Sex and the City 2 Review

An embarrassing karaoke scene in a modern comedy is the instant guideline for a dud. Shockingly, Sex and the City 2 has one, right smack dab in the middle of it. The movie garners no credibility to begin with, so in reality it harms nothing, and the story? It doesn’t have one. There is, without exaggeration, zero narrative flow.

This is a disgusting film filled with disgusting people. The movie’s “epic” finale has the girls running around Abu Dahbi because *gasp* they might miss their first class flight and be booked in coach. The horror. This is all because of a terribly contrived scenario where Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) left her passport in a small shopping district, the same place where she stared in awe that shoes can be purchased for $20. Welcome to reality Carrie; it’s a shame you never come back.

There is not an ounce of believability here, the conversations so embarrassing and appalling it’s amazing anyone wrote this cinematic trash. These are not people, or at least not ones from this planet. They laugh with each other regarding a joke surrounding Jude Law, mostly because not a single other person around them would find it funny.

Maybe “disgusting” doesn’t quite nail what these four woman have become, although it’s certainly close. Maybe offensive is a better word, their utterly pointless trip to the United Arab Emirates based on the fact that the economy is screwed, but let’s celebrate by wearing designer clothes while riding camels in the desert… like idiots.

The mere thought process of seeing Carrie board a plane with a hat so oversized as to barely walk down the aisle might be the best part of the movie for the moment you don’t see. Is that a carry-on item? If so, where does she put it? It surely won’t fit in the overhead compartment, and it’s never seen again. Do we even want to know where it ended up? Bear in mind this is the same character who moans about her husband buying a new TV, yet apparently is perfectly fine with wearing a hat that dwarfs the screen.

Beyond the painfully pathetic, thoughtless dialogue, Sex and the City 2 is nothing more than a blatant product placement for high fashion, the girls taking more clothes to the UAE than most people have in their entire wardrobe. Since all they do is whine and screw, it’s hard to imagine why the clothes even matter, but when you’re this delusional about reality, that must be what happens. Besides, anyone who wears a dress with diamond-like shoulder pads that turn you into a look-a-like for the ringside manager to the Legion of Doom obviously has no sense for anything in the real world.

Movie ☆☆☆☆☆ 

Warner’s VC-1 encode for the film is serviceable, the location shoot in Morocco boasting some staggeringly pure color, the poolside of the hotel containing some of the richest, coolest blues you’ll see for a while. The same goes for their wildly overpriced, colorful wardrobe, boasting some bold primaries and deep saturation.

Aiding the colorful nature and pure flesh tones are some deep, rich blacks. They are right at the point where crush could be an issue, but the transfer skirts the problem for a bold image that delivers the proper level of shadow detail. The contrast is consistently bright, even in some of the scenes at night, those carrying the same vividness and pop as those during the day.

Sharpness is pure and natural, the encode keeping the visuals firm from the opening glamor shots of New York. Clothes are well rendered, the intricate design of the hotel employees uniform at 1:14:46 difficult to render adequately, yet this disc pulls it off.

The main concern for this transfer is facial detail, and how it’s lacking. It’s easy to point the finger at Warner’s VC-1 encode as usual, yet the grain structure is well resolved, there are no instances of noise, and sometimes in the same shot, a suit can reveal every stitch, while a face comes off unnaturally smooth (45:02). The four woman are the worst culprits, digitally smoothed over as offensively as possible for nearly every close-up, apparently in an attempt to ensure not an ounce of them appears real (it goes along with their personalities). Very few close-ups break that trend, and the effect becomes more obvious in scenes with the throw-away male characters, the natural pores and other features perfectly visible.

Video ★★★★☆ 

The film offers little in terms of audio, and it’s partially the fault of the film’s ability to block sections of itself from the viewer’s mind. Does anyone remember that Liza Minelli cameo at the wedding, dancing and singing to Beyonce? Didn’t think so. It was far too painful a recollection. Nonetheless, the music does carry some intensity, bleeding out into each channel effectively. It establishes a relatively aggressive soundfield, or at least as far as the soundtrack is concerned.

Scenes in the Dubai marketplace carries with it some ambiance, as do many of the clubs visited. The awful Karaoke scene pushes some surround work thanks to the design, creating a natural environment that heightens and otherwise dead scene… err, movie.

There is little else happening in this DTS-HD mix, the the uncompressed benefit minimal because of the nature of the film. It deserves credit for a firm balance, the mix keeping the elements well-separated, and the dialogue as natural as they come, at least in terms of how it all sounds.

Audio ★★★★☆ 

A commentary comes from director Michael Patrick King, the same man who gave us the TV series and original film. So Much Can Happen in Two Years is a sit-down conversation with King and Sarah Jessica Parker while they chat about the film and why it was made, running 26-minutes. Styling Sex and the City focuses on the dresses and wardrobe, followed by a piece on Liza Minelli’s role, the featurette longer than her screen time in the movie.

Revisiting the ’80s is a brief four-minute look at the flashback sequence in the film, while The Men of Sex and the City carries a new low for home video: an advertisement prior to its starting. It promotes the DVDs of the original series, as if anyone watching this garbage didn’t already know they are available. A look at the soundtrack is followed-up for the merciful finish of BD-Live support.

Extras ★★★☆☆