Speed 2: Cruise Control

Bomb Rating: 

Sandra Bullock is the Barney of actresses. The first time I saw Barney, the whole concept seemed novel, but now when I see that purple freak, all I can think about is ripping his head off and stomping on the decapitated carcass until all the blood runs out of it.

Sandra's acting induces a similar effect. Meryl Streep is undoubtedly kicking herself for neglecting to master the vacuous sorority-girl giggling and smirking that has made Bullock the darling of frat-boy moviegoers everywhere. If "Speed" had anything going for it, it was that the central female character played an active role in saving herself. In "Speed 2," Annie (Bullock) is nothing more than a damsel in distress waiting for her big, strong boyfriend, Alex (Jason Patric), to rescue her. Throw in the poorly timed wisecracks and Bullock's "watch me preen" acting style and tossing Annie into the boat propeller seems like just punishment.

Certainly almost everyone already knows the plot of this intricate film: Bad guy (Willem Dafoe) has a grudge and takes over a ship. Left with no other recourse after reducing the Annie character to a flailing rag doll, director Jan ("Twister") de Bont tries to save himself with a crashing sequence that takes -- I swear to God -- at least forty-five minutes. Unbelievably, the actual crashing lasts a good five minutes, which is an eternity in a film. The other forty are spent focusing on various passengers as they stare off into space and exclaim, "Look, we're going to crash!"

Since we're destined to be tortured by "Speed 3," which I guarantee will take place on an airplane or a piece of farm equipment, I'd like to offer my idea for a different plot: "Speed 3: Annie overdoses on amphetamines." You might as well be true to your title.

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