The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.
That's what they teach every deranged psychopath on the first day of Slasher 101. You (Point A) wants to kill a hapless victim (Point B) and the logical solution is simple mathematics. There's no beating around the bush (except on the campgrounds of Crystal Lake perhaps), just efficient, streamlined slaughter. Nearly all the greatest cinematic butchers follow this basic principle -- Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, Leatherface, and even that bloodthirsty doll Chucky. I haven't forgotten about Freddy Krueger by the way, but since he complicates matters by factoring in the science of other planes of existence, he gets to be the only real exception to the rule.
This brings us to angry angler Ben Willis (the villain of 'I Know What You Did Last Summer'), who apparently played hooky during this entry-level course. Not only did it take him 365 days to jumpstart his murderous career in that film, in this mind-boggling sequel he's so ridiculously all over the map that Gary Busey actually walks a more linear path when pulled over for a sobriety test. So for any would-be movie serial killer icons out there, please take note and for god's sake -- stay in school.
Anyway, 'I Still Know What You Did Last Summer' has one of the most absurd plots of any horror film I've seen. Julie James (Jennifer Love Hewitt), one of the only survivors from the original movie, is an emotional wreck. Ever since she and her friends ran over a pedestrian two years ago and was nearly killed by the vengeful psychopath last summer, Julie's paranoia has been cranked into overdrive. What she really needs more than anything is a vacation. Good thing her best friend Karla (Brandy Norwood) has won them an all-expense paid trip for four to the Bahamas!
Naturally, Karla brings along her horny man Tyrell (Mekhi Phifer), but since Julie's boyfriend Ray (Freddie Prinze Jr.) is being a sourpuss and doesn't go on the trip, Karla sets her girlfriend up with Will (Matthew Settle) who has been trying to get in Julie's pants for weeks. No matter, it'll still be fun and most importantly, she can work on her tan. But little does Julie know that Ben Willis still plans to get even and has followed the foursome to the resort. As a tropical storm rolls in trapping everyone on the island for a few days with a killer on the loose, it seems our protagonists are caught in a bit of a pickle. Will Julie finally get the hook, or will she prove once again to be this maniac fisherman's deadliest catch?
The first 'I Know' made a killing at the box office and while it was far from a masterpiece, at least director Jim Gillespie took the screenplay adapted from the young adult Lois Duncan novel by 'Scream' scribe Kevin Williamson and created a slick campy ride with decent moments of suspense. The success quickly prompted studio execs to green-light a sequel before the slasher craze had time to cool down, unfortunately all we really end up with is more of the same -- just done half-assed. Danny Cannon directs 'I Still Know,' and he does maintain Gillespie's music video-style, but really fumbles when trying to instill terror upon the viewer. All of the kills are so overly melodramatic they're practically lifted straight from daytime soaps. I actually burst out laughing when Tyrell gets dispatched it was so ludicrously over-the-top. I suppose there's some value in unintentional hilarity, just don't expect to tremble in fear.
The acting also takes a significant nose dive here. Hewitt isn't outright terrible, but she does seem weary reprising her role and doesn't do much more than what she already delivered in the first film. The marble in the head of Freddie Prinze Jr. can be heard rolling around searching for the hole as he tries to process his lines, Phifer just has to project wanting to get laid, and Brandy is more irritating than a nasty case of jock itch. Seriously, you know a movie has to be awful when it's most memorable performances are cameos by an uncredited Jack Black as a stoner with dreadlocks and Weyoun from 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.'
Worst of all, though, is hands-down the sludgy script from Trey Callaway, who must have written the thing after taking a few hits from Jack Black's bong. The first half hour or so is nothing but cheap scares with Julie seeing wat-choo-talkin-bout-Willis in her dreams, in the shadows, and nearly everywhere else she turns, but it's so repetitive you can't help roll your eyes. Wouldn't you also think that if someone is in such a distraught state of mind from a horrifying ordeal they'd seek psychological care or at least pack a gun? Julie is freaked out, yet all she gets is a couple extra deadbolts.
Don't even get me started on the killer. In the first movie, the story took place in a small fishing town, and although the raincoat and hook was a lame identity, it still made sense. Like I said in one of my older reviews, when that gear is the norm in a coastal village, it basically grants a sort of camouflage kind of like the 'Predator.' This time, he keeps his disguise and instead of sneaking up on Julie when she's alone at home or hiding out in the back seat of her car like a normal stalker, he decides the best place to off her is all the way over in the Caribbean. Talk about making your scheme needlessly more difficult than it really has to be. It's no wonder his former classmates point and snicker at the loser in the slicker. He's just not cut out for this job.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
Sony finally brings 'I Still Know What You Did Last Summer' to Blu-ray after the title was initially scheduled to be released last year and was curiously put on hiatus with no reason given. The film is presented on a dual-layered BD-50 disc that comes in a regular blue keepcase. The U.S. release is also reported to be region-free and therefore should function on all Blu-ray players including the PlayStation 3.
'I Still Know What You Did Last Summer' is equipped with an adequate 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 (2.40:1 aspect ratio) encode, although it doesn't quite play in the same visual sandbox as the first film in the series.
The image retains a fair amount of depth, with some of the daylight scenes having a nice three-dimensional "pop" while the darker sequences tend to appear more on the flat side. Details also aren't too bad, but again the poorly lit shots lose some of their intricacy when swallowed by shadow. Colors vary from being very natural to slightly overblown depending on the scene, and there is some visible color banding as well. Black levels are mostly pretty rich, but they do slip a little on occasion. Skin tones seem a bit waxy, and there are a few places in particular where the make-up is noticeably caked on Hewitt's face. The picture has an overall softness to it, and with absolutely no hint of grain or noise to be seen, it's obvious this transfer has undergone heavy processing by Sony's engineers.
The audio fares about the same. The three lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtracks (in English, French, and Portuguese) deliver crisp dialogue that's balanced well with the rest of the mix. The score has a lot of sudden shocks in a poor attempt to make viewers jump, and there is some low bass in some of the tunes at the nightclub. The surrounds are also pretty lively, especially at the onset of the storm. Thunder and rainfall is very prevalent from the rear speakers, and there are decent discrete effects, like birds chirping and insects singing in the background, too. The track does feel a little constrained and could have been a bit more airy, but overall it still serves the film well enough.
The disc also includes Dolby TrueHD 5.1 tracks in French and Portuguese, as well as optional Chinese, English, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai subtitles.
Sony ports over the same minimal fluff found on the DVD and most of it is presented in standard-definition.
'I Still Know What You Did Last Summer' should have been called 'We Rushed Out This Sequel Just To Make A Quick Buck.' The film simply lacks the fun, scares, and dare I say intelligence of the first film in every possible way. The Blu-ray offers adequate video and audio that could have been better, and it certainly doesn't help matters when Sony baits the hook with crumbs of supplements that would starve a guppy. Diehard fans may still wish to complete their collections, but even then I'd still wait for the price to drop significantly before slapping down any hard-earned cash for this disc.