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I Still Know What You did last Summer (1998)

 

Written by Trey Callaway Directed by Danny Cannon

Back so soon as we’d only just left Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) to mingle with the college crowd while former lover Ray (Freddie Prinze Jr.) stayed true to his good ol’ boy nature by staying home to work on the docks. Though attempts to stay together become apparent, the fact remains that while Julie believed moving away would be the solution to their problems, Ray would rather tough it out for that small town ‘wholesomeness.’ Deciding to stay in entirely (and doing a crappy job of such) on the anniversary of Helen and Barry’s death (July 4th) Julie enables her paranoia to get the best of her while pulling a knife on a presumed intruder, though in reality friend/roommate Karla (Brandy Norwood). Then agreeing to go to a club where she again, sees shadows; the line between reality and nightmares too confusing to differentiate.

The very idea of the next events being so absurd that it truly is no wonder they make it on the island and discover (eventually) that it was under false pretenses. Because the next morning the girls receive a phone call which Julie (rightfully) worries about, maintaining she had an unlisted number. Yet hearing of their chance to suddenly win a weekend vacation with Mark in the Morning if only answering what the capital of Brazil was. Rewarded with the trip though unaware of having answered incorrectly, where they would unknowingly settle onto the island of Tower Bay which was beginning its storm season. Left with a staff of five as the fisherman, Ben Willis, would soon make his presence known after first paying a visit to Ray. Using a decoy to take out his friend Dave (John Hawkes) Ray is chased and thrown from a hill that would wind him up in the Hospital. Later escaping the grounds so as to pawn an intended engagement ring for a gun, he makes his way to the Bahamas via bus then boat. Whatever ensured enough time to pass as his next entrance wouldn’t be until the last act when everything had come to light and Julie needed saving.

**Rant Engaged: I’m sure it is just me who cares about little minor details but I can’t help them sticking out to me, they just do. Because geographically this film was all over the place. The events from the previous installment happen in Southport, which a real town located in California. Because at the end of the first its indicated (even though a dream) that Julie was in school in New York. Jump to the beginning of this film where Ray shows up, having “driven up” to take her back to their hometown. Yet after escaping from the Hospital catching a bus that’s on the way to Miami! Which is obviously to get to the Bahamas but are you trying to say that all of this is happening in a matter of hours?!**

However refusing to let the weather get them down Karla and Julie, now joined by Tyrell (Mekhi Phifer) and Will (Matthew Settle) decide to spend the night at the bar while mixing in some karaoke. Except Julie calls it an early night and later discovers a body in her closet that quickly disappears the moment she runs for help. Because while temporarily a red herring, Estes (Bill Cobbs) unveils the true capital of Brazil and educates them on who could possibly be behind the killings. Having worked and lived on the island with his wife and two kids several years back, the fisherman’s thirst for revenge seemed unrelenting. Despite old rumors of infidelity and abuse, it was a maid who ended up finding his wife sprawled throughout room 201-the Honeymoon suite. Unearthing the connection between Will Benson (Matthew Settle) and Ben Willis (see what they did there) having been the voice of ‘Mark in the Morning’ and helped orchestrate the entire trip. Though Ray and Julie prevail once again and make it off the island. Only, would circumstance be on their side or simply a matter of time before thrust into a similar position once again.

Though the concept seemed a bit more premeditated this time around, it really is the first film all over again on an island but with some better kills. Familiar faces come back which was a necessity-otherwise it really wouldn’t have made sense. It also seems like a lot of work to have involved the son and convince him to befriend, join same classes and essentially track every moment of Julie’s life for what was not only an accident but generally had no involvement from her side to begin with. So why all the trouble or not just stalk Ray? Despite liking the history of Tower Bay associated with the fisherman, it wasn’t enough to warrant a third installment by far. The new editions to the cast with Mekhi and Brandy worked well for the script except I found myself more amused from all the cameos throughout. John Hawkes, Jeffrey Combs as the cynical Hotel manager, Jennifer Esposito as the hot (and mysterious) bartender and even Jack Black who was basically himself, with dreads. So while they did their share of using an already established film to bring in a story warranting all new bells and whistles, they simply failed to realize that they didn’t have a story to sell to begin with. Even with Scream and its third installment, which was certainly the lesser of the series, they found a way to connect it to the main character and the entire series itself. Opposed to this series which not only sponged off the success of the before mentioned but attempted to keep bringing back a character and adding elements where it was not even needed, as we really see come through in its last installment; ‘I’ll Always Know.’