Summer 1997 - a high-octane trailer for Speed 2 precedes Con Air in cinemas. Audiences are impressed. "That looks good", they say. Con Air is a number 1 hit in early June. One week later (Friday the 13th no doubt) it is knocked-off the top spot by Speed 2. Audiences are still shell-shocked by the trailer and by memories of the 1994 hit. By the following week all goodwill that anyone was willing to lend the film had evaporated and it plummeted from the top spot at the box office to fifth. Two weeks later it would be out of the top 10. A bad result for a $110-million movie.
Speed 2 was originally scheduled for release in the UK in October 1997 but was switched with Volcano (another Fox production) for an August 15th release date. Apparently Fox wanted to be done with the movie as soon as possible. This was before the internet allowed every minute detail of a movie to be scrutinized before its release. Speed 2 wasn't released worldwide as much as it was purged.
I hate Speed. Keanu Reeves is a terrible actor and I have called his performance in that film one of the worst efforts in the past two decades. He is superseded in Speed 2 by the much more likable Jason Patic as Alex Shaw, an LAPD renegade who takes Annie Porter (Sandra Bullock playing up the ditzyness) on a cruise on the Seabourn Legend (a real ship) in the Caribbean. Their holiday is interrupted by John Giger, a likable maniac in the Travis Dane mold who seizes control of the ship and plans to rob the purser's safe in revenge for being fired by the parent company.
Most of the passengers are evacuated onto lifeboats, leaving a handful in danger as the ship heads forward at a whopping 14-miles-per-hour on a collision course with an oil tanker. It is incredibly dumb and stupid, but is still very entertaining and infrequently exciting. The running time is a little bloated, and it could have excised all of the "running around in dark corridors" scenes for a superior final cut. There is also a very, very annoying Glaswegian character (who speaks correct English, which no Glaswegian has done since the dawn of time) called Merced, which is probably the most far-fetched thing in the entire movie as people from that particular place are never called Merced. They are called disgusting names like Stuart McGeechnie, or Colin McGillvary, or John Muirhead. They are not called Merced. If he were also cut from the final product it would most certainly raise the overall rating.
One of the more curious things about Speed 2 is that it was rated PG in the UK (compared to the 15/R-rated original). Usually I would cry sacriledge at this family-friendly rating but it barely caught my attention back then and in retrospect it actually helps. Speed took itself very seriously. Speed 2 does not, and the jokey, goofy tone makes it much more enjoyable.
Mark Mancina raised the bar on action scoring with his iconic effort in 1994 and he delivers probably the best score of his career with Speed 2. It really proves what one can do under pressure as Mancina was scoring Con Air when he was called away early to work on Speed 2 (leaving Trevor Rabin to finish Con Air) and had a very tight deadline. It's not the tinny, synthy sound of Speed anymore, he uses a HUGE orchestra which might be the only thing bigger and more bombastic than the actual premise of the movie. Really amazing stuff and it's most definitely worth hunting down the limited edition CD.
There's a lot to like about Speed 2, and it doesn't deserve it's reputation. If you want mindless action, implausible set pieces, sunny scenery, and lots of destruction then look no further.
The Blu-ray is a very mixed bag in regards to video quality. It is an improvement on the awful 10-year-old DVD but still struggles with very weak black levels during the darker scenes and has a gauze-like appearance. The 2.35:1 1080p picture fares much better with daytime scenes and is generally colorful and pleasing to the eye. The DTS HD-MA sound is also very good. There are some fluff extras.
on 14 February 2014
Annie is thrilled when her boyfriend Alex presents her with two tickets for a cruise to the Bahamas on a Norwegian luxury liner.
The trip is a peace offering presented because Annie has just learnt that Alex is a police officer who's been lying to her about his job.
Alex lied because Annie didn't want to date any more cops after what happened with the bus in Los Angeles. The cruise ship's passengers include members of a diamond dealers' association, who have filled the ship's vault with valuable diamonds.
Little do they know that passenger John Geiger, the designer of the ship's computer system, has planned to take over the ship, steal the diamonds, and set the ship on a collision course with an oil tanker. Geiger was fired and cast aside by the computer company he worked for, and he wants revenge......
Nowhere near as bad as what people are saying on here, the film is dumb in many ways, but it's a little bit of fun, very bright and breezy, and features a really good explosion at the end.
Bullock does her ditsy shtick here, and it really grates at times, so we switch to Patric, who looks more concerned about getting wet and wondering what happened to his hair in The Lost Boys, a dull hero.
So we are left with Dafoe, who is clearly having a ball and enjoying the sun and fat pay-cheque.
For some reason, UB40 are on the ship, but you never see them again, and then guess who pops up near the end, the annoying bloke from speed, and they homage his scenes front that in this!!!
It's lethargic at times and knowing that the budget on this was $160 million, would make anyone hate it, but it's not a bad film and certainly not De bont's worst film.
on 23 March 2015
Rubbish! This movie hasn't got much quality I'm afraid. She seems to have lost her edge, running around looking for someone to protect her! Come on girl, work it out!
on 22 June 2016
I will never forget the time I sat watching this movie at my local multiplex. At around the 50 minute mark, my best friend quietly turned to me and said that they should have renamed this sequel ''Slow''. He wasn't wrong then, and in all honesty he's not that far off now.
Following the traumatic collision based events from the first movie, we first meet the now broken up (from Keanu) Annie (Sandra Bullock) as she takes driving lessons (in a car and not a bus this time. I guess Jack and Stan from 'One The Buses' were busy) whilst looking forward to a Caribbean cruise with her new boyfriend, Alex (Jason Patric on severe paycheck cashing duty). Unbeknownst to her he's lied about his profession and is in actually a dynamic SWAT team member... y'know, just like Keanu was in the original. Oh, how we laughed. Anyway, before the duo can 'Carry on Abroad', their trip takes a dangerous turn for the worst when they discover that crazy like a fox computer hacker John Geiger (Willem Dafoe with screwy eyes) has taken control of the ship they're holidaying on and is intent on crashing into an oil tanker for some reason that escapes me at this time of writing. I do recall he looked perpetually loopy, so felt that was probably good enough reason for his maritime based shenanigans, so left it there...
The film, to be honest is bobbins. Its difficult to shed any real praise on it - other than its well produced and is rather fun in one of those 'so bad, its good' 1970s Poseidon Adventure throwback style schlockers, but sadly that's it. Gone are the lean, tightly wound situations of the first movie, only to be replaced by broad characters that are either bland (Patric) or stupid (Bullock) with a story that is so convenient and contrived, you almost expect that guy from the first movie to turn up when Keanu hijacked his car... Oh yeah. He does. Erm... Director Jan De Bont (who apparently 'dreamed this sequel') encores but seems to have lost his knack for efficient action storytelling and instead goes all over the top, which when combined with a script that features an out of control cruise liner going about as fast as a snail on crack - feels bloated and most of all, pointless.
Fox's UK DVD release sports a fine transfer with vibrant audio (I haven't viewed the Blu-Ray release but wager that should look better), but the film is no great shakes. Sure its dumb and okay for a wet Sunday afternoon but don't go in expecting the high octane thrills of the first entry. No wonder Keanu jumped ship. Ahem.
on 5 December 2010
Speed 2 suffered from that occasional curse of sequels:
"We MUST make it - the first one made us TONS of money!"
As a result we get a movie that was rushed into production with everyone expecting it to work the holy trinity of Hollywood - IE: that it would be a) a mega cash-cow at the box office, b) tremendously exciting, and c) feature above average snappy dialogue and chemistry between the leads.
As is widely known, it tanked. People couldn't get excited about something that could just about scrape 30 knots (approx something like 36 mph), wasn't wired to totally blow up, and wallowed like a shiny whale. For a movie called 'Speed' 2, everybody pointed out, wasn't it counter-intuitive to set it on one of the slowest forms of transport in the world?
Despite all that, and despite both the writers & producers and returning director Jan De Bont 'pass-the-parcelling' the blame backwards and forwards between each other about where it messed up, it really isn't all that bad.
Underrated Jason Patrick (pretty good as an action-man, and certainly looking like he's put in the gym time for the part) plays Sandra Bullock's new boyfriend. We're indulged about where Keanu went with a brief explanation that she can't cope with the worry of dating a SWAT cop. Unfortunately for her, that's exactly what new beau Alex does for a living, so to make up for hiding it he whisks her away for a luxury cruise to the Caribbean.
All well and good, until irritable computer genius Willem Dafoe seizes the ship in a cunning and ruthless scheme.
The chemistry between Bullock and Patrick works - it just suffers a little in comparison to the 1,000 candlewatt energy and hungry enthusiasm of Reeves and Bullock in the original Speed - a lower budget sleeper hit that wasn't expected to do quite as well as it actually did.
It also has a slightly more laconic script. This one's clearly meant to allow the characters to grow a little, with a bit more chat before the mayhem hits.
Once it does, it's actually quite impressive. The dangers and mechanics of a vessel weighing as much as an apartment block going out of control are slickly presented (especially in an enjoyably over-the-top destructive finale), and we get a lot of moments of Bullock and Patrick in peril either trapped in compartments or getting soaked to save the passengers. Willem Dafoe overplays his wide-eyed maniac of a bad guy, but despite the side of ham he brings with him and the bizarre back story he gets, he still manages to seem like enough of a nasty piece of work for you to enjoy the tension and danger between his hijacker and the good guys.
The scenery is gorgeous, the direction is pretty flashy, and there are a fair few gunshots and explosions. It just could have done with tighter pacing and fewer of the big set pieces relying on delayed countdowns of 'is it going to...' expectation.
Don't let the negative comments put you off completely - it's trashy and a let down as a sequel, but it's still fun in its own right.
on 5 April 2016
So why isn't this film any good? Well the storyline, and characters are poorly constructed and the action scenes contain no real excitement. The soundtrack is mostly reggae which doesn't suit an action movie. The boat also wasn't a good location for this kind of film, the bus gave a real sense of speed and vulnerability, not so here. The total costs for the film were $110 million a very big budget for the 1990s but they are not put to good use. The script actually has Sandra Bullock chainsawing a door open to rescue people, why is there a chainsaw on a cruise ship?
Keanu Reeves wisely turned down the offer to return for this mess, Sandra Bullock returned though and even Willem Dafoe is in it perhaps showing that even great actors need a half decent story in which to work.
The film has a strong smell of desperation throughout, characters repeatedly survive impossible situations, there's zero chemistry between the two lead characters, in fact Jason Patric really has little to offer at all. The characters are painfully underwritten, the villain has no real backstory or interesting motive & Bullock is reduced to a witless supporting character. I couldn't help feel the whole decision to set it on a boat at all was heavily influenced by James Cameron's Titanic which came out in the same year and was a huge hit.
Don't watch this film if you liked Speed 1, don't watch it if you like exciting action films, in fact don't watch it if you like films in general.
on 14 September 2008
Oh Dear. Speed never need a sequel. It was a solid action movie with good performances and - most importantly - lots of speed, the essence of the film. Unfortunately, Speed 2 lacks both of these things, as well as anything else which could make it a good film.
Annie (Bullock) is off on a cruise with her new boyfriend, Alex (Patric). But surprisingly things don't go to plan when a crazy ex-employee of the ferry company with a terminal disease (Dafoe) takes over the ship using only his laptop. So its up to Alex, Annie and a few stupid crewmen to save the day.
So that's it in the way of plot. I'd go onto character development but there's nothing to say about that so I'll skip to the acting. Although Bullock is given top billing, she is (unfortunately) relegated to the sidelines and Keanu replacement Jason Patric does most of the work. As for his acting abilities, lets just say a coffee table would have been more convincing. And you thought Keanu Reeves was wooden. Dafoe is almost as bad.
Another area of dire quality is the script. Actually, atrocious would be more appropriate. Unlike the original it's filled with lots of "funny" bits, which only made me cringe even more than I was doing before. Even the action is poor. Where Speed screamed along at 100mph, the sequel kind of meanders along like a pensioner driver.
Verdict: Bad story, bad acting, bad script, bad film. Sitting through this film is as torturous as listening to Westlife. So in case you haven't caught on yet, AVOID THIS FILM.
The sequel to one of the decade's defining action blockbusters should have been pretty straightforward. All Jan De Bont (the film's director) had to do was follow five rules. One, come up with an immensely high concept. Two, maintain the action at a relatively swift pace. Three, give Annie (Sandra Bullock's character) plenty to say because audiences love her. Four, introduce a psychotic villain to scowl and yell like Dennis Hopper. And five, give us plenty more of Keanu Reeves character, SWAT boy Jack Traven, to woo the hearts of the female audience and bust the balls of anyone who gets in his way.
Rule one receives a big fat tick, as the filmmakers come up with a neat reversal of the original. If the newly chosen mode of transport DOESN'T stop, then everyone is in trouble. From this point on though, everything else receives a big fat cross. Rule two is immediately stuffed up by setting the forthcoming events on...wait for it...a cruise ship, meaning the action now progresses with the momentum of a wounded snail attempting to navigate through a puddle of treacle. Rule three also screws up with the screenwriters' decision to relegate Sandra Bullock to the sidelines, oohing and aahing as the men battle it out.
Rule four dies the moment that Willem Dafoe begins to gurn like Jim Carrey with severe constipation. Worst of all, we are informed that his nutjob has a strange blood disease that requires him to apply leeches at regular moments throughout the film...to think that someone actually got paid to write this stuff. And as for rule five...well, it appears to have been thrown out of a very tall building, as it is goodbye Keanu Reeves and hello Jason 'mahogany' Patric. Add dialogue that lands with the thud of a computer instruction manual, as well as clumsy and quite simply pathetic directing, and you are left with a film that sinks to the ocean floor. A one star film at best and it was lucky to get that.
on 16 March 2015
We enjoyed this film, we love Sandra Bullock films ..you can almost guarantee it is going to be good, usually action with laughs & a touch of romance. This one is no different, fun and action packed. I am not going to spoil the film by telling you about it and what I like and think is good you may not. Fun film that our family enjoyed 11 upwards...not too raunchy, I did not hear any bad language...so a good family film for 10/11 years upwards .a few explosions..
"Speed 2 Cruise Control" is the sequel to the hit blockbuster movie Speed. Directed by Jan De Bont it was released in 1997 (three years after it's predecessor) and stars Sandra Bullock, Jason Patric, Willem Dafoe, and Temuera Morrison.
I was a big fan of Speed and therefore I was really looking forward to watching it's sequel when it was released, but like so many others I was left rather disappointed.
Where Speed was more of a thriller, Speed 2 is more of a disaster-like adventure movie with some comedy (some unintentional) thrown in. This tended to upset some people who had certain expectations before watching the film. This change in film style while unexpected wasn't enough alone to condemn the film, but was simply the first insult.
In the film we encounter a computer genius who developed the navigation software in use on a number of cruise ships. After he is laid off due to ill health, he decides to take revenge by hi-jacking a large cruise ship called the Seabourn Legend. After taking over the ship, and forcing most of the crew and passengers to abandon ship he intends to navigate it to disaster. In his way and trying to put an end to his plans is a cop called Alex and his partner Annie who are on board for a holiday, as well as several remaining crew members. For the most part that's the entire plot - well the parts that I can remember anyway as Speed 2 didn't leave a good or lasting impression.
There's no denying that this film has some major faults. The first has to be the acting, which sadly isn't exactly great. The bad guy was more annoying than anything else. Jason Patric delivers a reasonable performance, but at the end of the day he's no where near as good as Keanu Reeves was in the first film. I'm not a big fan of Sandra Bullock at the best of times, but even she fell short of what I was expecting. I'm glad that Keanu Reeves turning down a part in this film, otherwise we may have someone different playing Neo in The Matrix.
The relationships portrayed between the characters was very unconvincing and shallow, and in general none of the characters were that interesting or memorable. Many of the characters are just run of the mill stereotypes and the script and awful dialogue does nothing to help matters.
The film is very slow to get started, which would be forgivable if the time was used to build up to something more that what we got. Things do pick up towards the end but in a somewhat predicable way, and doesn't justify the waste of time that the rest of the film is.
The plot of the film may seem interesting but is ultimately flawed. The idea of one man running around the ship being chased by another man tends to become old fast. The cruise ship seems to have rather fragile windows considering the pounding they must ensure at sea. More to the point however, did mobile phones not exist in 1997, or was it just that not a single person or crew member on board had one to alert the rest of the world to what was going on.
The bad guy has an unlikely illness and unlikely motive, which never really works and leaves a number of unanswered questions.
The ending to the film was flawed and insulting, without wanting to give anything away, I'll just say it's highly unlikely that so many people wouldn't see or hear something that big coming towards them.
At the end of the day while there was some briefly entertaining action and explosions, I doubt that a slow moving cruise ship was the correct setting for this film. If it wasn't for the poor acting, script, dialogue, characters, and plot, then Speed 2 may have been better. But then again that would mean having to abandon the film completely and start again fresh.