Metascore
23

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 22
  2. Negative: 14 out of 22

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Critic Reviews

  1. 38
    Speed 2 can be numbered among the worst second chapters ever made.
  2. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    38
    The filmmakers, who include the hitherto ace action director Jan De Bont ("Speed", "Twister"), have neither hearts nor minds in gear. [13Jun1997 Pg.04.D]
  3. Yet Speed 2 is as slow-moving as a garbage scow. Those blinking lights might as well be emanating from a vital-signs monitor. The story is dead in the water.
  4. Though it displays enough perils to put a dent in future cruise ship sales, the film has a makeshift, slapdash quality that is the opposite of its predecessor.
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    30
    The screenwriters, Randall McCormick and Jeff Nathanson, and the director, Jan de Bont, have no interest in providing their actors with stuff to act.
  6. And De Bont's effects are wildly over the top, devoid of the stylish cuts and intriguing angles that enriched the original. In fact, there's so little panache in his destructive action that it begins to seem like a weird act of self-destruction.
  7. The 1994 "Speed," which starred Bullock and Keanu Reeves, was hardly "King Lear" on a bus, but it was an entertaining ride. But this movie is nothing but pain to sit through.
  8. "Speed" made millions on mindless, empty thrills; this laborious sequel is just as mindless and empty but lacks the thrills.
  9. 10
    First, the good news: Unlike most action film sequels, Speed 2: Cruise Control is not a mere retread of the original. Now the bad news: Better it had been.
  10. 0
    Speed 2 is such an inept piece of direction that it's anybody's guess whether De Bont understands how to convey where two characters are in spatial relation to each other or in relation to the action.
  11. This may be hard to believe, but there's not a single moment of drama or tension in any of the action sequences. And the film is made up almost entirely of action.
  12. The kinetics aren't that good, the twaddle is off the charts and the characters seem written by monkeys on amphetamines with crayons.
  13. But like De Bont's awful "Twister", Speed 2: Cruise Control somehow manages to fail in every way.
User Score
1.7

Overwhelming dislike- based on 94 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 17
  2. Negative: 11 out of 17
  1. sLm
    Sep 23, 2012
    5
    Just 3 words: Mobile phones existed?
  2. Apr 4, 2016
    2
    A cruise that was already sunken before the cruise was actually getting started. Guess what happens to it next? I've not seen any fish thatA cruise that was already sunken before the cruise was actually getting started. Guess what happens to it next? I've not seen any fish that can eat cruises, but I believe I saw one swallowing up this entire cruise whole after it sunk. If I had a DVD copy of this movie, I'd only watch the trailers from movies, the THX logo, and look more into this movie than actually seeing the whole movie itself. Full Review »
  3. Jan 6, 2016
    2
    If there was ever an action movie that didn't warrant a sequel, it's Speed. However, the film grossed enough money to be numbered among theIf there was ever an action movie that didn't warrant a sequel, it's Speed. However, the film grossed enough money to be numbered among the big summer hits of 1994, and the unfortunate result is this film, which reunites director Jan de Bont with leading lady Sandra Bullock, while leaving Keanu Reeves somewhere safe and dry, "working on his music" with his band, Dogstar. Considering the dubious quality of the final product, this may be the wisest decision of the young actor's career. Speed 2 can be numbered among the worst second chapters ever made.

    The original Speed was an entertaining jolt of pure adrenaline that took everyone by surprise. De Bont was an instant success and Bullock became a hot commodity. It was almost inevitable that any sequel, no matter how thrilling, would be a letdown. What no one anticipated was how sharply the downturn would be. Not only is Speed 2 missing the first movie's main character, but the excitement seems to have departed with him.

    This time around, Keanu Reeves' Jack Traven has been replaced by Jason Patric's Alex Shaw. For the most part, they're the same person (it shouldn't surprise anyone to learn that Alex was originally written as Jack), and their function is identical. The highest paid member of the cast, Sandra Bullock, is back as Annie. Now, having broken up with Jack, she's in the midst of a long- term relationship with Alex. Things are a little rocky between them, so Alex comes up with a solution: a romantic cruise to the Caribbean on the Seabourn Legend. However, just like John McLane in the Die Hard series, Annie is about to find herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Also aboard the Seabourn Legend is a mentally-unstable computer genius named John Geiger (played without any panache by Willem Dafoe) who intends to take over the ship, crank the engines up to full power, and crash it into something very big.

    Speed 2 is a classic example of "sound and fury, signifying nothing." Only, in this case, that "nothing" isn't bolstered by the high-energy tension and tremendous special effects of de Bont's previous excursion, Twister. Speed 2 is lackluster -- the plot methodically drives the film from one action set-piece to another, and the visuals are merely adequate. In fact, the only real thrill offered by Speed 2 comes during the bloated movie's final half-hour (as the ship's collision course becomes apparent). By then, it's too little, too late.

    The original Speed was frantically paced and featured a number of individuals that, in spite of their two-dimensionality, were likable and exhibited human characteristics. We felt like we were trapped on the bus with them. This time, the pace and characters are mechanical, and it doesn't seem as if we're actually on board the endangered cruise ship. Instead, we're watching form a detached vantage point, noticing details that we're not supposed to be paying attention to (like what kind of lighting best highlights Bullock's features) or waiting in vain for someone to break into a chorus of "The Love Boat."

    Jason Patric has one mode: serious. The actor, who is best suited to introspective, brooding roles (as in The Journey of August King), treats this ridiculous screenplay like it's War and Peace. There's no sense of fun or goofiness. I never thought I would admit to missing Reeves, but that's the situation here -- at least he understood the right tone to adopt. Meanwhile, Bullock plays the same part the same way (albeit for a lot more money) -- she looks cute, gets involved in a couple of action scenes, and is taken hostage. But she and Patric never click; their chemistry is glacial.

    Since Dennis Hopper's Howard Payne was decapitated at the end of Speed, the sequel needs a new villain. Enter Willem Dafoe, who's usually a good psycho. Not here, though. Geiger has no manic energy, and Dafoe doesn't seem particularly excited to be playing him. Speed 2 is the kind of film that demands a strong opponent, but Geiger isn't it. Meanwhile, there are a few interesting cameos: Tim Conway and Bo Svenson have small parts, and Speed veterans Joe Morton and Glenn Plummer are on hand for a couple of scenes.

    Watching Speed 2, I felt embarrassed for everyone involved. Sure, they're all being well- paid, but no one wants a $120 million flop on their resume. And, once the word gets out about how disappointing this movie is, crowds will dwindle. There are enough action alternatives out there to sate the public's summer appetite. Someone should have recognized what an appropriate metaphor the climactic sequence (which features massive destruction) is for the entire film. Speed 2 appears headed for a box office disaster of titanic proportions. Creatively and entertainment-wise, it's already sunk.
    Full Review »