Speed 2: Cruise Control was the sequel to the 1994 film Speed (My review of Speed here http://mrfilmreviewer.blogspot.com/2012/05/speed.html). Jan De Bont returned to direct this 1997 movie, only this time, he also served as a producer. Sandra Bullock also reprised her role as Annie, but Keanu Reeves turned down the offer to return as Jack. Jason Patric, also from the LAPD, then came aboard as Annie's new love interest and crime-fighting partner.
It started very slow. During the first movie, Keanu Reeves was saving lives, pulling people out from an elevator set to crash. There was action right from the get go. This film started with a car chase scene which had promise, but in terms of action, it was a bit underwhelming. It made sense though since it was set-up to introduce the new character, Alex, Annie's new boyfriend. The scene also introduced their relationship with one another, which apparently didn't start in the most honest way possible. It also gave the direction on how the two characters ended up on a cruise ship where all the action will happen.
Even when they were on the ship, things were still moving slow. This film, I guess, focused on the relationship between the two since they've been together for 7 months. I guess they wanted to fill in the viewers what had happened to Annie and Jack, and Annie and Alex. Personally, I liked the idea of it, since there's a gap. It was just a little too slow. But again, I appreciated how they were trying to tie loose ends and relaying a structured plot.
It was right at the one hour dot that things really picked up. The action started and I really started to feel excited. They started really utilizing the ship as a setting, similar to how they abused the bus to create tension and thrill. This is the core of the film, the fight against the psycho-criminal, the pressure to keep the passengers safe, the desperation to get the bad guy. From this point on, it really started to get better. There were a few scenes where I felt the sense of excitement I got from the first film.
I think part of the reason why some people were not pleased by the movie was the fact that there were too many things going on, including some unnecessary scenes and characters. Or maybe the coherence of everything was just not very clear. One example I noticed was Drew, a young deaf girl. I did not fully understand how she fit in the story except for the scene where she was being rescued by Alex when she got lost. However, looking at the big picture, I think creating the character did not really do anything for the story line. Although Christine Firkins did amazing portraying the lovable character, I felt like they were throwing different things to create more suspense than they needed to. I might be wrong; chances are I am. But that's what I thought while watching it,
It wasn't as bad as some people made it to be. Critics panned it, some viewers didn't like it, the box-office was just ok, especially compared to its predecessor. People made it seem like it was such a disaster, which I felt was too much exaggeration. Was it better than the first film? No. But it had its own merits. It had excitement and thrill, it had romance and drama with a pinch of comedy thanks to the supporting actors. I would have to say though that Sandra Bullock and Jason Patric were the best parts of the movie.