Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)

(In theaters, June 1997) The original Speed wasn’t expected to be very good but ended up making millions, so it’s no surprise that the sequel is so inferior. Bullock is as lovely as ever, and Patric is marginally likable, but even them can’t save Speed 2 from the mostly unexciting script. A cruise boat is hijacked, but the villain (William Defoe) is more pathetic than menacing. A squad of Islamic terrorists would have worked better. The traditional Stupid Action Movie Mistakes abound, but the greatest flaw of the movie is that it tries to be a tense thriller before switching in action-movie “boom-boom” format. The money shots are saved for the end, but they’re unfortunately spoiled by the promos. Still, director De Bont’s style is enjoyable (despite more than a few misfires) and the movie will make a splendid video rental. More bland than bad, but still not very good.

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