Plot: Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) is still one of the stars of her law firm, but she has her rise to the top interrupted when she stumbles onto some shady practices. She learns her precious Bruiser’s mother was used in animal testing and since her firm represents the corporation involved, Elle’s crisis of conscience lands her out of work. But she picks herself up and heads for Washington, D.C., where she hopes to make Bruiser’s Bill the legislation that ends animal testing forever. Elle becomes a lobbyist and while her charm and charisma go a long way even in politics, she is soon taught some harsh lessons about the political process. But she is no quitter, so she rallies some unlikely allies and tries to stand up to the political machine.
Entertainment Value: The original Legally Blonde was a fun, smart romantic comedy that helped turn Reese Witherspoon into a megastar, but this sequel fails to capture that same light comedic magic. The movie is watchable and has minor flashes of that charm, but not enough to stand beside the first picture. The narrative is suitable for Elle’s persona, but gets sidetracked with dull subplots and uninteresting characters, instead of keeping the focus narrowed to what works. This makes Legally Blonde 2 feel like a run of the mill romantic comedy, which isn’t the worst news for genre fans, but it also feels like a marked step down. As a basic romantic comedy, the movie is fine and follows all of the usual cliches, though Reese Witherspoon and a solid supporting cast are able to make the best of the lackluster material. I was never reeled into the story or that entertained, but a few laughs can be had here. I am not a big romantic comedy fan however, so those with a built in interest in the genre will perhaps find more to like. I enjoyed the original Legally Blonde and hoped for more of that spirit, but this sequel winds up as a basic, forgettable followup.
While the movie doesn’t live up to the original, Legally Blonde 2 does have a fun cast and brings back several of the prominent stars from the original. Of course, you need Reese Witherspoon and she turns in an admirable effort here, but again, just can’t seem to get as much out of the script this time around. She shows her usual charm and presence, which helps a lot, but the material is so thin and doesn’t give her a lot of chances to make Elle shine. The shift to a lighter, small joke approach over the more character driven style of the original is to blame, but some romantic comedy fans prefer that, so there’s that to consider. And of course, fans of Witherspoon will likely appreciate the movie just based on her performance, as she is fun to watch here. I was pleased to see Bob Newhart on the cast and while his role isn’t the most involved, he adds a lot to the ensemble and is always a welcome inclusion. The cast also includes Sally Field, Bruce McGill, Alanna Ubach, Jessica Cauffiel, Luke Wilson, and Jennifer Coolidge.
The Disc: Legally Blonde 2 hits Blu-ray as part of Shout Factory’s Legally Blonde Collection, which houses the first two movies in the series and a menu of supplements as well. While the original movie was given a new 4k scan, this sequel is presented via the same master as previous releases. The result is a passable, but not impressive treatment that could use a spruce up. The image is clean and colors are solid, but sharpness and detail aren’t as refined as they could be. Still a decent presentation, but the movie could use a new scan, without question. The extras have been ported over as well, with a cast commentary track, promotional featurettes, deleted scenes, a gag reel, and the film’s trailer. The lone new supplement is an interview with Jessica Cauffiel, which runs just over eight minutes in length.
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