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post #1 of 5 Old 08-06-2014, 07:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Jarhead 2: Field of Fire (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

Check out our review of this sequel to 2005’s Jarhead which features an updated story about a group of cut off Marines that must fight their way across war-torn Afghanistan and shepherd an important U.S. asset to safety.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )



Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )



Studio and Year: Universal - 2014
MPAA Rating: R/Unrated
Feature running time: 103 minutes
Genre: Action/War drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Cole Hauser, Stephen Lang, Josh Kelly, Danielle Savre, Bokeem Woodbine, Ronny Jhutti, Cassie Layton, Jesse Garcia, Esai Morales, Jason Wong
Directed by: Don Michael Paul
Music by:Frederik Wiedmann
Written by: Berkeley Anderson, Ellis Black
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 19, 2014

"Semper Fi…"

My Take:

Battle-scarred and disillusioned by the war, Corporal Chris Merrimette is put in charge of a unit whose next mission is to resupply a remote outpost on the edge of Taliban-controlled territory. While driving through the hostile Helmand province, a Navy SEAL flags down their convoy and enlists the unit on an operation of international importance: they must help an Afghan woman famous for her defiance of the Taliban escape the country. Without tanks or air support, Merrimette and his team will need all the courage and firepower they can muster to fight their way across the war-torn country and shepherd the woman to safety.

I can’t say that I loved Jarhead but there is no denying that it’s a poignant and relevant film that is made better by its cast and direction. When I saw the trailer for Jarhead 2: Field of Fire I scratched my head wondering why a “sequel” after 9 years? Firstly this is only a sequel In that it was inspired by the first film as there is no connection other than the subject matter. Secondly the plot is about as conventional as it gets featuring a paint by the numbers Afghan war setting where a group of unprepared marines face insurmountable odds to protect an important Afghan woman. Clichés and repetitive action abound as they battle their way through getting picked off one by one. There is a little character development but no tangible connection to the good guys save for a bit of jocular banter. As for their pursuers you are never provided with a point of reference with which to establish their purpose. Offering a protagonist from the Taliban front would have at least derived some counterbalance. Instead there are simply packs of them running around provided the impetus for engaging the action. The finale was just plain silly.

I wasn’t impressed by Josh Kelly in the lead and found his performance to be wooden and ineffectual. Cole Hauser, Stephan Lange and Esai Morales were completely wasted in their supporting roles. Jarhead 2: Field of Fire is a direct to video sequel that that doesn’t hold a candle to the original film. On its own it’s a poorly conceived and lazily written film that will bore genre fans.

Both a rated (which I used during my evaluation) and unrated version are included with each running 103 minutes.

Parental Guide:

The film contains war violence, language and sexual references.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 84
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA

Video: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:

Jarhead 2: Field of Fire comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 34 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.5 Mbps.

This a solid video presentation that offers excellent refinement during close ups and discernibly crisp definition within objects during mid level camera pans. The color range sets the film’s thematic tone and has a reserved aesthetic that rarely offers bright, eye catching hues. Rendering is clean and depth is appropriate. Fleshtones keep pace with the look of the rest of the film and have a balmy but natural texture. Spot on contrast yields crisp, bright whites and blacks are stable but slightly elevated which leaves them appearing less dynamic but gradational. I didn’t see this as a problem based upon the visual style of the film. I saw no overt signs of video related artifacts or anomalies.

The lossless audio presentation renders the elements present in the soundtrack well. Dialogue is predominantly clear through the center channel and appropriately prioritized within the front soundstage. Dynamics and low frequency detail are perceptible as the sounds of explosions and gunfire are reproduced with distinction. Aural perspective predominantly leans toward the front channels however when applied, there are discretely placed sounds and diffuse ambience fed to the rear channels which provide an effective sense of envelopment.

Bonus Features:
  • Rated and Unrated versions of the film
  • (HD) 2 deleted scenes
  • Bonus DVD
  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy

Final Thoughts:

Jarhead 2: Field of Fire is a direct to video sequel to 2005’s Jarhead. I found it to be a poorly conceived and lazily written film that doesn’t hold a candle to the original. It comes to Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring solid technical merits and barebones supplemental material which includes two versions of the film. There is little here that warrants attention from fans of the original film or the genre. If you happen to catch it on cable and are curious have at it otherwise this one is a pass.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

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post #2 of 5 Old 08-07-2014, 07:18 AM
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Ralph, I thank you for the review and pity you for having to endure this film. Jarhead 2, even the name makes me shake my head in disgust, as I quite enjoyed the first film and Jake G.'s and Saarsgard's performances.
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-08-2014, 12:30 AM
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I've never seen this movie and yet I know it's worse than, "sweet home alabama."
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-08-2014, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by emcdade View Post
Ralph, I thank you for the review and pity you for having to endure this film. Jarhead 2, even the name makes me shake my head in disgust, as I quite enjoyed the first film and Jake G.'s and Saarsgard's performances.
Yes the first one was excellent and I find myself enjoying it every time it ends up on the TV. This second one will be omitted from my DVD queue.

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post #5 of 5 Old 08-08-2014, 09:23 PM
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Such a tragedy.... I agree with this review very poorly written. Supply marines securing a high value target really such a fail. This is hollywoods joke on marines I guess.
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