Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


URBAN LEGENDS: FINAL CUT (2000). Director: John Ottman.

"I think we have a lot in common." -- the killer of the first film to the killer of the second. 

In this sequel to Urban Legend, film student Amy Mayfield (Jennifer Morrison) is one of several young directors hoping to win the coveted Hitchcock award given by the film school, which usually means the recipient is on his or her way to a bonafide Hollywood career. Security guard Reese (Loretta Devine), the sole character holdover from the first film, who now works for the film school, tells Amy what happened at her last job, and Amy decides to make a serial killer film tied in to urban legends [this is similar to the way the characters in Scream 2 made a film out of the events of Scream]. Unfortunately, an unknown killer is murdering members of her cast and crew in grisly ways related to urban legends [some of which seem to have been created for this film]. Urban Legends: Final Cut is not as good nor as well-directed as the first film, but it does have its clever moments and funny in-jokes, and a very amusing epilogue. The prologue movie-within-the-movie with a mad slasher on the loose on a plane is interesting, but one can't point to any outstanding sequences. Jennifer Morrison makes a competent but bland leading lady, although she's amassed quite a few credits since this picture. Matt Davis makes an attractive pair of twins, but he made more of an impression in the supernatural submarine film Below. Hart Bochner is fine as a professor of film while Eva Mendes plays a zesty Out and likable lesbian. Director Ottman is better-known as a composer for movies; this is his only full-length directorial credit. Some viewers have noticed homages to Hitchcock films in this movie -- it really shouldn't even invoke the Master's name, frankly -- but if they're in this picture they are so subtle, or more likely mis-applied, as to be invisible. One thing the pic has in its favor is that the killer's motive makes complete sense, has a definite purpose, and it isn't just a nut job wasting people for pure kicks.

Verdict: Not terrible, but nothing special despite amusing bits. **1/2.

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