"Reissue formula, but Adams stands out from the mess."
Originally designed to be a primetime TV extension of the movie “Cruel Intentions,” the now-direct-to-video prequel banally entitled “Cruel Intentions 2” (the TV series was to be called “Manchester Prep,” the stiffly upper-class prep school the devious teens attended) is nothing more than the footage filmed for the pilot, along with the wanna-be masturbatory nudie footage thrown in to add spice.At least that was its intention. While the reintroduction to younger versions of Sebastian (now played by Robin Dunne, to Ryan Phillippe’s version) and Kathryn (Amy Adams, to Sarah Michelle Gellar) is supposed to give us insight to what happened before all the hullabaloo of “Cruel Intentions,” although I could see myself occasionally sitting down to watch the show, as a movie, it functions as nothing more than a recycled version of the first. Again, written and directed by Roger Kumble, using the same formula, even the same outline of the predecessor, it goes as far as to replicate the Swoozie Kurtz scene (about her daughter) but now with Sebastian’s principal and his wife. Or the lesbian kissing scenes. Or the exact extraction of Selma Blair’s naïve horny virgin character, into Keri Lynn Pratt’s rendition. Or the alteration of Reese Witherspoon’s character into the same type (with a slight twist at the end) by the diffident Sarah Thompson. Kumble’s biggest aberration from the “definitive” version, is that for the majority of the movie, we’re supposed to believe that Sebastian wants to be good and is likable. But that goes against what has already set up. The con at the end was a cheap blow, and makes everything before that irrelevant. Dunne is very much a subtraction as Phillippe’s replacement, and not only does his terrible acting make it annoying to watch and hard to stomach, but it becomes impossible to supposedly “like” the character for any brief period of time. On the other hand, Adams’ bitch compared to Gellar’s, is so much more wicked, evil, bitchy, and well-done. Adams also is superior in beauty, and uses it as a beneficial tool.Final Verdict: D.