Sandra ("Oh my gawd!") Bullock suffers a serious case of déjà vu as she sets sail for one of the most cringeworthy sequels ever made. With a budget of over two hundred million dollars, one would expect at least two things; that with the same money it took produce 'Titanic' (also released in 1997), you would enjoy a movie with a more than descent script, and that the plot would make some sort of sense. Alas, this is not the case.
Speed 2 falls into the 'Armageddon' category - that being the only way to enjoy it is to literally disengage your brain and naively accept everything that is thrown at you. But for those who prefer to stay plugged in, you will ultimately suffer a headache from some serious face-palming (that's modern lingo for slapping one's head, 'dude') after two hours of this nonsense.
I'm not even sure how they (20th Century Fox, the masters of action flicks) could allow this to go so wrong after the quite enjoyable first movie. It all kicks off when Annie, who only 3-minutes into the film is already having good ol' "Oh my gawd!" session (during a driving test of course, so she can enjoy behaving dumb) suddenly discovers that her boyfriend is none other than some secret mysterious cop... guy... as he comes crashing in front of her during a car chase. And I can assure you that Officer Alex Shaw was NOT picked for his acting ability; rather, he has the chiseled jaw that you could set your watch to and biceps that will no doubt crush a weaklings head.
The outcome of this incident is that Annie suddenly comes to her senses: she doesn't 'know' this guy. She didn't know he was a cop, and quite frankly, she pretty much admits that he's almost a stranger. This begs the question of why they would even be partners in the first place, but the insipid script would suggest that they're just common Hollywood morons. How are they going to patch things up? Well, like in all new relationships, they go on a cruise to the Caribbean.
Now things can get interesting! I mean, what could go wrong?...
After boarding what appears to be either an undersized cruise 'ship' or an oddly designed ferry (which I warn you, seems to change in proportion many times throughout the movie), we can finally familiarise ourselves with the hapless idiots that make up all the cliche' in the book... The crazy babbling black guy, the group of screaming fat women, the casanova who likens his chances with anything demonstrating a pulse and, of course, the crew members who are about as helpful as a chocolate teapot.
It's a fine mixture for the chaos that ensues. The touch paper is provided by some crazy guy called Will...llem...liam... ... W. Defoe (all I know is that he fought in Vietnam with Charlie Sheen) who basically wants to be a douche bag and crash the ship because the shipping company he worked for fired him.
... Well, once you've got over that BOMBSHELL, and what is essentially the main catalyst for everything that happens, you're pretty much stuck with an underwhelming motive for destruction. Add to this the fact that although he wants revenge on the company he worked for, he uses this chance to take over the ship and steal the passengers jewellery from the ship's safe (which we don't see how he got into). I mean seriously, aren't their easier ways to imitate the Pink Panther?
It doesn't matter though, because after hacking into the ship's main computer terminal controlling thing-a-majig (you know, that Hollywood thing that all bad guys 'hack' into to cause some trouble), he can suddenly control everything from a computer keyboard on his arm. Someone's after him? Randomly press buttons and the doors around him close. Change the ship's course? Randomly press buttons... You get the drift. No pun intended.
So once he's had his bit of fun and stalled the ship temporarily, jackass Officer Alex Shaw can - literally - smell something wrong, because the smoke being vented from the ducts (caused by a fiendish fire decoy) is not the right compound. Rather than just getting in a liferaft like every other passenger, he just has to stay on board and suddenly take control WITHOUT telling a single person crew member for the rest of the movie that he's even a cop! They all just assume that he's, like, Steven Segal on another ship.
The movie then touches on just about every cliché going for the next hour... Trapped passengers, a child in a flooding room, the dumb British characters, "My god....", and of course the epic finalé How epic is it? Well, I don't know what the screenwriters were drinking, but I have no idea how this constantly shrinking-largening vessel could possibly crash into a harbour, crawl onto land and continue to devastate a lush Caribbean waterfront whilst maintaining a constant speed and structural integrity. How does the ship one minute completely leave the sea and destroy everything in its path, then on the final shot of the movie, provide an accomplished-but-tradgic view of it still touching the water?
The outcome isn't as entertaining as process, of course. We have a crew member yelling out the speed every time it decreases (Since when have a ship's propellers been a reliable source for speed on dry land?), the passengers being flailed left, right and centre, Sandra Bullock held hostage as usual and Officer Idiot flexing his muscles whilst making - seemingly - futile attempts to stop the ship.
You think this all sounds pessimistic? Excuse yet another pun, but I'm only touching the iceberg here. The difference between this movie and it's predecessor was that the former had motives (if questionable ones) for drama and destruction. This on the other hand is just a confused excuse to holiday in the Caribbean and destroy things.
Wait a minute.. Why's this even called 'Speed'? It has NOTHING in relation to the concept of speed or the original movie! Ahh hell with it, I'm tired now.