Speed 2: Cruise Control

Speed made millions on mindless, empty thrills; this laborious sequel is just as mindless and empty but lacks the thrills. Peter Bogdanovich discovery Sandra Bullock is back, her low-key lifelikeness all but defeated by a script (courtesy of Randall McCormick, Jeff Nathanson, and producer-director Jan De Bont) that flounders interminably. In place of Keanu Reeves we get Jason Patric, at his dullest yet as the cop; in place of the bus we get a luxury liner in the Caribbean; and in place of mad bomber Dennis Hopper we get disgruntled computer whiz Willem Dafoe, who’s really a good actor when he’s actually given a character to play. But there’s nary a character to speak of herejust one good explosion and one spectacular and extended disaster, badly directed. Both come too late in the game to carry much of a wallop. Even Andrzej Bartkowiak’s deft cinematography, which gave Speed much of its spark, is replaced by the shaky, semiunwatchable work of Jack N. Green. Do yourself a favor and see a movie instead. (JR)

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