Way back in 1999, I was offered the chance to recap a new show for MBTV. The show? Manchester Prep, the TV spin-off of a movie (Cruel Intentions), which was a remake of another movie (Dangerous Liaisons), which was adapted from the play of the same name, which was based on a book (Les Liaisons Dangereuses). You know how, if you make a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy, the quality deteriorates a bit? Well, you see where I'm going with that. Alas, Fox decided against airing this extremely promising show. Maybe it was the piece on Entertainment Tonight mentioning that watchdog groups were already protesting the racy storylines. Wait, no. That's free publicity. So I guess we're forced to conclude that the show was too awful... for Fox. Boggles the mind, doesn't it? Anyway, it seems that they padded out the pilot with some additional footage, and a mere two years later the pilot has been released as the straight-to-video (and DVD!) classic, Cruel Intentions 2. Adding to the confusion is the fact that this is, technically, a prequel. So it features many of the characters from Cruel Intentions, played by different actors, but takes place before that movie, for rather obvious reason. I'd still recommend reading Key Grip's recap of the first movie, because it's funny and more importantly, reading it will allow you to determine that this movie is, yes, even worse by comparison. Much, much worse.
Ooo, previews. You know, usually you can tell a lot about a movie from the previews that precede it. Comedies have previews for other comedies, horror movies have previews for the sequels, movies based on Saturday Night Live skits have commercials for suicide hotlines, etc. So what can we make of the fact that Cruel Intentions 2 has trailers for Final Fantasy, Snatch, Dolph Lundgren in Agent Red, something called Circus, and Just Looking, a nostalgic tale of inappropriate sexual attachment. Oh, wait, and also an ad for the special edition of the Dogma DVD. What does this assortment tell us? That they figured someone who'd rent Cruel Intentions 2 might rent almost anything. And they're not wrong; I rented this along with Cherry Falls and Dungeons & Dragons, which puts me squarely in the "masochistic" demographic. Okay, I guess I can't avoid it any longer; let's start the movie.
We open with Sebastian Valmont listening to a lecture from the principal of his crummy school, which is neither Manchesterian nor preppy. This time, Sebastian is played by Robin Dunne, a.k.a. A.J. Moller. He's no Ryan Phillippe, and I don't like Ryan Phillippe. At least Phillippe looked good in black turtlenecks, though. I'm not sure what it would take for Dunne to look appealing. Applying hedge trimmers to those eyebrows might be a step in the right direction. ["And not having rodents for parents." -- Sars] I can never come up with good nicknames, and I'm not saying this is an exception to that rule, but "Subassdunne" is really too obvious to pass up. Okay, so Subassdunne is a troublemaker, but since his mom's now in rehab, he's about to move in with his dad and go to a new school, which is his big chance to get a fresh start. The patronizing principal lectures him about changing his ways. Subassdunne claims to have reformed. This is almost exactly the same scene that the first movie opened with, only this time with a principal instead of a therapist. Exit Subassdunne, insert the principal's discovery of one final prank (last time it was the daughter's nude photo online, this time it's the wife's nude photo in the yearbook), and pour me a glass of whatever you're drinking.