RINGU 2

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Movies Eddie McMullen Jr. Review by
E.C.McMullen Jr.
Ringu 2
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SHOULD YOU?
TIP JAR
RINGU
MOVIE REVIEW
RASEN: THE SPIRAL
MOVIE REVIEW
RING 0: BIRTHDAY
MOVIE REVIEW
RINGU 2 - 1999
Omega Project / Kadokawa Shoten Publishing Company, Ltd. (Japan) / Golden Scene (Hong Kong)
Ratings: Hong Kong: IIB / Singapore: PG

Holy crap but this movie sucks! There is just no good reason at all for this movie to be this damn bad! Jee-zuss!

What RINGU 2 wants to do is forget RASEN, which started right where RINGU left off. Okay, fine. You got something better? Show me! But when it finally moves the story a little further along it also wants the audience to forget that RINGU existed. Fat chance! RINGU 2 is no where near good enough to be more memorable than RINGU.

One of the reasons a movie this horrible is inexcusable is that it was directed by Hideo Nakata, who directed the first film in this series, and the screenplay is by Hideo and Hiroshi Takahashi. Hiroshi wrote the screenplay for the first movie. I'm sure the investors thought they were getting back on track by returning Hideo and Hiroshi to the series. Poor them and poor anyone who watches this film.

Now I understand why RING 2, the American version sucked so bad. Whatever moment of glory and inspiration Hideo had with RINGU, his wad was blown. Hideo was unable to return to former glory until he directed DARK WATER in Japan. Hiroshi, on the other hand, bounced right back with RINGU 0, but you'll have to read that review to know why.

The pace of RINGU 2 is incredibly slow. Watching a snail move across the screen would not only be faster, but more entertaining. As any avid movie watcher knows, when a director has far too many scenes of people simply walking from one end of the screen to the next, with nothing else happening, that movie is lost. It's even worse when a director shows someone repeating the same "going nowhere" steps that they have taken in the movie before. I first noticed this in Robert Altman's hideously bad QUINTET. A movie so dull and stupid that I'll never review it here (you want to have a go? Be my guest). I saw it again in Altman's Popeye, and again in Altman's, well, a few flashes of brilliance aside, Altman generally sucked. So RINGU 2 is Robert Altman at-his-worst bad.

RASEN: The Spiral, was a direct sequel to RINGU, starting right where RINGU left off. While it was not as good as the original, it ended with a compelling question and it would have been interesting to see the third film take off from there.

Instead, RINGU 2 pretends to be the first sequel.

The story begins well with two black suited men talking about "the corpse in the well". Then one of them, Police Detective Omuta (Kenjiro Ishimaru: IJINTACHI TONO NATSU), calls Mr. Yamamura (Yoichi Numata: GHOST OF HANGING IN UTUSUNOMIYA, GIRL DIVER OF SPOOK MANSION, KAIBO OTAMAGA-IKE, JIGOKU), to enter.

Mr. Yamamura must identify the body. This takes place after Reiku Asakawa discovers the remains of Sadako in the well, and after the death of Ryuji. This scene before the opening credits is done well but before it is over, makes the first of many contradictions regarding the reason the first movie even exists. The detective tells Mr. Yamamura that the remains of Sadako are only a few years old, meaning that she was alive for 30 years in the well. The impossibility of Sadako surviving for that long I've no problem with as she has supernatural powers and that's good enough for me. But the entire point of RINGU was why people die in seven days after seeing the video: Because that's how long Sadako lived in the well before her own death. Now the whole "Die in Seven Days" plotline is destroyed. By the end of RINGU 2, Director Hideo, who also co-wrote the script, did nothing to replace it.

Back at Reiko's job, her fellow reporters are going over her video. Reiko has disappeared and her co-workers are trying to salvage something from the interviews she did with young girls who knew of the RINGU legend. Ryuji's girlfriend, Mai Takano (Miki Nakatani: RINGU, RASEN, KAOSU, ROFUTO) comes in and asks about Reiko. This interests Okazaki (Yûrei Yanagi: JOYÛ-REI, RINGU, JU-ON, JU-ON 2), Reiko's partner at her job. Through Mai, Okazaki hopes to pick up on the story that Reiko has left behind.

As Mai and Okazaki investigate the legend behind Sadako, as well as the missing Reiko, they travel through hospitals and other places where they see traces of the RINGU curse. In the first half hour of the film, RINGU 2 is very powerful and appears to be leading somewhere.

But the investigation drags.

Mai has visions.

And the film drags.

Mai is having hallucinations.

And the film drags some more.

Mai keeps getting alarmed by her vision of the boy, or his hands, or this or that but there is nothing alarming HAPPENING to the boy.

Soon something is about to happen - the boy has powers like Sadako. Okay, now this is going somewhere, right? But no, the film just keeps dragging past the gate.

Mai keeps having her visions.

Then they decide to tell us the whole RINGU story all over again. We are pushed through the tedium of rediscovering just what happens when you watch the video, and what the repercussions will be.

Ugh.

Pivotal characters are thrown in, in the last half hour or so of the film, making the entire movie start all over again then rush to a ridiculous conclusion. I'm not saying that RASEN was great, but at least it followed a logical path from the first one and introduced new ideas that, even if they didn't quite follow the direction of RINGU, at least added to the mythos. RINGU 2 was Hideo Nakata trying to re-invent the whole thing and coming off the worse for it.

One Shriek Girl

KILL IT BEFORE IT BREEDS!

Too late. They let Hideo direct THE RING 2. That flopped so spectacularly, that they are letting Hideo direct THE RING 3. And the Dreamworks wonks wonder why they are bleeding money.

Shriek Girls
This review copyright 2007 E.C.McMullen Jr.

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