French Connection II – Blu-ray Edition

Since the first French Connection set the bar so high with its Oscar wins and critical acclaim I really did not know what to expect from the second. It could either be a disaster like many sequels or continue along the road of excellence. While this film is not as good as the first it does not embarrass itself either.

Popeye Doyle (Gene Hackman – The Royal Tenenbaums, The Replacements) decides to go after drug kingpin Alain Charnier (Fernando Rey – The French Connection, Voyage of the Damned) on his home turf in France. Unfortunately Doyle is captured and tortured by Charnier. He manages to escape and does not give up his pursuit of Charnier. Doyle teams up with the French police force to try and get the man who has already eluded him once.

Though it is a weaker film that the first it still is a film worth seeing and definitely wasn't as disappointing as many sequels. Hackman is once again perfection in the role of Popeye Doyle and the rest of the cast turns in decent efforts as well. This is a different film from the first as director John Frankenheimer (Ronin, The Island of Dr. Moreau) focuses less on action and more on a character study of Doyle. It is less story driven and more character driven. While there is less action there is no less tension or intrigue. It gives the fans of the first film some type of closure to the story without causing any embarrassment.

Special Features:
-A Conversation with Gene Hackman
-Enhanced for D-Box Motion Control Systems
-Commentary by Gene Hackman and Producer Robert Rosen
-Commentary by Director John Frankenheimer
-Frankenheimer: In Focus and Isolated Score Track (dts MA)
-Still Galleries