Thursday, 22 August 2013

Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)





















'Die Hard on a bus' and now...yep you guessed it 'Die Hard on a boat', well cruise liner. I guess the first thing that instantly jumps out at you here is the fact the film is called Speed 2 but its on a slow moving cruiser liner! Hardly speed is it, more like err...cruising, I get the feeling they just wanted to use a cruise ship so they could use their highly imaginative tag of 'cruise control'.

Seriously I've read into this and there were some really decent ideas for a follow up. Nothing original of course, they all copied the exact same premise as the original but at least they could offer up some more thrills than a cruise liner. One plot involved a plane that couldn't ascend above 10,000 feet whilst flying through some mountains, kinda daft but sounds better right?

So this basically really absolutely is a complete 'Die Hard' rip off, it really is. Recently fired crazy ass Dafoe wants revenge on the company (ships computer systems) that wrongfully terminated him because he was ill. So he decides to sabotage one of his own computer systems on board a large expensive cruise liner and steer it into a disaster whilst pinching all the valuables on board. Again at the end of the day he's just after some jewellery, weak. Its pretty much 'Die Hard/Under Siege' with more comedy and way way less blood and violence, actually check that, there is hardly any blood and violence in this, its bordering on PG territory.

Bullock's character has dumped Jack Traven from the first much better film and now she's with the receding hair line of Jason Patric. I guess what's so dumb about this film is firstly Patric just doesn't come across as the hero type, oh sure he's leaping around and trying to be action man every five minutes but the guy just looks anything but. I know heroes don't have to be muscle bound macho men with good hair but Patric? really?? this guy is the wrong kind of actor for a role like this. The other thing that bugs you is the fact his character is such a fudging goodie goodie and always trying to save everyone. Even on board this cruise liner which he knows nothing about, doesn't have a clue where to go and basically shouldn't be poking his nose into anything, he still goes around barking orders at the crew! and they obey him!!! as if!!! in reality they'd tell him to flip off.

Bullock is completely sidelined to virtually a cameo really, she does nothing at all other than offer up terrible dialog attempting to be comic relief. She's even more annoying than in the first film and even more wet (situation aside), in fact the badly portrayed passengers are not as annoying as Bullock. Then you have Dafoe as the villain, well I say villain but he isn't really that evil, he merely switches off all the electrics and gets everybody to evacuate. Would stuff on a ship tend to blow up and cause so much destruction when the electrics go down? seems odd.

Funny thing is if everybody had just gotten off as he demanded in the first place, none of the ensuing mess would of occured!...well almost.

I realise Dafoe's baddie character knows the ship inside out and can control whatever he likes but you always get the feeling he's not much of a challenge. Time and again it seems like he could of been caught plus he also comes across as someone Bullock could beat in a fight. His plan also seems very over indulgent simply for stealing some jewels, takes him half the film to get it set up yet takes him fives minutes to do the deed. He then messes around for no real reason when he could of just gotten away no problem, all this kinda makes the action sequences seem unnecessary and forced.

The film is way more goofy than the first and hardly feels like a real action film at all. There is way too much stupid comedy and idiotic dialog...oh and some awful reoccurring character cameos from the first film which almost make the film into a parody. Even Dafoe's baddie isn't immune to the ridiculous daftness, he contributes with various silly faces to exaggerate the heat of the moment.

The film does look pretty good I can't deny, the ship interiors, exteriors and various CGI shots are nicely done. This all comes to a head in the finale where De Bont takes the opportunity to destroy half a port town by ramming the cruise liner into it purely to show off lots of destruction and fancy effects/models. Even that doesn't really work though because of the awful comic relief which ruins any real tension. This is the films fault all the way through, you never at any point feel nervous or tense despite the fact you're watching an action film about a hijacking. The whole thing is totally juvenile and not in the least bit exciting, and no sticking Patric on a cool motorbike chase sequence at the start doesn't make him look any cooler, just more out of place.

2.5/10