Plot: What’s it about?
James “Animal” Allen (Ving Rhames) is on a life sentence in Folsom Prison, as he took the blame for a murder than involved one of his sons. But he is soon transferred to Susanville Prison, thanks to an all out race riot that exploded between the blacks and the Mexicans at Folsom. Susanville is not an unknown place to Animal, as he served fifteen years there on other charges. Once he arrives, he is approached by Kasada (Conrad Dunn), who wants Animal to become a prize fighter against other inmates. He knows Animal could earn him a lot of cash, but Animal refuses to take part in the fights. This causes Kasada to take action against Animal, having his son framed for murder, by Kasada’s friends on the outside. With his back against the wall and his son’s freedom in jeopardy, what will Animal do to make things right?
No, this isn’t a sequel to the Rob Schneider vehicle The Animal, instead it is a sequel to the mediocre, direct to video prison movie Animal, released in 2005. I am unsure why a sequel was needed, but while the original was mediocre, Animal 2 fails to even attain that level of success. As a fan of prison dramas, especially HBO’s Oz, I wanted this movie to be good, but I couldn’t wait for it to end as soon as it started. The story is thin and riddled with plot holes, the kind that make you lose all interest. The prison should be a brutal, hopeless institution, but here is it populated by criminal masterminds and escape seems simple. I say masterminds because the plans of the inmates seem to work, despite the obvious reaches in logic involved. The lone reason to watch is Ving Rhames, who slums it and delivers some humorous lines. I just cannot recommend Animal 2, the movie is quite bad and even as a rental, fails to deliver any kind of entertainment value.
Video: How does it look?
Animal 2 is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The print used is in good condition and shows no signs of wear and compression seems flawless, no problems on either front there. The colors are vivid and clash well with the deep, rich black levels, for a very effective overall visual scheme. A few small issues to surface, but these are so minor in scope, there’s no need to even mention them. This is a terrific visual effort from Columbia and as such, viewers should be most pleased.
Audio: How does it sound?
The 2.0 surround option sounds fine, but doesn’t stand out as impressive. The music has deep bass and is loud, sometimes a little too loud. Some of the more action driven scenes provide added punch, but by and large, there isn’t a lot of depth here. The dialogue is clear, but can be lost at times, because of the volume issues with the music. So overall, the movie sounds solid, but the music is just too loud in some instances.
Supplements: What are the extras?
I didn’t expect much from the included featurette, but it was solid and ran just under half an hour. There is a lot of promotional fluff, but also some worthwhile interviews. This disc also includes the film’s trailer.