Half Past Dead 2 is, obviously, the sequel to 2002’s lukewarm action picture, Half Past Dead. The main difference in this sequel is the lack of Steven Seagal so automatically that should make this a better picture, but not necessarily a good one. The film stars two unlikely actors – a rapper and a wrestler – The Dogg Pound’s own Kurupt and WWE’s Goldberg. Not exactly promising, but I’ve been surprised before.
Twitch (Kurupt, Dark Blue), an inmate at the New Alcatraz penitentiary, has ju…t has one thing in mind, doing his time and minding his own business. That is until the day the warden mentions that the next person to instigate a fight will be sent to a prison out of state. It just so happens Twitch’s girlfriend resides there, as does $160 million in gold bricks, so say goodbye to Alcatraz and hello to mainland. While adjusting to life in the new prison, Twitch doesn’t want to befriend anyone accept another loner, Burk (Bill Goldberg, The Longest Yard). Although he tries to avoid the gang life behind bars he gets pulled into a Black gang hell-bent on destroying the Hispanic gang, all while he’s trying to find a way to escape. Things really get out of control when a prison-wide riot is in the works, on the same day Twitch’s girlfriend and Burk’s daughter are visiting. The two get trapped inside the prison on lockdown while the inmates are slowly taking over the prison. It’s a race against time as Twitch and Burk team up to save their loved ones and clear their names.
Half Past Dead 2 isn’t anything special. In fact, it’s anything but. The story is really lame and so is the action, and the acting is no better than you’d expect from a rapper and a wrestler. This actually came as a surprise to me, because the rap industry seems to be throwing out nothing but actors these days, and WWE is pretty much a live-action soap opera. But in the end, the film fell completely short of being a good action movie. Its very unlikely and improbable plot wasn’t hard for me to get past, but the lack of action and the cardboard acting was. Not recommended, even for a rental.
Presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, Half Past Dead 2 looks just as you would expect for a straight-to-DVD “B” movie. The movie takes place in a prison during a lockdown so it is a very dark atmosphere, and therein lies the problem: the blacks are extremely grainy, and there are a lot of extremely fuzzy scenes. Facial details are also poor, and the skin tones are consistently a mess. Ultimately, the video looks pretty poor, always very soft and never impressing me. I have seen worse, but not by much.
Sony has included a 5.1 Dolby Digital track for this low-budget release. It never knocks my socks off, but it does the trick. For example, the gunshots never sound dynamic, something you would be used to hearing on a TV movie. But of course I have to take into consideration the fact that this was direct-to-DVD movie, so for what it is, it sounds good. The always-unrealistic fight sounds come through pretty good, and the hurried dialogue between the always-moving inmates is consistently clear. Overall, the audio is a shade above mediocre.
This was the easiest section I’ve ever reviewed. There were no special features, unless you count the previews for a bunch of crappy movies.
I was happy when Goldberg lost to Kevin Nash in the WWE nearly a decade ago, because I thought that would be the last I had to see of him, but apparently not. I really couldn’t recommend Half Past Dead 2 to anyone. Check it out if you really need to scrape the bottom of the barrel, or if you’re just dying to see if Twitch gets his gold bricks.
Special Features List