DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Adult
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
XCritic.com
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Special Offer

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Speed 2 (Remastered)
Speed 2 (Remastered)
Fox // PG-13 // July 30, 2002
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted July 29, 2002 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Rent It
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
The Movie:

Director Jan De Bont started off his career in Hollywood as one of the more famous cinematographers working. Some of the director's credits as a cinematographer include films like "Basic Instinct", "The Hunt for Red October", "Die Hard" and "Lethal Weapon 3". De Bont's first feature as a director was "Speed", where he brought the same sleek, straightforward thrills that were found in "Die Hard" and some of the other tense actioners he'd worked on before becoming a director. "Twister" was a decent follow-up; as ridiculous as it occasionally became, the film still managed to provide impressive effects and a respectable amount of fun. "Speed 2", while it has a few moments, was largely a pointless sequel that turned into a box office disaster. However, I still find De Bont's "Speed" sequel a largely preferable viewing experience compared to his next picture, "The Haunting", which I continue to consider one of worst films I've seen in the last few years.

As widely parodied as Keanu Reeves has been (see "Mad TV", which occasionally has a delightfully funny skit called "Keanu Reeves' Acting School"), one must respect the actor's intelligent decision to bow out after reading Randall McCormick and Jeff Nathanson's dismal screenplay. However, instead of managing to replace Reeves with someone equally suited to the role, the filmmakers brought in Jason Patric, who, while certainly not a bad actor, is one that I've rarely seen bring that much intensity to a role.

The film opens with Annie (Sandra Bullock, returning after her flight to stardom with the first film) finding out that her new boyfriend, Alex Shaw (Patric) is a member of the LAPD. This apparently caused trouble with danger-seeking former boyfriend Jack (Reeves in the first film). Still, Annie is won-over by a pair of cruise tickets that Alex happens to have with him.

Of course, it's only a matter of time until Annie finds out that she's once again in trouble: enter a psychotic computer tech named John Geiger (Willem Dafoe), who wants to take over the ship (apparently he worked for the company that helped create the ship; he got sick from working with the electronics and now wants revenge) and destroy it. The film's creators failed in several regards after this point: rather than having Bullock aid in the action, she's eventually another damsel-in-distress again here. Bullock and Patric also actually manage to have a negative amount of chemistry, if that's possible. The film's first hour manages to commit other faults, including some awkward attempts at humor and not enough in the way of build-up towards the inevitable action.

There are some positive aspects to the film, though. De Bont, being a highly regarded former cinematographer himself, does have a strong visual sense and that's evident once again here, as De Bont works with Eastwood's usual cinematographer, Jack Green. Composer Mark Mancina, also returning after "Speed", delivers another excellent score, only this time his music is pulling along the action rather than providing backup for it.

As bland and inane as the screenplay often is, there are two elements that need to work in any film like this one and they don't here: Patric makes for a dull hero and Dafoe rarely seems that interested in playing a villian. De Bont and crew could have aided matters by tightening up the slightly over two-hour picture, but that wouldn't have done enough. "Speed 2", although not quite as bad as I'd originally considered it upon first viewing, still seems simply unnecessary; a film that rarely achieves the tension or stunning pace of the original, nor one that provides the kind of compelling characters that the first one was able to bring. Hopefully De Bont can make a respectable return with his "Tomb Raider" sequel, due next year.


The DVD

VIDEO: "Speed 2: Cruise Control" is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen on this release. The original release a couple of years back was in 2.35:1 non-anamorphic widescreen; while flawed, it was one of the studio's better-looking non-anamorphic releases. This new anamorphic presentation, while showing some faults as well, does improve upon the original release in a few areas. Sharpness and detail seem slightly more consistent, with a bit more fine detail and depth to the image.

Problems still occur here from time-to-time; slight edge enhancement was noticed in a few sequences, as were a few little traces of pixelation. Print flaws were equally minimal - a speck here, a tiny mark there. Nothing too major. The film's vibrant, warm color palette showed through well again here, looking well-saturated and bold, with no smearing. Overall, a very nice new transfer.

SOUND: Aside from providing a new anamorphic presentation, this new DVD edition also provides a DTS 5.1 soundtrack in addition to the Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation that was included on the previous release. While I've never been very fond of the movie, I've always enjoyed this film's soundtrack, which is quite aggressive when the action finally starts up. Surrounds are put into very heavy use at times, creating a very immersive experience that successfully puts the viewer into the middle of the action. Mancina's highly enjoyable score is mixed quite well and has a nice presence amidst everything else that's going on in the soundtrack. In addition, there's moments of pretty considerable deep bass to enjoy. Audio quality is excellent, as dialogue, sound effects and score remained warm, rich and clear. As much as I enjoyed the Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation, the DTS 5.1 track provided some noticable improvements - a greater sense of envelopment and depth to the audio as well as slightly tighter and richer bass.

MENUS: Fox has prepared enjoyable animated menus for this release that resemble the Dafoe character's computer.

EXTRAS: Not much: a half-hour HBO "making of", along with 2 trailers for "Speed 2" and a trailer for "Speed".

Final Thoughts: Although it's certainly still a very mediocre film with lackluster performances and writing, "Speed 2" seems simply more and more nothing but a harmless time-waster as the years pass. Fox has produced a fairly good new re-release, not offering much new in the way of supplements, but boasting somewhat better audio/video quality. Those interested in this release might as well buy the
2 Pack, which contains both this DVD and the 2-DVD "Speed" 5-Star Edition, which saves a few dollars versus buying both seperately.
Popular Reviews
1. Snowpiercer
2. Nightbreed: The Director's Cut
3. The Purge: Anarchy
4. The Vanishing
5. La dolce vita
6. Pee-wee's Playhouse: The Complete Series
7. Deliver Us From Evil
8. Married to the Mob
9. WKRP In Cincinnati: The Complete Series
10. Kingpin


Special Offers
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Special Offers
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2014 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use