate to an ocean liner! The speed is a problem and it is almost laughable it works so poorly!
The cast is another problem. Bullock tries to repeat her sparky performance from the first film - when she manages it, it only feels like an impression, when she doesn't manage it she is cast as a shrieking beauty needing saving. However she also struggles from a lack of chemistry with Patric. It is a shame as he is an OK actor but not used to a pure action role and not used to not having material to work with. He lacks charisma and is quite unconvincing. Dafoe is awful; he drags the film down as much as anyone. His villain is a joke and never threatens in the way that Hopper's did (who managed to be funny and scary). It is a bad impression all round. The support cast of `innocents in peril' do much the same as the ones on the bus did, but we care less about them - they are well off and are separated from the action; those on the bus were in the thick of it and `normal' people who we could relate to.
Overall this is as good a reason for not making unplanned sequels as any - there should be a board to approve all sequels to prevent cashing in! The memory of the original is cheapen by this nasty film that is uninspiring and unthrilling at best, dull and stupid at worst. De Bont never gets up a decent head of steam and he shows his inability to inject drama out of his own skill - anyone can point a camera, not everyone can (or should) direct. A dull 2 hours later, I was wondering why I wasted my time with a film that was so clearly all at sea.
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