Lethal Weapon 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Though some concerns appeared, this was a generally good transfer.
Sharpness caused a few of the problems. While much of the flick appeared clear and accurate, during wider shots, I thought the image could become slightly soft and fuzzy. This wasn’t a terrible trend, though, so overall definition remained solid. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge enhancement was absent. Source flaws weren’t much of a problem; I saw an occasional speck but nothing more.
Weapon 2 featured a rather subdued and earthy palette, but the colors it included appeared well reproduced. Occasional red lighting looked tight and concise, and the brownish tones that dominated the film were clear and accurate. Black levels appeared nicely deep and rich, and shadow detail worked fine for the most part. Some low-light interiors looked a bit thick, but not to a substantial degree. While the image occasionally showed its age – and era – it ended up as a satisfying “B”.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it also held up reasonably well over the decades. The forward spectrum dominated to a degree, and it provided a nicely separated and lively atmosphere. Within the spectrum, sounds seemed to be accurately placed, and they blended together well. Action sequences added reasonable pizzazz to the package and showed good movement and involvement, with a fair amount of activity from the back speakers. Explosions blossomed well, and a little split-surround material created a nice sense of accuracy.
Audio quality was fine for its age. Effects showed decent range and impact; they could’ve been more natural and dynamic, but they still came across as fairly convincing. Speech was concise and distinctive, and music seemed pretty good. The score showed perfectly acceptable clarity and oomph; the music didn’t sizzle, but it seemed positive. Like the picture, the audio appeared good but not great.
A few bonus features fill out the set. We launch with an audio commentary from director Richard Donner. Accompanied by an unnamed moderator – and an off-microphone interviewer – Donner delivers a running, screen-specific discussion of issues related to the creation of a sequel, cast and performances, stunts and action, sets and locations, music and editing, cinematography, and other production areas.
Donner’s chat about the first movie was a slow-moving snoozer, and his take on Weapon 2 is even worse. Like the commentary for its predecessor, this one provides occasional tidbits that interest and inform, but the listener must wade through acres of dead air to get there, and much of his material seems banal. It’s a dud of a commentary – and it remains annoying to hear Donner answer questions that we can’t hear, as the results are usually confusing.
Additional Scenes last a total of four minutes, 12 seconds. We see “Trish’s Car” (0:43), “What’s the Water Like?” (1:31) and “By the Numbers” (1:58). “Car” shows some repair to Murtaugh’s wife’s damaged car, while “Water” lets us see some of the perks at Leo’s hotel. Finally, “Numbers” delivers shtick related to Leo’s obsession with digits. All three are perfectly watchable but only “Numbers” might’ve added to the final film.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we conclude with a featurette called Stunts and Action. It goes for three minutes, 45 seconds and includes a look at… stunts and action. We go to the shoot and see the work done to bring about a couple of the flick’s stunt sequences. Despite the featurette’s brevity, it comes with some decent information and nice glimpses of the set.
After the pretty good first movie, Lethal Weapon 2 delivers a perfectly okay sequel and that’s about it. The movie has some good moments and never threatens to turn rancid, but it still shows negative tendencies and can’t live up to the original. The Blu-ray gives us fairly positive picture and audio but supplements disappoint, mainly due to the presence of a tedious, uninformative commentary. Weapon 2 acts as a decent continuation of the series and little more.
Note that as of May 2012, this version of the film is current available only as part of the five-disc “Lethal Weapon Collection”. It includes all four of the flicks in the franchise and presents unique Blu-rays; the box does not simply repackage the versions already available individually. It also features a fifth platter with bonus materials.