The sequel to "Bridget Jones" has a lot to work its way out of when the first scene deposits its lead character into a muddy pig pen. When the cameraman is told to "zoom in on the porker", he zooms in on Bridget's rear. So, as the film begins, the character is made to seem like the movie's target of humor and not sympathetic. Thankfully, the picture largely works its way out of the gutter, thanks to another winning performance by Renee Zellweger as Bridget.
The film starts off not too far after the first one ends, and our curvy hero has now started a relationship with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). Although things are going well, Bridget's jealousy gets the best of her when she thinks that Darcy is fooling around with his co-worker, Rebecca (Jacinda Barrett). So, the two break-up and, once again, around comes Darcy's old rival, Cleaver (Hugh Grant), looking for some more personal time with Bridget.
But, once again, we know that Darcy is the right one for Bridget. However, that doesn't stop Bridget from making a complete and utter fool of herself along the way. Whether it's looking silly at a stuffy party or flying down a ski slope like a psychopath, the sequel throws its heroine into continual embarassments. The last third of the film even has Bridget getting thrown into...you guessed it - actually, you probably didn't - a Thai prison.
Yet, I actually liked the film - to a degree. I've never been a big fan of Zellweger, but she really turns Bridget into a sympathetic character - although that's maybe less tough here, given the fact that the film seems to have it in for her, providing humiliating situation after humiliating situation. To her credit, however, Zellweger's performance has to sell the comedy more intensely this time around, given the fact that the romantic angle is lackluster, thanks to a performance from Firth that could be described as "unintererested." Grant shows, once again, that he's fine-tuned his delivery and has improved greatly over his performances 5 or 6 years ago.
This second installment of "Jones" is a bit too much of a repeat of the first film in ways (it's surprising that this took four writers), and the odd third act does go off a cliff, but Zellweger's performance and the first half of the movie click fairly well. Not as good as the first film, but still a rainy day rental.
VIDEO: "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" is presented by Universal in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen. The picture quality is quite good, despite a few minor faults at times. Sharpness and detail are solid, as the picture appeared consistently well-defined, with no softness or inconsistency. Fine details were occasionally visible, as well.
Edge enhancement, in mild amounts, was visible on a couple of occasions, and I noticed a little trace of pixelation once or twice. The print used was in superb condition, with no specks, marks or other faults. Colors remained natural and nicely rendered, with nice saturation and no smearing or other faults. Black level remained solid, while flesh tones looked accurate and natural.
SOUND: The film's sound design is fairly restrained, and that's no surprise, given the nature of the film. Surrounds light up slightly a couple of times for some ambience or musical reinforcement, but aside from that, the remainder of the audio is front-focused. Audio quality is fine, with clear dialogue, music (and there's not a moment of this film without some sort of score behind it, it seemed) and effects.
EXTRAS: Director Beeban Kidron offers an audio commentary for the film. Aside from the commentary, the first of the remaining features is, "The Big Fight", which looks at how the filmmakers wanted to stage a fight scene for the sequel that they hoped would be different enough from the first film's fight. Next is an interactive, "Who's Your Man?" quiz. "Mark and Bridget Forever?" is a look at the story of the two characters in the movie. "Bridget Jones interviews Colin Firth" has Zellweger, in-character, doing a jokey interview of Firth. "Lonely London" is a look at the CGI shot of a camera pulling out of Bridget's window to reveal a wider view of London. Finally, there's a few mildly interesting deleted scenes, as well as cast/crew bios.
Final Thoughts: "Bridget Jones 2" falls apart in the end (uh, a Bridget song-and-dance number in a Thai prison?) and the movie doesn't quite capture the charm of the original, but Zellweger makes a fine attempt and does her best to carry this sometimes-funny sequel. Universal's DVD edition provides fine audio/video quality, and a nice helping of supplements. Recommended for fans, a rental for everyone else.
The Film ** 1/2