MOVIES. . . . SPEED 2: The movie we feared was inevitable has finally arrived in the form of 'Speed 2: Cruise Control,' unworthy successor to the last action movie that ran as much on wit as it did on special effects. "'Speed' was in touch, however goofily, with some of our everyday anxieties—a runaway bus on a screwed-up freeway is not entirely beyond our ken," notes TIME's Richard Schickel. "At the very least we can imagine being caught in the resulting traffic jam. But a Caribbean cruise ship, its controls fritzed by a mad computer genius (there’s no other kind in the movies these days) and set on a collision course first with a loaded oil tanker, then with a resort island? No, this is not a scenario that haunts our sleepless nights." Sandra Bullock, of course, is back as Annie, but the combination of pluck and vulnerability that made her so winsome in the original is missing here. "The screenwriters, Randall McCormick and Jeff Nathanson, and the director, Jan de Bont, have no interest in providing their actors with stuff to act," notes Schickel. "Their job is to keep the whammos coming. Our job is to sit there, absorb the blows and pretend to like their cold expertise. With De Bont's quick wit and tense minimalism on the first 'Speed' still fresh in mind, that's hard work."
MOVIES . . . MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING: "Busting up society weddings has always been good comedic sport," says TIME's Richard Schickel. "We like to see spoiled, if redeem-able, brats be embarrassed in front of their rich friends. In the classics of this subgenre (It Happened One Night, The Philadelphia Story), it was the man (Clark Gable, Cary Grant) who caused the ruckus. But different tropes for different folks. And different times." It is theoretically O.K. to place a woman, in this case nice-girl Julia Roberts, in the terminator role. But there are too many moments in 'My Best Friend's Wedding' when her ferocity plays as motiveless malignity, especially as it is largely directed at Cameron Diaz’s smart and pretty Kimmy, the bride-to-be. "When our sympathies shift to her, the movie sours. Director P.J. Hogan (Muriel's Wedding) stages a couple of marvelously giddy musical numbers, and Rupert Everett is terrific as the voice of sweet homosexual reason in the midst of this heterosexual hubbub. He -- and the songs -- probably belong in a different, better movie. But they give this one what edge and clarity it has."