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'Ring 2' runs in circles


Photo
Photo Courtesy of DREAMWORKS PICTURES
"The Ring Two" - Naomi Watts has a creepy little boy, who is being tormented by an even creepier little girl. Both want her to be their mother. And who wouldn't? She's pulling in $10 million a picture.
By Celeste Meiffren
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, March 24, 2005
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Movie Rating: 2 / 10

What a difference a director makes.

Gore Verbinski declined on making the sequel to the American remake of "Ringu." Instead, the director of "Ringu," Hideo Nakata, decided to direct "The Ring Two" himself after making "Ringu 2."

What promised to be an inspired move - blending Japanese and American cinema - turned out to be as uninspired as, well, making the same movie twice. Punch line: I miss Gore.

Here is a demonstration of the shot patterns in "The Ring Two" (not a dramatization): Loud crash and/or scary noise - reaction shot of Naomi Watts - action shot of girl from well - low angle and/or low angle canted reaction shot of Naomi Watts - crescendo in music - shot of evil girl - loud crash in music - reaction shot of the little boy. For nearly two hours this boring and formulaic pattern went on. Thanks a lot, Nakata.

One would hope that despite tragically banal direction, this movie could rely on a compelling story. Oh, not so. The story in "The Ring Two" is so over-the-top cheesy and not at all cohesive that the movie read like an after school special about parenting and, yes, perhaps a little bit about girls left in wells. But it's the kind of special you watch for five minutes and then change to "Law and Order" on TNT.

The main premise of the story in "The Ring Two," if it can somehow be pieced together, is that despite Rachel's (Naomi Watts) best efforts, Samara is back in action. Since the tape is being copied and watched, Samara is still able to continue her reign of terror. Yet somehow her methods of killing have changed. Also, the rules established in the first movie have changed as well. Any horror movie connoisseur knows that rules are rules. If they are changed, the story is immediately unbelievable and not at all interesting. Case in point.

Regardless, Samara is targeting Rachel's extremely-creepy-but-can't-put-your-finger-on-why kid, Aiden. The reason: She wants a mom. Let's repeat that for effect: She wants a mom. She wants to take over Aiden's body and have Rachel be her mom. After that plot point was revealed I was hoping Samara would come into the theater and kill me.

The movie goes downhill from that point forward with such gems as an extremely random elk attack (not connected in any way to the plot), a visit to see Sissy Spacek in a mental institution and a cameo by Gary Cole. In situations like this, one can do nothing but sigh obnoxiously.

"The Ring" was so good. Really. Gore Verbinski shot a great story in a very stylized way, which brought up issues about the omnipresence of the media in American lives, parenting and technology. Plus - and here's the kicker - it was scary.

Yes, it is true that Nakata was the original visionary for the whole story, but that does not mean he did not drop the ball with this flick. "The Ring Two" is incoherent garbage that is not worth the time or money put into it by the cast, crew or audience.



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