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Urban Legends 2: Final Cut

Starring Jennifer Morrison, Matthew Davis, Joseph Lawrence, Loretta Devine and Hart Bochner
Screenplay by Paul Harris Boardman & Scott Derrickson
Directed by John Ottman

IN SHORT: The end of the line. Please. [Rated R. minutes.]

We're not going to tell you who did it. We're not going to reveal the plot twist upon plot twist that end the flick and we're going to do our damndest not to tip our hands. That being said, the standard horror genre misdirection works so damned well in Urban Legends Final Cut that we weren't scared at all and not shocked when the plot twists and revelations finally hit. Actually, the more horror movies we see, the more we begin to think that it's time for Hollywood to stop making these things for a couple of years because, as you'll know when you get to the final twist that, the genre is officially tapped out.

Or maybe the right wing in Washington should apply the three strikes law to horror film viewing. You see three, you move on. Works for me.

For now, we move on to ... Alpine College , on whose campus stands "the greatest film school that ever existed." That's the Dean talking to students who spend thousands of dollars building sets and about a buck three eighty on their own slice 'n' dice scripts to film. That's no diss. It's actually cheaper to shoot a slice 'n' dice, though Bosco syrup looks more like blood if you shoot in black and white (and it's cheaper -- we speak from experience). Here we meet the cream of the crop of nouveau artistes, Travis (Matthew Davis) and Toby (Anson Mount) who battle for the prestigious Hitchcock Award, which means the fast track to Hollywood. Right behind them is Amy (Jennifer Morrison) who is about to shoot her own thesis film, based upon the legend of a series of mass murders on the campus of Pendleton University, told to her by security guard Reese (Loretta Devine, returning from the original).

She's snatched up most of Travis' crew: DP Simon (Marco Hofschneider), special effects geeks Stan (Anthony Anderson) and Dirk (Michael Bacall), recordist Vanessa (Eva Mendes). Amy also seems to have Travis' support . . . until he gets a "C" on his film "Gods in Heaven" and blows his brains out in the school belltower. A mysterious man in a black swordfighting getup appears, um, mysteriously on campus, wielding a sharp pointy thing. From that point on film students start disappearing one by one, and, once disappearances turn to discovered bodies, it seems to the crack security team of one that Madame Director Amy is the person usually first on the scene when the blood starts to flow. Add to that the mysterious appearance of . . . well that would be telling . . . to aid Amy and keep the murderous details out of the hands of the police and you get a plain old decapitate 'em, chop 'em up and hang 'em high flick, remarkably blood free and falling far short (thankfully) of traditional slice 'n dice movies. While it tries hard to work a lot of humor into the horror, the crowd I was sitting with was cackling at the murders, which confused the hell out of me.

Putting aside the series concept of integrating "urban legends" into string of killings, Final Cut is no more than an average wanna be horror flick, and far short of the creative or exceptionally gory killings that mark the best slice 'n' dice flicks. This is no sequel to Urban Legends. It is the same old same old and not suspenseful or scary in the least.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Urban Legends: Final Cut, he would have paid...


strictly for teens who haven't had their fill.

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