Sandra Bullock has won an Oscar, a Blockbuster Entertainment Award (yes, that used to be a thing) and a Kid’s Choice Award. You don’t just stumble into success like that. You work for it. And Sandra Bullock works. Sometimes you get gems like While You Were Sleeping or The Heat, and sometimes you get the clunkers on this list.
With IFC and Rotten Tomatoes celebrating the “too rotten to miss” movie Speed 2: Cruise Control this Friday at 8P, we thought we’d look back at five Sandra Bullock movies that she probably wishes could be expunged from her IMDB record.
5. All About Steve
Sandra Bullock is so inherently likeable, she can make you fall in love with almost any character she plays. Almost. Mary Horowitz, the crossword puzzle writer with a pet hamster as a best friend, would prove to be her Waterloo. Less a character than a collection of quirks right out of the hack screenwriter handbook, Mary stomps through her movie, alienating every character she comes in contact with like a “manic pixie dreamgirl” on meth act.
The flimsy plot centers around Mary becoming obsessed with an uninterested man (Bradley Cooper), basically browbeating him (and his early ’00s spiky ‘do) into falling in love with her. Bullock famously won a Golden Raspberry for Worst Actress in All About Steve and then an Oscar for The Blind Side the next day, which has to be some sort of record. Currently sitting at 7% on Rotten Tomatoes, All About Steve has become a favorite among fans of star-studded trainwrecks.
A low rent knockoff of other low rent movies, the 2007 spookfest Premonition (8% on Rotten Tomatoes!) has the feeling of a project everyone made with a shrug. In fact, Bullock had already made a movie about a woman trapped in two different time periods — the Keanu Reeves weepfest The Lake House, making this project all the more bewildering.
Was she just desperate to work with Nip/Tuck eyebrow plucker Julian McMahon? Or make a movie that feels like a fake trailer from another, better movie? If only Sandy had a premonition before signing on to this stinker…
3. Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous
The first Miss Congeniality was a pitch perfect vehicle for Sandra’s talents. Its fish-out-of-water story of a FBI agent who goes undercover on the beauty pageant circuit was a bit predictable, but the script’s humor and amiable cast helped make it a surprise hit.
The sagging sequel, which scored only 15% on Rotten Tomatoes, assumes we love the character of FBI Agent Gracie Hart (Bullock) so much, we want to follow her on all her wacky adventures. Ditching the beauty pageant world, Hart has a new job, new partner and a new set of problems. The comedy is much broader and campier, and the film has little reason to exist beyond giving William Shatner an easy paycheck. Still, The Shat is always worth a couple chuckles.
2. The Net
Irwin Winkler, the legendary producer of Rocky and Goodfellas, took a big swing approach to predicting the future in this 1995 thriller, trying to tackle how the newfangled Information Superhighway was changing society and potentially ruining our lives.
Unfortunately, Winkler and the screenwriters used the framework of a laughably predictable conspiracy thriller, joining fellow ’90s tech thrillers Disclosure and Hackers in a sub-genre that looks as dated today as “The Rachel” haircut. If you like your thrillers filled with Times New Roman font and action at the speed of a 28.8Kbps modem, this relic from the AOL chatroom era might be for you.
1. Speed 2: Cruise Control
Removing the urgency of the iconic original, Speed 2: Cruise Control sets the action on a runaway cruise ship, ignoring the true horror of annoying tourists and backed up toilets for the smooth sailing terror of a boat going a little too fast.
Following the diminishing returns model of the Die Hard franchise, girl next door Annie (Bullock) was now delivering lines about how unlucky she was to find herself in the middle of yet another improbable terrorist attack. With Willem Dafoe hamming it up in the generic villain role, this is an example of bloated ’90s blockbuster-dom that is almost soothing in its rotten-ness.
Set sail with Speed 2: Cruise Control during IFC’s Rotten Fridays!