Weekly Wire
Austin Chronicle I Still Know What You Did Last Summer

NOVEMBER 23, 1998: 

D: Danny Cannon; with Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr., Brandy, Mehki Phifer, Muse Watson, Matthew Settle, Bill Cobbs, Jeffrey Combs, Jennifer Esposito, Red West.(R, 96 min.)

Fish sticks anyone? The evil angler of last year's surprise hit is back in a predictably lamebrain sequel, and though Hewitt's ample cleavage is shown to good, teen-scream effect, the rest of this sub-par echo is about as appetizing as three-day-old scrod. Hewitt's character, Julie James, is now in college and rooming with the impossibly ebullient Karla (Brandy). Though the grapple-clawed killer of the series' first outing has been allegedly relegated to the briny deep, Julie is tormented by recurring nightmares of the slickered fiend. Her schoolwork is suffering, her old beau Ray (Prinze) is getting the cold-shoulder treatment, and unrelenting guilt over last season's accidental murder is playing hell with her mental status quo. This all changes, momentarily, when the girls win a radio contest's trip to the Bahamas. Dragging pals Tyrell (Phifer) and Will (Settle) along for the getaway, they find themselves stuck on a remote island on the cusp of hurricane season. As the hotel's staff battens down the hatches, The Hooked One mysteriously reappears and starts offing guests and porters alike. Of course, having Jeffrey Re-Animator Combs as your desk clerk should tip anyone off, but Julie and crew are blithely unaware of their impending doom. Luckily for the audience, the film (from a script by Trey Callaway) is so preposterously uninspired that it's virtually impossible to care about what's happening onscreen. Ninety-plus minutes of Brandy's lighthouse-glare dentifrice is enough to send anyone screaming into the night, but that's the only thing generating shivers in Cannon's (Judge Dredd) film. Despite the wise addition of noted character actors Cobbs (The Hudsucker Proxy) and West (television's The Wild, Wild West), I Still Know What You Did is a muddled mess from start to finish, with its super-secret surprise slasher's identity telegraphed from Point A, and Hewitt unable to do much more than look grimly determined or occasionally ruffled. Cannon tosses in a few cheap scares along the way, but the sad fact of the matter is that I Still Know What You Did is a negligible tossoff, as limp and lifeless as one of the (perplexingly un-bloody) corpses that litter its storyline. You want real terror? If this second outing proves profitable, we'll be looking at Yet Again I Recall the Summer Before the Summer Before Last. Now that's scary.
0 stars


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