Awfully Good Movies – Speed 2: Cruise Control

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)

DIRECTOR: Jan de Bont          CAST: Sandra Bullock, Jason Patric, Willem Dafoe

Although the 2020 summer movie season has been endangered by the coronavirus, that isn't gonna stop Awfully Good Movies from breaking out the beach balls and sunscreen to celebrate the Awfully 90s Summer–a series of reviews from May to August focusing on bad movies from the nostalgic pleasure center known as the 1990s, and we're kicking off our socially distanced summer party with one of the biggest disappointments of the decade…SPEED 2: CRUISE CONTROL! When director Jan de Bont's action thriller about a bomb on a bus ended up as one of the biggest movies of 1994, it made sense that 20th Century Fox would immediately get cracking on another SPEED adventure that would reunite Jan de Bont with the movie's breakout romantic duo of Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. Unfortunately, Keanu's reaction to the SPEED 2 script was less "whoa" and more "no", so this time, Sandra Bullock has been upgraded to our leading lady while the role of her hotshot cop boyfriend is now played by everyone's favorite Lost Boy, Jason Patric. And instead of preventing a bus from being blown up by a demented Dennis Hopper, Annie and her new beau are now on a romantic getaway aboard a Carribean cruise liner when it gets hijacked by a disgruntled former employee of the cruise company as played by another famous cinema psycho, Willem Dafoe, who plots to rock this boat right into a nearby island while he gets away with a stash of diamonds. But instead of giving us another high-octane action blockbuster, Jan de Bont turns SPEED 2 into the biggest disaster involving a cruise ship until the coronavirus outbreak, as Sandra Bullock's character is somehow given less to do despite her top billing, and Jason Patric's character is clearly a badly rewritten variation on Keanu's character without any of Jack Traven's charisma. On the plus side, though, you do have Willem Dafoe camping it the hell up as our bad guy like only Willem Dafoe can, along with plenty of disaster movie cliches to laugh at along the way and a reappearance from not just Joe Morton, but also that dude whose new car got commandeered and crashed by Keanu in the first movie…unfortunately, no cameo from the charred remains of Jeff Daniels. So while it may not be the best cruise ship disaster movie of 1997–thanks a lot, James Cameron–SPEED 2 is at the very least a delightfully bad start to our Awfully 90s Summer…as well as a more enjoyable Jan de Bont sequel than TOMB RAIDER 2. Go Ninja, Go Ninja, GO!

Pop quiz, hotshot: You've got three previous Awfully Good Movies episodes to choose from. Which do you watch…WHICH DO YOU WATCH?


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