|Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003)|
|Written by Noah Fleming|
|Thursday, 31 March 2011|
“Legally Blonde 2” brings Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon” back to the screen. Have graduated law school at the end of the first film she is now a big attorney in Boston. Meanwhile, her fiancée, Luke Wilson, is teaching at Harvard Law School. While planning her wedding she realizes that she needs to find the mother of her dog, Bruiser. Okay, so somehow a detective is able to find out the whereabouts of one little dog’s mother. I have a hard time stomaching that one. But this information leads Elle to V.E.R.S.A.C.E, which she, being the “blonde” that she is, thinks is the secret headquarters of the fashion designer. Instead it is a cosmetic testing facility that uses animals. She is appalled, outraged and determined to set Bruiser’s mother free and stop the animal testing.
Unfortunately, Elle’s law firm doesn’t feel the same way, and instead of getting promoted she is fired. A revelation on her part leads her to Washington D.C., where she is going to campaign to get a bill passed outlawing the use of animals for cosmetic testing. She of course, is now the oddball in Washington and no longer Boston. Everyone is in black suits and she wears flashy pink, her signature color. Needless to say, Elle gets in way over her head, thinking she can run Washington like she did Boston.
Elle must work her way past back stabbing representatives, stuck-up staff members, harsh committee chairs and a lot more. The film is heart-warming, and it actually moves at a fairly good pace. Sure, a lot of the puns and signature moves are taken from the first film, but they still work nicely in the second film. I’m not saying that is a sequel worthy of note, but it definitely has a place for those that were true fans of the original film.
The biggest issue this film has is with the characters. There is no real maturation, if you well between the first film and the second film. Elle is still as ditzy as before law school. I think we would have liked to have seen her grow up just a bit. She seemed quite mature when giving her law school graduation speech at the end of the first film, and yet regresses here in the second film. Also, the character of Rudd, played by Sally Field is such a mess that not even she knew how to play here. The rest of the cast is fairly one-dimensional make them useless on screen. Were the characters to be better driven, i.e. better script development, this could have been a fantastic sequel.
This is another of MGM’s catalog stock releases. However, this time the image quality is quite high as the Blu-ray transfer is source from a much better master. There is no question that this is a tremendous upgrade from the standard DVD. The colors are bold and punchy. Elle’s costumes have never looked better. Depth is quite good for the stock transfer. Noise reduction is slightly apparent, but not as much as in other quick transfers. Edges are nicely defined but lack the real sharpness that we are looking for. There are some inconsistencies in image quality between Jefferson Park and the interior sequences, but all in all this is a better transfer than I expected. The image isn’t entirely spot free. There are some scratches and flicks here and there. Black levels are a strong point in this transfer providing nice depth throughout.
The audio is more typical of the genre and stock release. We are given a 5.1 DTS-HD MA track. The audio remains largely front heavy throughout the film. The rear channels use comes and goes in intensity. Still, they are quite nice at points. Some of the interior capitol building sequences have nice office ambience in the rear channels as well as reverberation. Other sequences, such as the march on Washington have more clutter and less useful surround usage. The LFE channel is absent, with all bass being supplied by bass management. Dialogue is clean and clear and nicely balanced. Stereo separation in the front channels is excellent. Overall, you will find this audio track suits the needs of the film.
All of the special features here are ported over from the standard DVD and remain in standard definition. There are some deleted scenes and a gag reel. For some reason or another there is an audio commentary with Elle’s two best friends and Jennifer Coolidge. This is a bland track that contains no worthwhile information. “Blonde Ambition” is a making-of piece. “Pretty In Pink” is a featurette on the costumes. “Stars And Stripes, Never!” is another costume piece. “Hair Apparent” is fairly self-explanatory. “Elle’s Anthem” is a brief featurette on the music score. “Puppy Love” is a gay dogs ad. “Bruiser’s Outtakes” contains four separate outtakes of the dog. Lastly, the disc is equipped with a trailer and the “We Can” music video by LeAnn Rimes.
“Legally Blonde 2” suffers from stale and indecisive characters but has a great audio and video transfer for a stock transfer. I recommend at least giving this one a rent. It is a must for fans of the fan.