Speed 2: Cruise Control

on June 13, 1997 by Christine James
   "`Speed' on a boat" is more doomed than the Titanic and as ill-helmed as the S.S. Minnow. Where "Speed" paved new roads in the genre, "Speed 2," about a disgruntled former employee who wreaks havoc on a cruise ship, drowns in waterlogged cliches of the milieu. This craft springs plot leaks everywhere, causing the story's interest and credibility to sink like a stone.
   Jason Patric is above and beyond the call of bland as LAPD rogue Alex, who's supposed to be the calm-in-the-storm, not an emotionless cipher. Sandra Bullock semi-successfully reprises her role as the sweet but sassy Annie--her banter and attitude are cute, but her repeated brushes with danger, while having inspired in her an admirable degree of bravery in the face of peril, has also seemed to make her a little blase about some of the death and destruction going on around her. (For example, when a couple of passengers fall to their watery graves, her only comment is a mildly perturbed exclamation somewhere between "oy" and "yuck.")
   Willem Dafoe as the villain is his usual compellingly demented self, but his stated motivation for going to these great lengths is nonsensical. Finally, the fact th at the rescue process inadvertently kills off more people than it saves tends to lessen the tension by utterly devaluing human life. Starring Sandra Bullock, Jason Patric and Willem Dafoe. Directed by Jan De Bont. Written by Randall McCormick and Jeff Nathanson. Produced by Jan De Bont, Steve Perry and Michael Peyser. A Fox release. Action. Rated PG-13 for frenetic disaster action and violence. Running time: 120 min.
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