by Steve Figueroa
Movie Title: The 2nd
Main Actors: Ryan Phillippe (Shooter), Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers)
Synopsys: Baby diaper filled with Indian food? Yeah, kinda.
Look, there's nothing more I love than 'Merica and Freedom. And this movie has that by the truck load. But what it doesn't have...is a simple storyline to follow.
From the jump, you're under the impression that Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's joined forced to create the ultimate gun porn blowing it's load all over your TV. Within the first few minutes, you get introduced to who will obviously be good guys; Phillipe and his African American partner (and if you guessed he won't make it past the 10 minute mark in this blood soaked b-movie, you win!) So, after they are ambushed by a swarm of bad guys because they are assigned the detail of protecting some government official played by William Katt of the best show from the mid 80s - The Last American Hero!
So, his buddy is killed but you will have to assume this as even though the terrorist who emerged from the ambush vehicle to kidnap William Katt seemingly wanted to take him alive, there was a dude with enough fake explosives on him to level an apartment complex (btw whoever put that fake bomb kit together should be beaten with a hammer, it looks like they strapped water bottles of piss and fishing line to a clock!) who decides he wants to trade Vic Davis (Phillipe) his hostage (Ryan's partner John) for Jeffers (William Katt) and when he hesitates....the terrorist decides "ah fuck it!" and hits the button and this adorable little explosion went off. Reminded me of the time my wife decided to start the grill on her own and I heard this "woomph" and bright light flashed and all I know is came back with PTSD.
Fast forward after what you'll have to assume is another loss to Phillipe and he's gotta pick up his son from College. But, unlike literally every estranged father-son relationship plot, these two seem to adore each other! That one had to be Cabela's idea. Bass Pro shops snuck in a lot of Fishing references to make up for it.
He gets there and discovers his son as befriended the hottest girl on campus who happens to ALSO have a security detail. Because guess what? She's the daughter of a Supreme Court Justice! Isn't the timing of this just spectacular? I mean really? Now, I know what you're thinking, I'm about to give the rest of the movie away since this review is jam packed full of spoilers, right? WRONG.
For the remainder of this film, you have no idea why in god's name these people are trying to kidnap and/or kill this poor girl can't help but feel bad for his effeminate son who's too shy to just ask this girl out, and instead now has to get wrapped in some sort of international debacle where people with FUCKING ROCKET LAUNCHERS appear out of nowhere, to kidnap a college girl.
At one point, I had to rewind and double check I didn't black out and miss something because I was failing to see where the connection to the title and the storyline were.
The title is The 2nd. Which implicates this movie is about protecting the 2nd.
Yet the bad guys use every weapon in the US arsenal to force a Supreme Court Judge to decide the 2nd Amendment is unconstitutional because (and I forget where they mention it) but the CIA director's daughter was shot by someone who may have been exercising his 2nd Amendment rights. But it's only mentioned once and in passing.
Which makes you wonder what the hell was the point of setting all this up?!
Now, this entire time, Ryan Phillippe and his son are getting the living shit beat out of them by this band of hapless bastards from the 4 corners of the earth, causing car cashes, motorcycle wrecks, stabbings, and the like. So towards the end, his character looks like they filmed this all in one night and he legit looks like he needs medical attention.
Then, out of nowhere, we are snapped into a night scene of the Ritz Carlton in L.A. from a drone pilot who can't keep a straight angle or editor who has a slipped disc in his neck not to be able to level that field of view out. This would indicate we are going to go inside that hotel. But oh fuckety no we are not. We are magically transported into the obvious 20th century home with entryway stairs and a daylight scene where the last remaining henchman is waiting for the CIA director to teach him a lesson....about what? I have no idea...because he just shoots him and quotes this line about how three people can only keep a secret if two are dead.
Lastly, we're taken to the hospital to see what kinda swiss cheese Ryan Phillippe and his son have been rendered by their night of violence, only to find the son on oxygen and Phillippe in no sort of distress at all. Is he an Avenger? Do his wounds heal instantly? Why is the son all smashed up and the girl who brought all those troubles his way walks in like nothing happened. Leaving Phillipe no choice but to say "alright, have a good time you kids" and you think...ahhh yes, this catastrophe is almost over.
But nope... they got approved for 1 hour and 33 minutes and Ryan will be dammed if they are going to waste any of it.
So, as he walks out, he's greeted by SOME RANDOM RUSSIAN HITMAN and his henchmen! I had to pause and check the clock to be sure I wasn't being punked. But the dude says a cheesy line, Ryan looks around at this small army amassing in the hospital lobby and says "fuck it!" and roundhouse kicks the nearest guy!
The screen goes black, the credits begin to roll, and I immediately realize the director, producers, backers, distribution company, and everyone involved getting this movie out there did it just to mess assholes like me. People who sometimes take movies too seriously.
Sure, it's a complete Hindenberg of a film. Top to bottom. Shit explosions, terrible acting, the Russian loses his russian accent twice and it's obvious, and about the only redeeming quality of this turd bucket is the fight scenes which are pretty good.
I've seen better CGI in adult films and better acting in homemade snuff videos. But if you want to help Casper Van Dein get his career back, we gotta support these low budget movies because I think he really has potential as a action villain.
And Phillippe proved his chops in Shooter much better than anyone else could have imagined. So...kudos.
If you have $5.99 to blow and enjoy 80's shit-tastic action movies, this one is for you.