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Street Kings 2: Motor City (Blu-ray Review)

Following on the heels of the original Street Kings film starring Keanu Reeves is this DTV (direct to video) sequel that has absolutely nothing to do with the original.  Viewers don’t have to worry about having to watch the earlier film to get this one.  It’s only in the title that Street Kings 2: Motor City shares any sort of similarities.  Locales have been changed and moved over to the Motor City known as Detroit, but the levels of police corruption have stayed the same.  Ray Liotta stars along with Shawn Hatosy.  So how will this low budget direct to video non-sequel-sequel stack up on Blu-ray?   Enter the Motor City.    

Film 

Street Kings 2: Motor City leaves the cushy confines of lovely Los Angeles and ventures on over to the dreary parts of Detroit.  If one didn’t know any better, minus the sunshine, one could mistake the latter as L.A.  Ray Liotta is veteran police detective Marty Kingston who is the leader of a special narcotics division team whose men are being systematically wiped out one at a time by an unknown gunman.  In order to stop the killings Kingston joins forces with a homicide detective named Dan Sullivan.  Together they will try to track down the gunman before they wind up as targets themselves.

Funny enough, while I was watching Street Kings 2 I texted Why So Blu’s Brian White and told him that I was actually enjoying this film more than I should.  Obviously direct to video un-sequels rarely work out and only drag down the previous film’s (Street Kings) reputation even if they have nothing to do with each other most of the time.  That is not the case with Street Kings 2, because it operates in its own standalone world of bad cops, guns, corruption, and freakin’ awesome muscle cars!  Street Kings 2 did well to shoot in the Motor City as it adds a bit of that working class industrial aesthetic.

Liotta plays it fairly well, but his character is more of a mentor type, so he really isn’t on point most of the time.  The lead is handled by Hatosy.  He’s a pretty good actor out of the television world.  I’m under the suspicion that Street Kings 2 was not written as Street Kings 2 but as something else that was just used by the studio to cash in on the name.  It’s not rare for this to happen and it has been going on for quite a while.  Have you ever heard of 8mm 2? Yeah, me neither.

Street Kings 2 does have some typical cop drama that we’ve all seen before, but the action is tough and gritty.  Street Kings 2 was released in an UNRATED version, so the action-violence-blood seekers will be happy to get their fill of it.  Car aficionados will also get their fill of some of these Detroit muscle cars as well.  Everyone seems to drive one.  That’s how they roll at that precinct.

Street Kings 2 won’t change the world of cop dramas, but I have seen a heck of a lot worse.  The cast of actors and direction helps it stand apart of what could have been a truly unwatchable film.

Video

Street Kings 2: Motor City is presented in 1080p 1.78:1 aspect ratio.  The Blu-ray captures the grittiness, and grime of the seedy underbelly of Street Kings 2 without a problem.  In fact, it looks damn good!  There’s a consistent layer of grain throughout the film that really brings out the murkiness of the overcast skies.  Being a former industrial powerhouse, the city of Detroit is given some love on this high definition release.  There are also great shots of the Downtown areas that beam with life and light and are captured brilliantly on the Blu-ray.  Flesh tones look natural and healthy, and colors really pop.  Environments also look very realistic and shine through.  Detroit looks good!

Audio 

Street Kings 2 is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.  The sound quality on this Blu-ray is superb.  Gunshots ring out so realistically you’d think that they were shooting at you through your television.  Dialogue is clean and crisp and never sounds muddled.  The LFE really bumps and you can feel the shotgun blasts and muscle cars just pulverize you.  Music is also clean and grooves without problems.  The audio for Street Kings 2 will definitely give your speakers a hearty workout.  It’s a great sounding Blu-ray.

Special Features 

There’s a nice helping of special features that never get into the fluff or self congratulatory territory.  The filmmakers and all those involved are actually passionate and work really hard at making the best film that they can.  I really appreciated their work ethic.  I just wish that there were more extras than what we got as they don’t run that long.

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Murder Scene Deconstructions
  • Creating a Convincing Cop Story
  • An Explosive Opening
  • Motor City Setting
  • Blu-ray Exclusive! Weapons Check: Interactive Personality Profile (very fun and very cool!)
  • DVD Copy

Final Thoughts 

As I said at the beginning of this review I really enjoyed the film more than I should have.  Maybe I was in the right state of mind for it, I don’t know.  Is Street Kings 2 a great film?  Hardly.  Is it cliched?  Sure.  Does it look good and sound great?  Yes, it does.  Does it look like a low budget direct to video film with atrocious production values?  No, it does not.  For those on the fence it’s definitely worth a rental.  I’m glad to see Liotta in films again.  It’s been a bit of a while.

 

Order Street Kings 2: Motor City on Blu-ray!

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

8 Responses to “Street Kings 2: Motor City (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Brian White

    Bummer! I thought you would like this more with Ray Liotta and everything 🙁

  2. Gerard Iribe

    It’s good, but nothing special. My film rating is cut down right in the middle. Neutral?

  3. Aaron Neuwirth

    Question: is it agreed that the first Street Kings sucked? Because I certainly didn’t enjoy it and I know Keanu’s stirring performance certainly didn’t set the world on fire when it was first released.

  4. Gerard Iribe

    No. I enjoyed it and own it on Blu-ray, Aaron. I’m a big fan of David Ayer’s work. Common was also bad ass in it.

  5. Aaron Neuwirth

    I like Common, but all I can remember about him in that movie is having a few lines and getting shot in the head.

    I like a lot of Ayer’s work and since he wrote Fast and the Furious, I can see why your a fan. I just didn’t dig Kings that much. I remember Terry Crewes had a really hilarious death scene, where he’s shot like dozens of times and Keanu’s like, “it’s ok man, your gonna make it.”

    I liked Harsh Times.

  6. Gerard Iribe

    He wrote Fast and the Furious? I think I likes SWAT more than the F&F, because of Colin Farrell.

    Harsh Times ruled and so did Training Day.

  7. BIg BOys Oven

    awesome one!

  8. Aaron Neuwirth

    I like SWAT quite a bit, actually.