Monday, March 21, 2005

The Ring Two is a sequel. That about sums it up.



What made the first film great was intrigue of the images on the videotape. The revelations as the puzzle pieces were woven together drove the story forward; and there was urgency in the belief that a mysterious power was waiting to take your life after seven days.

If you don’t want The Ring Two spoiled—and especially if you haven’t seen The Ring yet—don’t read this. I won’t give really important things away, but I’m not tiptoeing around either.

In the first movie, it wasn’t revealed until the end that the mysterious videotape was Samara’s communication from beyond the grave. Then—and I thought this was a brilliant—just as the story seems to be resolved, it’s kicked into high gear again by Aidan’s suggestion that rather than easing the spirit’s pain, it’s been invigorated and set loose to wreak even more havoc.

Before I begin on The Ring Two, let me say that I did enjoy it; but it’s just what you’d expect the sequel to a Hollywood blockbuster to be: a slapdash collection of scenes invoking the success of its predecessor. If horses can go nuts in the first one, why not mule deer in the second one? Never mind that the idea comes out of nowhere and is dropped as quickly as it was introduced. No, wait; there was an ever-so-subtle reference to it when 38 thousand antlers were hanging in the basement. Remember that intriguing imagery from the first one? Why not rehash some of that stuff?

The story is no longer about interpreting a message from beyond (although they do find a way to sneak in another short videotape-like collection of clues) but now it’s a possession story. Take the Exorcist, throw in a bit of Village of the Damned, sort of an inverted Friday the 13th idea, a dash of the Blair Witch, two or three contrived deus ex machina, mix it into The Ring and you’ve got your sequel. For good measure, better give Naomi Watts a snappy one-liner that’ll make the audience groan (or snicker) at the end. Oh, and see if we can get Sissy Spacek for a cameo.

The plot of this movie gets its legs from the original premise of Ringu—the Japanese film on which The Ring was based. Samara’s birth mother was magically impregnated by a sea demon. This point is sort of swept aside for American audiences, but it’s there. Americans must be idiots, because this movie beats you over the head with things they want you to notice. (His body temperature is low? I wouldn’t have guessed by the foot-tall temperature readout behind him.)

One sequel is enough, and plot-wise (as weak as it was), I think they wrapped it up. That being said, the option for The Ring Three does get its foot in the door just before the credits roll.

I’d give this movie three out of five antlers. No bad, but don’t expect a film as artfully crafted as the first one.

1 Comments:

Blogger Joe Dorn said...

"The Ring 2? More like bore-a-phyll"

I haven't seen it yet, but thanks for the update. I'd like to see it, but I expect as much from it as I would expect from "The Grudge 2". God help us if they make that.

Thanks for the kind words about the concert the other night also. It's good to know that people walk away from a concert like that with the feel of an experience rather than just another concert.

9:28 PM  

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