Friday, October 19, 2012

Did You Hear the One About the Stupid Film Sequel to an Unwatchable Hit?: "Urban Legends: Final Cut" (2000)

Amy is a cute film student trying to get her film made.

It will be centered around a bunch of murders that occur according to urban legends, this idea courtesy of the colorful character Loretta Devine, from the first film. As with all the "Scream" and "I Know What You Did" last season of your choice, red herrings are thrown at the audience as the film crew begins dying one by one. I cannot go into such bothersome details as characters and situations because I had no idea who anyone was in the first fifteen minutes of the film. Amy looks like her leading lady, there is a seemingly unrelated murder that begins in a coat check room and ends up in a bathtub full of ice...I sat, sighed, and appreciated the pretty good direction and nothing more.

Finally, the scares began to come together, as the film makers narrowed its suspects. I was actually appreciating some of the action, but the director/cowriter kept doing the same plot points all the recent slasher films have done: no one believes the protagonist, who can go from running from a psycho murderer to sitting quietly in a library and investigating clues on the computer in the next scene. The police are doltish, and I eventually did not care who lived or died because I could not stand the supporting characters myself. Even the urban legends Ottman uses to illustrate the murders are half thought out. Aside from someone waking up with their kidney missing, I never heard of the dead bodies in the carnival ride, or the midnight screaming that covers up a real murder. I can't be that sheltered!

The final revelation about the killer's identity would have been surprising if I had not figured it out half way through the film. Their motivation is completely bogus, I half-heartedly thought of murdering idiotic mall kiosk employees with less drawn out explanations than the killer's here.

I do not believe that the audience should be this much smarter than the entire cast of a film. Jennifer Morrison as Amy does an admirable job, considering the script, and she makes some smart moves once in a while. Ottman's direction is pretty smooth, despite the complete leaps in logic his script takes. The scene with the cascading buckets of prop guns is not funny or suspenseful, it is frustratingly convenient.

The final twist, involving a cameo from someone from the totally unwatchable previous film, is probably the most clever thing about this film. Too bad Ottman could not keep this originality up for the preceding hour and a half.

I suggest "Urban Legends: Final Cut" be put back in the can. Skip it. (*) out of five stars.