Bruce Bennett Short Bio

Bruce Bennett

Bruce Bennett has been the primary contributor to Mad About Movies since it began in 2003. He is an award winning film and theater critic who, since 2000, has been writing a weekly column in The Spectrum daily newspaper in southern Utah as well as serving as a contributing editor of “The Independent,” a monthly entertainment magazine. He is also the co-host of “Film Fanatics” a movie review show which earned a Telly in 2009. Bruce is also a featured contributor at:

His motto: "I see bad movies so you don't have to."

The Ring 2

‘Watch this film and die’ more than just continuing plot of ‘Ring 2’

There is a crucial moment in “The Ring 2,” the sequel to 2002’s successful original, where freaked-out mom Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) loses custody of her creepy, catatonic young son Aidan (David Dorfman). Instead of inspiring empathy for our paranoid protagonist, we are actually relieved that one of filmdom’s dumbest and most irresponsible parents is relieved of her guardianship. This could have been a fulfilling ending.

But since the scene happens early in the movie, we continue to be subjected to a host of implausibilities and so few bonafide scary moments that “The Ring 2” becomes another sad case of fatal sequel disease.

At least the first “Ring” had director Gore Verbinski, who understands that a lack of substance can be sugarcoated with a dash of eerie style.

Director Hideo Nakata, who was responsible for the Japanese film “Ringu,” from which “The Ring” borrowed liberally, favors haltingly slow pacing (almost every actor seems to move in slow motion) over tautly wound suspense.

Nakata can’t be faulted for the incredibly superficial script, which has Rachel and Aidan moving to a rural town in Oregon six months after the “watch a videotape and seven days later you’re dead” events of the first film.

Like the great white shark from the ridiculous “Jaws” sequels, sinister spirit Samara can apparently traverse state lines to pursue her victims. So when another videotape incident occurs in their new home, Rachel knows the horror is like d?j? vu all over again.

Random events occur mostly to remind us of the ignorance of these characters. Rachel’s behavior in particular is mind-numbingly incompetent as she constantly leaves her seemingly possessed son either alone or with strangers and returns to her obviously haunted house. Alone. Later she searches for clues in a dark basement. Alone.

To ask how it makes sense that merely pushing closed the well cover that enshrouds the strung-out evildoer could prevent a spirit capable of commanding a horde of attacking deer (one of the film’s only interesting scenes) or pulling a person through a TV screen is to ask too much from a movie of this caliber.

The greatest joy in watching “The Ring 2” is counting the discrepancies in a film that had no business being made. And I’m convinced little Aidan is deaf. If you do see this film, count how often people call his name without him giving a response — it might give your brain something to do.

Grade: D+
Rated PG-13 for violence/terror, disturbing images, thematic element and some language including one F word.

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