Urban Legends: The Final Cut (2000)
Director: John Ottman
Jennifer Morrison /Amy
Matthew Davis /Travis
Joseph Lawrence /Graham
Amy (Morrison) attends film school and decides to do her thesis film about a serial killer whose murders are inspired by urban legends. Before you can say : "Joey Lawrence is now known as Joseph Lawrence", students begin to drop like flies and the murders…you guessed it…are also inspired by urban legends.
Did you hear the one about the film director who directed a solid half hour of material and then let it all slip away from him? No…well, look no further. The last hour of this film is a ridiculous mess. What happened, Ottman? You set up a clever story, give us a credible, "real teen" lead (Morrison), deliver one gruesome first urban legend murder and then…then…you mess up big time!!! What starts off as a teen Hitchcock flick with nice style, great murder set ups and intelligence turns into a farce! The fault is not all Ottman's, I would lay most of the blame on the writers. They must of smoked lots of weed cause as this flick moves forward it becomes dumber and dumber.
The movie has way too many characters (including the now token lesbian) and apart from the lead (and Joey) you couldn't give a damn about any of them. The character of Reese (Dinine) always shows up at the crime scenes, ALWAYS, how she knows where the kids are ALL the time beats me and annoyed me. But where this flick really lost me is when a surprise character steps in, and it's all down hill from there. The insertion of that character had the whole crowd groaning with good reason, it's cheap and straight out of daytime TV.
And wait till you see the ending, oh god, a Joey Lawrence "whoa" WOULD have been appropriate. I never laughed so hard. The unmasking of the killer is a let down and her/his motive is the most ludicrous motive I have ever heard in a teen slasher flick. Of course the killer graces us with a monologue to explain everything…god, I hate those murderer monologues. Enough with those!
I liked some of the stalk scenes, they always took place in kool settings. I liked the early humor, that scream queen wuz funny stuff, I liked the idea of reality being blurred, I liked the nods to Twilight Zone: The Movie and the original Urban Legend film and I liked the violence and the stylish shots…too bad all those good things are wasted here. It's almost as if the director saw that he was losing the serious feel of the film and decided to embrace the silliest. Too bad cause this one starts off on the right foot….
The first murder is a gorehounds dream…I won't ruin it.
Jennifer Morrison (Amy) gives a very down to earth performance. She's very likeable and I predict a good career ahead of her. Matt Davis (Travis) was not hired for his acting abilities but for his looks. He's good looking but wooden and far from convincing. Joseph Lawrence (Graham) isn't seen often but holds up very well. If people can forget "Blossom" (me included) he could have a very good adult career ahead of him. Anthony Anderson (Stan) plays the comic relief…again…but he's pretty freakin' funny. Loretta Devine (Reese) comes back, she was in the original. If you didn't like her then, you'll hate her now. Not my cup of Coffee.
T & A
Matt Davis shows his butt and Jennifer Morisson is in her underwear…wait a minute…what's going on here?
Ottman does a fine job visually. He has a few nice shots, sets up his murders very well, has good handle on suspense… too bad the awful script makes him look bad. He also gives us a nod to Vertigo, which is sweet but doesn't work (in my opinion).
A generic score and the absence of rock/pop songs doesn't help. This flick needed them.
If you want to see a good flick turn into a turd in the blink of an eye, then be my guest.
I hope Ottman chooses a better script next time, he's competent. This sequel had everything on its side, good actors, good director, good initial storyline…it's a shame all that had to be turned into a joke. Oh…and the killer is wearing a fencing mask…lol…they're running out of head gear for murderers…Jason's got the best one.
John Ottman has written the scores for and edited The Usual Suspects and Apt Pupil.
Stay tuned for the end credits…another surprise awaits…groan…?
Jennifer Morrison played the ghost in Stir Of Echoes.