The original Urban Legend was a clear rip-off of the Scream-trend and probably successful because they made a sequel to it. This time they rip-off Scream 2 by also having people make a movie based upon the events of what happened in the previous movie. Not because the high school killings became so well-known that it warranted a movie, quite the contrary: somehow the school managed to cover it all up according to surviving campus-cop Reese who was then quickly laid off because she wouldn’t wanted to blow the lit off of it. Such an explanation of the events in the first film is an insult to the audience. Since when do schools have the power to sweep multiple killings by their own student under the carpet?
And the insults do not stop here…
The setting of Urban Legends: Final Cut is at Alpine University campus where a group of film-students are competing for the prestigious Hitchcock price which is mostly a springboard to a career in Hollywood. Now who wouldn’t kill for that? Apparently somebody because as soon as protagonist Amy Mayfield (Jennifer Morrison), daughter of a legendary film-maker, starts working on a horror-movie about Urban Legend themed killings fellow student film-makers are all getting killed one by one.
The movie incorporates a couple of things that we already found in Scream 2. The movie within a movie scene in which we are led to believe that what we see onscreen is real until someone yells “cut”. A scene like this already faulty by itself when it deals with a movie being directed. When you make a movie you direct small parts which you edit together later on. In these cases we’re treated to a whole sequence consisting of multiple areas, multiple people having dialogue together etc. etc. Of course a scene like this doesn’t work if you stick with the reality of film-making but since they’re ripping off Scream why not do it good and set the scene in a screening room or theater? Two insults within 15 minutes, the makers thought not highly of their audience.
A third one occurs right after Amy announced that she’s going to make a movie with this theme. We cut to a nightclub where a certain young woman who acted in one of the students’ movie is being drugged. She wakes up in a bathtub full of ice with her kidney missing, just like the urban legend. When she tries to escape she ultimately fails and gets decapitated. All I could ask myself is: why for fuck’s sake would you go to all the trouble into drugging someone, taking her someplace and remove her kidney as the ultimate goal is to kill her. There’s nobody to witness your “urban legend” as we don’t see the body anywhere after this scene. It made absolutely no sense at all rather than just putting in one of the most famous legends of all in the movie. Not even 20 minutes in the movie and I’ve been insulted for the third time.
This movie is certainly a notch below the first one. Lesser script, lesser actors, lesser director and lesser references to other films. Despite getting insulted the movie did have a quick pace and actually kept my attention. But a very good movie this is not, and originality is very hard to find in this flick. This school even has a bell-tower like the previous movie did. The first movie had Brenda put her victims in that secluded area, guess what this movie does with the place…
Logic is also nowhere to be found and when the killer is revealed at the end his explanation about how and why takes up about 4 pages of script. No real clues are given in the film so the revealing comes to anyone’s surprise. First the movie insults its audience, then it cheats.
Like the Hitchcock award served as a springboard to Hollywood movies like this mostly serve as a springboard for young talented actors to earn their first stripes. Jennifer Morrison went on to be a part of the staff of Dr. House and also popping up in the film are Anthony Anderson and Eva Mendez. She plays a lesbian, which ultimately serves no real purpose to the story. Why make her a lesbian then? Probably for that hot and steamy sex scene that landed on the cutting room floor I think.
It’s not a complete disaster, but it could have been a lot better, like with that sex scene included for starters…