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"The Ring Two"

Directed by Hideo Nakata ("Ringu", "Ringu 2").
Written by Ehren Kruger.  Based on the book "Ringu" by Kji Suzuki.
Starring Naomi Watts, David Dorfman, Simon Baker and Sissy Spacek.

Release Year:  2005
Review Date:  3/26/05


I won't lie to you--I was really trying to not see "The Ring Two."  But, it was the last 1-something showing this afternoon after I came out of the gym, and I wanted to see a flick before watching basketball all, I had to.  As it was, I wanted to walk out of this piece of shit after half an hour...but, when I realized I really had nothing else to do, I stuck it out only for the thing to get marginally better.

In the first film, "The Ring", a suspicious VHS tape has a strange aftereffect--anyone that watches the two-minute spookfest tends to die exactly seven days after watching it.  So, after a single mom named Rachel (Naomi Watts) lets the tape get into the hands of her son Aidan (David Dorfman), Aidan watches it, giving him seven days to die...UNLESS someone else watches the film within that same seven days, which transfers the death sentence on to that person.  Needless to say, Rachel saves her boy's life, but because a copy of the tape was made, people keep showing up dead...which brings us to the sequel, where Rachel learns of a teen death at the hands of the tape.  She goes to the dead guy's house, retrieves the tape and burns it...which SHOULD have ended the saga right there.  But, spookiness reigns supreme, allowing the dead girl in the video to wreak havoc once again in the real world.

Here's my thing about this franchise--would it hurt to explain even a little of the logic behind how a videocassette can make the walls churn out dark water, make a little girl crawl through a television and inhabit the bodies of people in the real world?  I thought "The Ring" was so-so, but it takes a turn for the worse in "The Ring Two" because after the final cassette is burned in the first 15 minutes, the thing shoulda been over.  So, how does the girl keep showing up on TVs wherever Rachel and Aidan are sitting?  There's no fucking tape anymore!  How does the dead girl make a group of deer attack Rachel's car in one strange sequence?  How does the dead girl cut the power to everything but the TV?  How does the dead girl use her powers to make other humans move like rag dolls to her commands?

How, dammit?  I'm not looking for a manual on how all this works, but the fundamental problem about this sequel is that the reason we are s'posed to be scared is because this girl is able to just float through the world to her heart's delight?  There are almost no reasons to be scared of something I don't get, or her motives save for her lack of a mother really don't make me all scared-y-cat.

Watts does her best to look interested in this nonsense, and once again, Dorfman as the wacko kid Aidan does the deed as a kid that looks like he is probably insane.  And, the production (set somewhere in the state of Washington, maybe) is attractive, the special effects look good enough, on and on.  This PG-13 horror category is crowded, though, and with not nearly enough spookiness, not nearly enough kills, and a story that takes almost two hours to play out (I would have cut at least 20 minutes out of this nonsense), "The Ring Two" does nothing to distinguish itself from any of the other horseshit I have had to sit through over the last two or three years...and, with "Red Eye", "Dark Water", and plenty of other films in this genre coming down the pipe, "The Ring Two" is amazingly forgettable.

Honestly, someone counsel me on why I continue to take this kind of punishment!

Rating:  Rental


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09