Another 48 Hrs: Eight years after the first two-day stretch for our heroes, director Walter Hill brought Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy back together again, although this time their fortunes were reversed and Murphy was the biggest star so had his name first above the title.
Three bikers are doing the rounds, namely Willie Hickok (David Anthony Marshall), Cherry Ganz (Andrew Divoff) and Malcolm Price (Ted Markland, on behalf of the Iceman, a mysterious crime lord figure for whom Jack Cates (Nolte) has been trying to put behind bars for the last four years.
Once again, Cates has to extract Reggie Hammond (Murphy) from jail in order to solve the case, but this time it’s because the Iceman wants Hammond’s head on a silver platter. He’s after Cates too, but the reason isn’t so clear to him at first and it’s only when he realises one of the bikers is related to cop-killer Ganz (James Remar), who Cates blew away in the first film, so this time it’s personal.
I was a bit wary seeing the “better than the first” quote from Pat Collins, WWOR-TV, since aren’t all sequels if they want to keep the cash rolling in(?) It is actually just a touch better, since Hill steps up the production values just a tad when the gunfights ensue and the comedic moments occur just as often as in the first film, while the 18-certificate applies because of the extreme violence often used.
I did spot one glaring error – about an hour into the film, Reggie shoots through a door where just the top half is glass and the bottom is solid wood. He shoots the glass, then we see an upper-body shot of him just strolling through the frame. When we get to see a longshot of the door, the whole thing has become a smashed glass door!?!
Presentation-wise, things are still the same, albeit slightly worse. Again, the film is presented in a non-anamorphic 1.85:1 ratio, with plenty of dropouts and flecks at times. This time, thanks to very poor mastering, the picture pauses a handful of times through the film while the sound continues. It only happens for half-a-second each time, but shouldn’t happen at all! I rewound these moments to double check as well. The average bitrate is a high and fairly steady 8.65Mb/s.
Still, at least the person who did the subtitles ensured that they sit within the film’s picture, so if you want to read the subtitles AND zoom the picture in to fill a widescreen TV, you now can, unlike the original film.
Again, we are blessed with a remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack in English. There’s quite a lot of surround sound action to get into when it really matters, although it doesn’t happen as often as the first film, so loses a point there.
The Czech, French, Italian and Spanish languages are in Dolby Surround, while the Hungarians just get plain mono.
Extras: Like last time, there’s just a trailer in the way of extras and it only lasts 90 seconds in fullscreen 4:3.
There’s plenty of subtitles: English (and hard of hearing), Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Dutch, Finnish, French, Greek, Icelandic, Norwegian, Portuguese, Polish and Swedish.
However, the chapters are few at just 13 and the menu is static and silent with a shot of the front cover and the usual options.
So, a very enjoyable film, but as with the first DVD, £19.99 is too much for a back-catalogue release with barely any extras and a non-anamorphic picture, even if we do get a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.
Running time: 91 minutes
Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
Released: December 4th 2000
Region(s): 2, PAL
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: 6 languages available
Subtitles: 14 languages available
Disc Format: DVD 9
Director: Walter Hill
Producers: Lawrence Gordon and Robert D Wachs
Screenplay: John Fasano, Jeb Stuart and Larry Gross
Music: James Horner
Reggie Hammond: Eddie Murphy
Jack Cates: Nick Nolte
Ben Kehoe: Brion James
Blake Wilson: Kevin Tighe
Frank Cruise: Ed O’Ross
Willie Hickok: David Anthony Marshall
Cherry Ganz: Andrew Divoff
Kirkland Smith: Bernie Casey
Tyrone Burroughs: Brent Jennings
Malcolm Price: Ted Markland
Angel Lee: Page Leong
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.