Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Ring 2 : Reviewed By Some Guy Who Was Smart Enough Not To View The Flick

Following in the fatal footsteps of “The Blair Witch Project”, we find “The Ring” testing the prevailing notion that highly acclaimed original movies often push their luck with highly anticipated and hollow sequels. Score another one for prevailing notions. After watching “The Ring 2”, you’ll realize very quickly that there’s likely not going to be a “Ring 3”. And if you receive any anonymous, unlabeled tape in the mail, you’ll know not to open it. It’s probably this movie.

The tale begins six months after the previous film with the terrorized woman (Naomi Watts) and her son (David Dorfman) fleeing to Oregon to escape the evil Samara and her plan of terror and death. And, uh, that’s about it. No, seriously, it’s the same movie all over again. You know the drill: a crime scene, an unmarked videotape and accusations of mental instability and child abuse.

We leave this plot point to Sissy Spacek, who plays Dr. Temple and during some of the slower passages, some may find themselves reliving 30-year-old scenes from “Carrie”. Why? Because what’s happening in your mind at this juncture is better than what’s happening on the screen. It’s so slow it even puts one of the main characters into a coma, along with half of the audience.

There are a quite a few gaps in logic that remain unresolved. First, nobody ever believes the protagonist, so why try? Second, people in horror movies apparently expect evil entities to lack reliable transportation from the netherworld, and think that simply moving away solves everything. As exemplified by the sheer existence of this aimless sequel, this is clearly not the case. Spirits not only travel widely but can obviously use maps, too.

There are two keys to enjoying this flick. First, recount what you do and do not know about Samara up to this point. Second, care. If either step is missing, repeat until totally absorbed in the mundane enough to take a second trip down the well. With the previous weeks’ collection of schlock and banality still on the box office charts, “The Ring 2” would have to really, really suck not to finish in the top five. But, I have complete confidence that it will successfully do both.

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