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URBAN LEGENDS: FINAL CUT

Review by Andrew Manning (8/00)

Release: 2000, Sony
Starring: Joey Lawrence, Jennifer Morrison, Matthew Davis, Anson Mount, Eva Mendez, Jessica Cauffiel
Director: John Ottman
MPAA Rating: [R] violence, language, sexuality
Genre: Horror
Running Time: 100 minutes




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SUMMARY

At Alpine University, a handful of film students are competing for the Hitchcock Award, a prestigious bestowment that would virtually guarantee anyone's career in Hollywood. Inspired by some stories from the campus security guard, Amy (Morrison) decides to create a film about urban legends--scary tales passed from person to person that everyone has heard. But soon after her movie starts filming, mysterious murders based on those very legends begin to plague the campus, and it's up to Amy and her friends to uncover the killer before it's too late.

THE SUDDEN RUNDOWN

Even in a genre historically plagued by cheesiness, Urban Legends: Final Cut stands out as god-awful and utterly unoriginal.

WHAT'S GOOD

Like its predecessor Urban Legends (which was not too good, but still genius compared to this derivative pile of crap sequel), Final Cut has some interesting material to draw upon--after all, urban legends can usually be fun. The problem is that most of the good ones were already taken in the first film, so this unwanted, unnecessary second chapter mostly scrapes the bottom of the barrel, drumming up a few urban legends that are far from legendary. The exception, though, is the one about the missing kidney--that's very cool.

As with many of the new generation horror films, some of the sidekicks are funny, interesting, and steal a few scenes.


WHAT'S BAD

Pssst...did you hear the one about the movie that sucked?

Shouldn't you know what you're getting into when the trailer looks like an MTV buzz clip, you know it's a sequel to a weak film, and Joey Lawrence is the only recognizable name in the cast? God Almighty, Urban Legends: Final Cut sucks, and sucks hard...

First off, I liked this movie better the first time I saw it, when it was called Scream 3. The stupid fiction-within-a-fiction angle is so old and tired, I can't believe Columbia Tristar had the NERVE to call it "fresh and original." Like the overextended conclusion to the Scream trilogy, Final Cut tries constantly to blur the line between fantasy and reality. To make things worse, it sets the whole story at a university's film department, once again rehashing the idea of fantasy mimicking fantasy, just as we saw in Scream 3 and Wes Craven's New Nightmare. As an audience, are you watching the characters filming a horror story, or an actual horror story? The better question is, Who gives a rat's ass?

Then there's the cast. Noticeably missing are eye candies Rebecca Gayheart and Alicia Witt, arguably the best things about the first installment. They, and the reset of their cohorts from the original, have been replaced by Joey Lawrence and Crew--could we get a bigger bunch of boring unknowns? If any of these people become celebrities, Urban Legends: Final Cut would be the embarrassing video clip they torment them with on talk shows.

I'll admit that horror films as a whole don't usually inspire thought and debate. But Final Cut is such a blatant, transparent rip-off that it brings down the genre as a whole, and pisses me off to no end. This thing has "direct to video" written all over it--it's just too bad some idiot studio exec had the balls to greenlight it for theatrical release.

Urban Legends: Final Cut should be avoided like the plague, and the creators should be beaten to death.


Rating: 1.5 out of 10 (0=Abysmal, 5=Average, 10=Excellent)
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