'Street Kings 2: Motor City' didn't need to tap into the 'Street Kings' name and turn a one-off into a franchise attempt. Simply put, the film has so little to do with the original Keanu Reeves police drama/actioner that it could have just had the name 'Crooked Copz' or something like that and it would have still sold just as many copies. With a B-list cast, as well as a B movie story and B level talent behind the camera (Chris Fisher, director of 'S. Darko'), there should be no doubt in anyone's mind that this is a formulaic wanna-be thriller, full of attempted intrigue and suspense, where cops, get this, are crooked!
Never, in all my years, have I seen a film about a group of cops that don't play by the rules! This idea deserves an Academy Award for awesomeness, seriously! And speaking of awards, it stars Ray Liotta! Ray Liotta! You know, that guy that was in 'Goodfellas,' and then a bunch of mid-level garbage films!
In all honesty, 'Street Kings 2' is one Forest Whitaker and/or Christian Slater short of being one of the most ridiculous DTV features released on Blu-ray so far. The story, which focuses on the investigation into a series of cop killings, is so bumbled that you'll only be on the edge of your seat to see if one of the lead actors, Liotta and Shawn Hatosy ('Alpha Dog'), gets snuffed out so that we can move along and get this predictable, routine "thriller" over with.
'Street Kings 2: Motor City' starts out strong, and that's the biggest problem with the film, as it can't maintain its opening scenes. You have a knee-capped Liotta (who, as the film rolls on, no longer acts like he got capped in the most painful and unforgiving of places) in a police dog mascot outfit, and everything seems right with the film. One, you can't see Ray Liotta, and two, you're promised a film where a guy in a knockoff McGruff costume solves a series of crimes. Imagine seeing him in a high speed pursuit, still wearing the costume, or interrogating a baddie, saying he's going to take a bite out of crime before biting off an ear. I'd watch that film, and you know you would too.
So, when a film instead tries to be a straightforward dirty cop whodunit, where we already know who did it, there's not much to root for. Do we want the other cops to finally piece it together? Is it dramatic that we know one man may know the secret, and watch a cat and mouse game? In this case, should it be a cat and dog game? It's just botched scene after botched scene, where we are given no reason to relate to anyone, no reason to care for anything shown, and with twists telegraphed so long in advance, it's hard to be like "wow, I didn't see that coming!!!!," unless you were too busy trimming your toenails to pay attention to the film.
When a film has you rooting for Internal Affairs to bust someone so that they're gone from the film, you know something is wrong. When drug deal busts go bad, and money disappears, do we really care what the reason is behind the theft? Is it even worth bothering with? Why do characters never share their investigations into police corruption publicly in these films, so that there is no way a bad guy can escape by just adding one more person to a body count? Why am I questioning the logic in a film where logic was used less than scenes where people say they want Asian hookers to love them long time? Why am I still writing about this film? Let's fix that...
The Disc: Vital Stats'Street Kings 2: Motor City' arrives on Blu-ray on a Region A BD25 disc. Pre-menu, there are trailers for the FX channel original series and '127 Hours.' The menu, of course, is loaded with gun sounds, as well as a generic riff that sounds nearly identical to Marilyn Manson's This is the New Shit.
Holy guacamole! The one thing I did not expect from 'Street Kings 2: Motor City' on Blu-ray was jaw dropping video qualities. I won't complain, they're wonderful to have for a direct-to-video "sequel," or any film, mind you. It's just shocking that a movie packed wall to wall with "meh" can have video that isn't equally as "meh."
The picture is constantly deep, full of vibrant colors, gorgeous, insane amounts of detail, superb, varied textures, and fantastic edges that show no signs of tampering. Black levels are appropriate, and black on black footage looks fantastic, although there are a few scenes where detail is indistinguishable due to how extremely dark it does get. Skin tones can run warm on a few occasions, but you'll ignore that when you see faces so full of character, that can just startle you and leave you in a stupor.
This release is as realistic as they come on Blu-ray, and is by far one of the best looking DTV titles on the format.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track for 'Street Kings 2: Motor City' cannot compare to the awesome that is the video.
The bass underfoot is great, at first, as it complements without dominating, but as the film rolls on, it gets so powerful that it overwhelms other elements for no good reason. Gunfire has the appropriate pop, while different types of weapons have different pops and roars, which is nice. Sadly, these effects don't move or localize as well as you'd hope, and shootouts don't feel like shootouts at all. Dynamics are appropriate, and dialogue is usually pretty easy to comprehend. There is a scene in the 25 to 26 minute mark, where every line spoken by the Fowler character has a weird metallic rattle and static beneath it, and it's hard to miss. There are other moments where mics are too close to a character, and the lines sound muffled or scratchy.
'Street Kings 2: Motor City' isn't a good flick. It's an uninspired, generic flick that didn't need to attach an existing film's name to it. This would have been a must skip title, if it weren't for the showstopping video and solid audio qualities of the disc. The exclusive extra on this release is a load of junk, but the bonus DVD is a nice treat. Rent it before you consider buying it.