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Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)

Directed by Jan de Bont

Speed 2 -- Bullock

Keanu Reeves looks like a frickin' genius for avoiding a potential career iceberg. Unfortuntely for Sandra Bullock, she did board this "speed on a boat" and Jan de Bont rewards her by relegating her to the chore of "comic" relief to brooding cop Jason Patric and then later as a hapless hostage to Willem Defoe.

Just analyzing this shit is making my brain bleed but here it goes: whiny and ultra-annoying Bullock is on a cruise ship vacation with her stiff-as-a-board boyfriend (Jason Patric) so they can work on their relationship. Like anyone cares about these knuckle-heads. A disgruntled Dafoe goes-postal when he is fired from the cruise line after he's diagnosed with copper poisoning from working with their computers (?). Dafoe brings a laptop onboard so he can hack into the ship's computer system and take it over. This hacking into computers-thing is already a complete cliche. Time to think of something new guys. Okay, Dafoe also brings along a jar full of leeches to suck his poisoned blood. I have to admit that I do like this one detail of an otherwise boring psycho. To make Dafoe's motives and thinking even more muddy (that's where he keeps the leeches?), he programs the ship to collide with an oil tanker while he steals millions of dollars worth of diamond jewelry onboard the ship. Is his motive revenge or greed? He's not the main character so his motivation should be fairly straight-forward. To make matters worse, when Dafoe could escape, he takes Bullock hostage for no other reason than to somehow involve her in the story. Oh, that's right! She's supposed to be the main character.

Speed 2 -- bullock and dafoe

The end of the movie has the most expensive stunt ever filmed and it is amazingly unspectacular. The liner does a slow crash through a pier and a couple of buildings while bystanders mug like they're in a "Little Rascals" short. Also, Jan de Bont carries on the recent tradition of foreign directors who raise the specter of pederasty for no reason whatsoever. In this case, between Jason Patric and a fourteen year-old deaf girl who looks disturbingly like Jon Bennet-Ramsey! Roman Polanski, Atom Egoyan and Luc Besson better look out! -- Rating: $0.25 (a penny for every leech)

Tom Graney -- Hollywood Outsider copyright 1997

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