Animal 2
R1 - America - Genius Products
Review written by and copyright: Pat Pilon (29th September 2007).
The Film

Though I unfortunately missed the cinematic diamond that is 'Animal', I don't think I missed too much. I quickly found out that in the previous installment, Ving Rhames was in jail because he did bad things. Or something like that. Now, he's in jail because, well, I'm not too sure. In any case, the movie splits time between him and his struggle in prison, and his younger son's struggle with the gang world (because his older son dealt with that in the first part).

Mr. Rhames gets sucked into the world of underground prison fighting, while the older son, Darius (Vicellous Shannon, taking over from Terrence Howard), tries to help the younger son, James Jr. (K.C. Collins), get off a false murder accusation. The movie unfolds with all the subtlety of a gangland shooting in your front yard. Nothing is especially surprising and nothing is quite original. Watching the movie I was actually wondering why this movie was made. It seems to retread the ground the first movie walked on, and I didn't really notice any special messages.

With all that, the worst thing a movie do is disappoint you in the end. This movie does just that. Mr. Rhames says that he'll start a riot if he has to. Well, guess what. I don't want to ruin the movie but the word 'anti-climactic' comes to mind. The movie has some pretty intense fight sequences, which pump the viewer up some, and given the lack of a real message or new territory, I figured the action would try to keep people interested. Well, I was wrong.

So in the end, the only thing that grabs your attention is Ving Rhames' incredible charisma. Unfortunately, that's not enough to make this movie any good. It's enough to make the movie watchable, but only when he's on screen. Half the movie is spent with his kids and their lawyer. Those people aren't as interesting, and I'll leave it at that. They're not bad, but they're not Ving Rhames, which is what's missing from this movie.


1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The picture quality mirrors the audio quality pretty well. There are no print problems, such as specks and scratches. There are likewise no digital problems like edge enhancement and compression artifacts. There's little noise, even in the darker areas and the colours are very strong. The contrast could be better, as darker areas are dark making shadow delineation a bit weak. Though this look may be intentional, although I think it's a bit of an odd choice . The film does have a nice sheen of grain, which gives the movie a great, gritty look to it. Overall, it's a pretty nice picture.


The movie only comes in an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track. I didn't notice too much difference between this and stereo track. The dialogue is clear and unmuffled, though the overall volume may be a bit low. The music does blast out of the speakers when it starts so your subwoofer will be happy. The mixing is okay, although the rears speakers don't do too much. It's a nice track for this type of movie.
There are no subtitles.


The only real extra here is the Animal 2: Behind the Scenes featurette. This has far too many clips of the movie and they go on for far too long. Other than that, it's an okay making-of. The director talks about the pressures of making a sequel, as well as working with Ving Rhames. He talks about the rest of the cast, who also come on screen and talk about their roles. The 27-minute running time may seem a bit impressive, but at least 10 of those are clips from the movie.

After that, you have the Original Theatrical Trailer (1:48), which is okay, though definitely has the B-movie feel. You don't get too many secrets, which is a good thing, not that this movie has many secrets, though. A Trailer Gallery has trailers for 'Dead Mary' (1:41), 'Final Draft' (2:06), 'The Cradle' (1:35) and 'Bottom Feeder' (1:37).


The Film: C- Video: B Audio: B- Extras: D Overall: C


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