Speed 2 Cruise Control

Speed 2: Cruise Control

Speed 2: Cruise Control is a 1997 action film produced and directed by Jan de Bont, and released by Twentieth Century Fox. It stars Sandra Bullock, Willem Dafoe, Temuera Morrison and Jason Patric. It is a sequel to Speed, although Keanu Reeves chose not to star in it. In the film, Bullock is trapped on the Seabourn Legend, an out-of-control luxury cruise liner. Its navigation computers were reprogrammed by a computer hacker, setting the ship on a collision course with a supertanker.

Plot summary

Alex Shaw (Patric) accidently gets hurt on a high speed chase on the edge of a cliff. Annie (Bullock) reprises her role as the unlucky heroine who is caught in the chase while taking a driving test. She spots Alex who had lied to her about his job because she did not want to date another cop because of past experiences in the original Speed. As an apology, he surprises her with two tickets for a cruise to the Bahamas aboard the Seabourn Legend. During the trip, Annie befriends a man named John Geiger who states he has a profession for golf. What the couple do not realize is that the disgruntled John Geiger (Dafoe), the person who created the software that operates the ship's computer systems, has plotted a violent takeover of the vessel and a diamond hijacking that puts everyone on board in mortal danger. He kills the captain and tells the First Officer that they have 15 minutes to evacuate the ship. After an unsuccessful evacuation, 2 people end up being sucked into the propellers and the ships photographer almost falls into the propellers. Annie and the First Officer rescue him and the remaining passengers of the lifeboat while Alex searches for Geiger. The next morning, Geiger locks the ship into auto pilot with him at the controls and sets out for a path into the cliffs of one of the islands. After he steals the diamonds he takes Annie and leaves Alex under with the propellers while they were trying to jam the propellers to slow down the ship. Geiger and Annie escape on a jet ski while the doomed cruise liner crashes into a town on the coast of the island. Annie and Geiger go onto a plane, Annie escapes while Alex hijacks a boat and rescues her. While the rescue, Geiger drops the bag of diamonds and flies off. He gets caught on an oil tanker and explodes. Alex proposes to Annie and the owners of the boat find the bag full of diamonds in international waters. The film ends with Alex and Annie kissing on the boat porting to the island. After the credits, Annie is back in LA redoing her driving exam but stops unexpectedly due to a speeding bus, with the comment, "Sorry but that bus was going way too fast".

Production details


Sandra Bullock agreed to star in the movie in order to get financial backing for a pet project, Hope Floats (1998), a low-budget drama. Jason Patric also used his $8 million fee to help finance Your Friends & Neighbors. Gary Oldman turned down the role of the villain, and instead chose to star as another villain in Air Force One.

Two other characters from Speed reprised their roles in the film: Joe Morton, who was uncredited as Lt. Herb "Mac" McMahon, and Glenn Plummer, who played Maurice (only credited as "Jaguar owner" in the first film). Maurice's boat name is "Tuneman," the same title on Glenn Plummer's licence plate in the original film. Susan Barnes, who played a frightened woman on the elevator in Speed, appears in this film as the character Constance.

Comedian Tim Conway makes a cameo in the beginning and the end of the movie as Annie's driving instructor. The band UB40 and Brazilian musician Carlinhos Brown also appear, performing at the cruise banquet hall.

The ship

A total of three different ships were used in this film, and all other shots of the ship were CGI effects. Seabourn Legend, a Seabourn Cruise Line ship, was used for most exterior shots of the ship, while the Sturgeon Atlanic, a freighter built with a false hull and bridge, was used for shots of the bridge and the scene where the ship crashes into boats through the marina. A false hull built on an underwater rail was also used for the island crash finale scene.

The movie is known for numerous technical inconsistencies with the reality of how ships operate:

  • Bow thrusters are depicted in the movie to turn the ship's direction radically at high speeds. However, in reality, they only can be operated at very slow speeds, otherwise they will have no effect on direction.
  • Ships also do not have ballast rooms. They have ballast tanks which are only accessible through small hatch at the bottom of the ship. Also, filling/emptying a ballast tank is done with a pump and a pipe, not by opening/closing gigantic doors in the hull.
  • A ship running aground will not continue moving across land for hundreds of yards. It will stop almost immediately.
  • The ship takes about three minutes to decelerate across those few hundred yards. In reality, this produces acceleration so tiny as to be undetectable. In the movie, people are thrown horizontally through windows.
  • Water moving past a ship's hull at 15+ knots would exert tremendous pressure that, in real life, would have likely broken Alex's safety line and caused him to be finely minced by the ship's massive propeller.

The finale boat crash scene in the film cost more than the entire budget of Speed.

Other details

The oil tanker bears the name Eindhoven Lion, named after Eindhoven, Netherlands, the hometown of director de Bont.

At the end when Annie is taking her driving test again, when she goes to pull out of the carpool, she nearly gets hit by a bus. The bus is number 2526, while the original bus used for Speed was number 2525. She apologises to her driving instructor, saying "That bus was driving way too fast."


The film was generally regarded as a critical disaster and received mostly negative reviews. However, according to the video release cover, Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel gave it "Two Thumbs Up," while Sky Magazine said that it was "Brilliant in all the ways that a disaster movie should be". Despite the poor reviews most critics did award some praise for the film's ending.

Currently the film has a 4% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 28 reviews. Speed 2 was also nominated for 8 Golden Raspberry Awards including Worst Actress, Worst Director and Worst Picture. It "won" the award for Worst Remake or Sequel.

Although the movie is considered to be a flop in U.S., as it only made $48 million, it made USD $164,508,066 worldwide.


In July 2007, The Guardian reported that Fox has plans to make a third Speed movie, which will feature returning star Dennis Hopper. Hopper confirmed the notion in an interview that year, but Fox has not confirmed it yet. A possible teaser or real site for the third was released with the title being Speed 3: Ignition set in space on a rocket ship.


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