Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)
19th February 2005
Picking up some four weeks after the previous film finished, Bridget has finally got her man and she's the happiest she has even been in her life. But although her friends have spent the past few years helping and advising her, now that she is no longer single they have started doing their level best to get her to split up by planting seeds of jealously in her mind. This is fuelled even more when Mark Darcy introduces her to his slim and beautiful personal assistant Rebecca, and her neurotic minds starts ticking with jealous thoughts. Matters aren't helped by the fact that everywhere Bridget and Mark go Rebecca always seems to have an excuse to tag along. And let's not even go near the fact that Mark folds his boxer shorts, he's a Conservative voter and that cad Daniel Cleaver is back on the scene.
But it's all too good to last and when the jealously finally gets the better of her, Bridget finds herself single again. So when the chance to go to Thailand to film a travel story is presented to her, Bridget decides that it may just be the tonic she needs to take her mind off things. However, that's until she discovers that Daniel Cleaver will be her co-host on the show. So together with best friend Shazzer, Bridget heads off to the far East and attempts to avoid the perilous advances of Daniel. But when Shazzer's holiday romance asks Bridget to carry a package for him at the airport, she is in for a rude awakening and a long stretch in prison. What is to become of Bridget and her big knickers now?
For such a recent release the picture transfer is expected to be nothing else but exceptional. And on the whole it is, with some bright colours, solid black levels and a good level of detail throughout. Never the less, it is still far from perfect and too much contrast can result in grain becoming a bit of a problem at times. But what is so odd about this is that is can occur in both day and night time scenes and it is far from consistent with no real hard or soft rule to pinpoint the problem. I guess it's simply down to lighting or post production issues. Still, the print is clean and free from any signs of dust scratches or other damage whilst there's no problem with either artifacting or outlining.
Given the subject matter, the 448 Kbps Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is actually quite impressive. The dialogue, and especially Bridget's voice over, is crisp and clear in the centre channel whilst the stereo steerage at the front is impressive enough. The rear channels are also put to fairly good use, mainly by the up tempo musical score, whilst the occasional ambient effect manages to find its way to the rears. Although there's nothing here to seriously challenge a surround system, the impressive dialogue and catchy musical score ensures that you can use Bridget Jones : The Edge of Reason as justification for that massive amount of money you spent on that surround system to your better half.
The menu introduction is animated with clips from the film and scored with what sounds remarkably like a jolly Kylie Minogue tune. However, once the introductions have been made the menu becomes a static, but scored, affair. The menu system is well presented and once a submenu is selected there's a reasonable transition effect from one menu to the next. As seems to be common with most Universal releases, if you dwell on the menu too long it will time out and start playing the film. Whilst this is probably rather handy to prevent screen burn, it isn't half annoying whilst you mess about before finally sitting down to watch the film only to find you're already ten minutes in.
Extras wise, things are reasonable enough with a good selection to please the fans. The main extra is the audio commentary from director Beeban Kidron. Although there are quite a few silent moments in her commentary they are deliberate and once the scene has been set she'll start to dissect it in a fairly interesting manner. Still, there's plenty of back slapping and, although obviously pleased with the final on screen results, Kidron appears to find much more to laugh about than most. I guess it's a female kind of thing.
The rest of the extras are split up into three separate sections. And going to prove that this is most definitely a title aimed at the ladies, the Daniel Cleaver sections contains a Who's Your Man Quiz where you have to answer a series of questions to identify whether Daniel Cleaver or Mark Darcy is your ideal man. Fortunately, it suggested to me that neither was appropriate. Good job really! This same quiz is also used as an interactive feature where during the film.
Continuing with the Daniel Cleaver theme, the four minute The Smooth Guide to Exotic Thailand feature looks at Daniel and his attempts to woo Bridget in Thailand. Director Beeban Kidron is on hand to provide an introduction whilst Hugh Grant and members of the crew are on hand to discuss to problems of filming in Bangkok and the remote island of Ko Panyi. The section is rounded off with the five minute feature The Big Fight. Again introduced by the director, and with jokey quips from Colin Firth and Huge Grant, it's a bit of an uninteresting look at creating the fight scene.
The Bridget Jones section contains the selection for enabling the Audio Commentary whilst there's the four minute feature The Mini-Break to Austria, where Renée Zellweger is shown doing her own stunts. There's the usual interviews with the crew and stunt coordinators, but with Zellweger being a major Hollywood star, I would have been rather surprised if she hadn't found her way to Aspen and found the time to learn to to ski. The highlight of the section, and probably the disc, are the Four Deleted Scenes.
Running for a total of thirteen minutes, and introduced by the director, some are better than others. The Fox Hunting scene is an excuse to put Bridget on the back of a horse and make a fool of herself, but with this already done in the opening scene it was a good cut. The Christening scene is actually rather good and has Bridget all confused and thinking she's getting married whilst the long winded Renoir Cinema scene has Mark getting rather upset with Bridget after she turns up at the cinema too late for the start of the showing. The final scene, Baby Fantasies, has Bridget fantasising about being a Mum. Again, it has some merit, but it just didn't feel right.
The Marc Darcy sections contains the five minute featurette Mark and Bridget Forever? With clips from both films and interviews with stars Colin Firth, Renée Zellweger, Jacinda Barrett and director Beeban Kidron, it looks at Bridget's relationship with Marc and whether her jealousy and insecurities can be contained or if their relationship is doomed to failure. The three minute Lonely London feature looks at a short CGI segment of the film where a lonely Bridget is staring out of her window as London and its happy occupants pan across the screen. Given it's remarkable similarity to the London sky line it is actually quite hard to believe that this is a CGI effect and it's all very impressive.
Next up is the five minute spoof interview Bridget finally interviews the real-life Colin Firth. The original book makes it rather tricky for this to appear in the film, after all Colin Firth is in the film, and although the director intended to use the scene in some form or another they were unable to find a suitable replacement. So as not to disappoint they decided to film it with Colin Firth playing himself and Renée Zellweger playing Bridget. And oddly enough, it's actually quite a good laugh as Bridget struggles not to ask questions about his role, and his wet shirt, in the BBC's adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.
The extras are all rounded of by a selection of trailers for Wimbledon, Meet the Fockers and Billy Elliot: The Musical. However, it does seem rather bizarre that there are no trailers for either of the Bridget Jones films. A bit of a strange omission that one.
Although author Helen Fielding provided a second diary, and thus good excuse for a sequel, this doesn't always mean that a sequel is either a good or necessary idea. Still, with millions in the bank from the first film it would be stupid not to give it go. So with pretty much the same storyline as the first film, Bridget Jones : The Edge of Reason carries on from where the first film left off, and to be honest, it is a bit of a disappointment.
Trouble is, as a chick-flick, it's pretty hard for a bloke to make give a truly objective opinion of the film, even as a level header and neutral reviewer it's a bit of a challenge. Still, where there's a will, there's a way. So after seeking the opinions of the fairer sex, they too came to the conclusion that it was indeed a bit of a disappointment and not as good as the first film. The general consensus seemed to be that the actors were just trying just too hard. Perhaps, given the massive success of the previous Bridget Jones film, they had too much to live up to.
But just because it's not as good as the first, it doesn't mean it's no good. There are still plenty of jokes to make you laugh, even if they do seem to expect you to remember the last film, and there's a nice opening nod to James Bond when Bridget is parachuting to earth accompanied by Cary Simon's opening Bond tune "Nobody does it better". Sure, women will enjoy it more than most men, but after all this is hardly surprising as it is the market the film is aimed at. Still, it's a sure fire winner for the ladies and if you want to watch that cup match on the television then there's no better bargaining chip than buying Bridget Jones : The Edge of Reason for your better half.
- Audio Commentary with Director Beeban Kidron
- More Bridget in four Deleted Scenes (with Director's Introduction)
- The Mini-Break to Austria: Renée does her own Stunts!
- The Big Fight : Mark and Daniel at it'again!
- The Smooth Guide to Exotic Thailand
- Who's your Ideal Man 'Mark or Daniel' Interactive Quiz
- Bridget finally interviews the real-life Colin Firth (with Director's Introduction)
- Mark and Bridget Forever?
- Lonely London