Making the Grades
I'm sure after the release of the original Speed, studio executives realized they had made a mistake in creating an R-rated "ultimate chase movie" that left out teenage audiences. Like many other sequels of action adventures, some of the gore and language that permeated the first Speed has been removed in hopes of attracting both teens and adults to the rental counters.
In fact, Speed 2 has only two things in common with its predecessor: Sandra Bullock, and a vehicle that won't stop. Annie (Bullock) is now teamed up with new guy Alex (Jason Patric), a member of the LAPD Swat team. Annie thought he was a beat patrol cop walking the beach, and is upset when she discovers what he really does for a living. Alex replies with tickets for a Carribean cruise, but we already know that this vacation will be anything but smooth sailing.
Our suspicions are immediately perked when our couple meets Geiger (Willem Defoe), a passenger on the ship who is demanding his golf clubs before the ship has even left port. We are not surprised to discover that Geiger has no interest in putting around on the Lido Deck, but instead plans to take over the ship, evacuate the passengers, steal the diamonds in the ship's safe, and drive the boat for a "hole-in-one" condo complex, oil tanker, and marina on the shore of St. Martin.
For your oldest children dying for an action movie, you may find Speed 2 acceptable, but if you can, watch with them or preview it first. Even with reduced gore and language, there is still plenty of mayhem and tense moments. Also, Annie and Alex are not married and have an obvious sexual relationship, but the Mad Bomber leaves them little time to relax, so there are no intimate scenes.
Even with this much destruction, Speed 2 seems too long and drawn out. After 125 minutes of bombs, screaming, and jerky camera moves, I was ready for some Dramamine and a few quiet hours in my cabin.