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Rodo Sayagues
Stephen Lang, Madelyn Grace, Brendan Sexton III
Writing Credits:
Rodo Sayagues, Fede Alvarez

Norman Nordstrom lives in quiet solace until his past sins catch up to him.

Box Office:
$15 million.
Opening Weekend
$10,622,473 on 3005 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Audio Descriptive Service
French Dolby 5.1
French Audio Descriptive Service
Portuguese DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Thai Dolby 5.1
Chinese Simplified
Chinese Traditional
Supplements Subtitles:

98 min.
Price: $34.99
Release Date: 11/2/2021

• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Rodo Sayagues
• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Rodo Sayagues, Producer/Writer Fede Alvarez and Director of Photography Pedro Luque
• “Friends and Filmmakers” Featurette
• “Bad Man” Featurette
• “Designing Deception” Featurette
• Extended Ending


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Don't Breathe 2 [Blu-Ray] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 14, 2021)

Back in 2016, Don’t Breathe cost under $10 million to make and then earned over $150 million worldwide. With such a nice profit under its belt, a sequel became inevitable, and that second chapter arrived with 2021’s logically titled Don’t Breathe 2.

A blind man named Norman Nordstrom (Stephen Lang) dealt with robbers in the first film. Despite his lack of sight, he dispatched them due to his own immense physical prowess.

After this event, Norman took in a three-year-old whose mother died in a fire. Eight years later, he continues to raise Phoenix (Madelyn Grace) as his own.

This life of nervous tranquility comes to an end when hooligans break into their house. Once again Norman needs to use his particular skills to confront a threat.

To coin a phrase: just when Norman thinks he’s out, they pull him back in! Or maybe Breathe 2 echoes the lament from John McClane in Die Hard 2: how can the same shit happen to the same guy twice?

At least Die Hard 2 recognized the contrived nature of its plot, whereas Breathe 2 lacks such self-awareness. Would the same dude really find himself subjected to two separate, unrelated home invasions?

Probably not, especially because the baddies in Breathe 2 lack the same motivation as the criminals in the first movie. They simply wanted money, and they figured it’d be easy to rip off a blind guy.

The villains in Breathe 2 come with a more personal reason to break into Norman’s house – a completely contrived reason, at that. In addition, the invaders don’t realize Normal lacks sight until they get there, so that becomes a difference.

Breathe 2 stretches credulity most due to the out-of-nowhere addition of Phoenix. The movie invest eyebrow-raising reasons for Norman to take in the little girl, and eventually it becomes clear that she exists solely as a plot contrivance.

And not a very good plot contrivance at that. Granted, Phoenix gives the criminals a different reason to invade rather than the basic greed of the characters in the first movie, but at least that story made sense in a real-world sense.

On the other hand, pretty much everything about Breathe 2 feels phony. From Norman’s choice to adopt the girl to the thugs’ purpose to various relationships, Breathe 2 stretches credulity to tell its tale.

At least the film boasts occasional bouts of impressive action. Of course, Breathe 2 loses the element of surprise, as we enter the flick with the knowledge of Norman’s skills.

To compensate, the movie brings more dynamic fight scenes. These manage to deliver occasional instances of vibrant violence.

Unfortunately, they can’t overcome the film’s inherent flaws. The story just makes too little sense and feels too forced/artificial for this to become a particularly involving movie.

Footnote: a tag scene appears early in the end credits.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus B

Don’t Breathe 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The picture looked fine.

Sharpness was consistently good but not exceptional. A few shots showed some softness, but those were fairly minor instances, so the majority of the flick appeared accurate.

I noticed no jaggies or moiré effects, and edge haloes never manifested itself. In addition, the film failed to display any print defects.

Like most modern action flicks, this one opted for stylized hues, with an emphasis on the standard amber and teal, though the climax threw out broad reds. Within those constraints, the colors seemed fine, as they showed appropriate range.

Blacks were dark and full, and shadows showed good range. Outside of some light softness, this became a satisfying presentation.

I thought the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Breathe 2 also worked well. Various action elements offered the most active use of the spectrum. This was especially true during pieces with weapons fire and fights, and a few other sequences used the various channels in a satisfying way.

The action scenes didn’t emerge on a relentless basis, but when they appeared, they utilized the soundscape in an engrossing manner. In addition, we got some localized speech and music made active use of the different channels.

Audio quality pleased. Speech was concise and natural, without edginess or other issues.

Music showed good range and vivacity, while effects worked nicely. Those elements came across as accurate and full, with solid low-end response and positive definition. All of this added up to a “B+”.

Two audio commentaries appear here, the first of which features screenwriter/director Rodo Sayagues. Billed as an “English commentary”, we get a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, photography, stunts, audio and effects.

Although we get occasional insights, Sayagues mostly gives us a dull commentary. He goes silent a little too often, and he also tends to simply narrate the movie. While not a total loss, the discussion lacks a lot of substance and becomes a flat experience.

Next comes a “Spanish commentary” with Sayagues, producer/screenwriter Fede Alvarez and director of photography Pedro Luque. All three sit together to discuss sets and locations, story and characters, photography, cast and performances, various effects, editing, sets and locations, stunts and music.

The participants muster a nice, light chemistry, and that makes this a good chat. They eagerly discuss the movie’s flaws – such as plot holes and absurdities – while they cover a lot of filmmaking components in this enjoyable discussion. Skip Sayagues’ dull solo commentary and stick with this one instead.

An Extended Ending spans 56 seconds. It adds a small sliver of a bad guy gone good. It’s neither especially useful nor bad.

Three featurettes follow, and Friends and Filmmakers runs four minutes, 46 seconds. It presents notes from Alvarez, Sayagues and actors Stephen Lang, Madelyn Grace, Brendan Sexton III and Stephanie Arcila.

The show discusses the filmmakers’ relationship and partnership as well as ways these elements impacted the production. This becomes a decent mix of praise and insights.

Bad Man goes for three minutes, 14 seconds and offers info from Sexton, Sayagues, Alvarez, and Lang. This becomes a character/actor overview that feels fluffy for the most part.

Lastly, Designing Deception runs five minutes, seven seconds and features Alvarez, Sayagues, Lang, Grace, Sexton, production designer David Warren and stunt coordinator James Grogan. We learn about photography, sets, stunts and animal actors in this moderately informative reel.

The disc opens with ads for Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Morbius and Escape Room: Tournament of Champions. No trailer for Breathe 2 appears here.

As a sequel, Don’t Breathe 2 stretches credulity and only sporadically turns into an interesting experience. Despite some well-executed action, the main narrative falters too often for this to become a worthwhile film. The Blu-ray brings very good picture and audio along with a collection of bonus materials. This winds up as a mediocre thriller.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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