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Hops and Box Office Flops: ‘SPEED 2 – Just Crash Already’

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Speed 2: Cruise Control is an exemplar of an awful sequel. Is it bigger? Sure. Did it cost more? Most definitely. Is it more entertaining? Not even close.

The origins of its issues can be tracked back to two words: contractually obligated. Jan de Bont, renowned cinematographer and director of the original Speed, was tied to the sequel. He had no choice. 

The stars of the first film—Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves—however, were not. You will be shocked to hear that after reading the script, Reeves could not be swayed to do it—even with $10+ million dollars waving in front of his face. Bullock relented, but only because she had her eyes on a passion project (Hope Floats), which she could parlay a large payday into.

Willem Dafoe doing his Green Goblin face in Speed 2: Cruise Control

Losing your central character is not exactly a deal breaker, but it is a troubling sign. For a moment, imagine the Karate Kid Part II without Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso or Terminator 2 without Arnold as the T-800. All the goodwill and familiarity they’d developed with the audience had to be rebuilt.

Suffice to say, it handcuffs the movie. It does not cripple it, though. What ultimately sinks Speed 2 is its, well, lack of speed. A cruise ship, traveling thousands of miles over the space of days, lacks the frenetic energy of a bus on the highway. There is never a sense of urgency in this movie. It’s plodding pace and refusal to find a natural crescendo don’t help that.

For all of the money thrown into this one—$110 million, compared to just $30 million for its predecessor—there is almost no bang for the buck. 

If you love Speed, you won’t love this. But, hey, we’ve all got plenty of time on our hands. So sit back, pound four to five Goin’ Coastal IPAs from SweetWater Brewery, and strap on a LifeVest. I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash, and Chumpzilla are taking to the seas to foil the plot of the Willem Dafoenavirus!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – We hated this movie, and we do not hesitate to tell you why.  (00:00)
  • Interesting Facts and “Pop Quiz, Hotshot” Speed 2 Trivia Challenge – After going through the last of his facts, Chumpzilla challenges us to a host of Speed-related questions, ranging from odd casting what-ifs to the cost of renting a cruise liner. (1:08:31)
  • Recommendations –  Stay indoors, stay safe, and enjoy each of this week’s picks. Next up: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer! Oh, and we may have a new challenger to the Shit Movie Championship Belt! (1:19:44)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter or Facebook to check out all the interesting factoids—the hurricane that did the ship’s job and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbean, and Spotify!

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Thomas L. Kelly

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