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Animal Kingdom: The Complete Second Season

Score: 77%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Warner Brothers Home

Region: 1
Media: DVD/3
Running Time: 640 Mins.
Genre: Crime/Drama/TV Series
Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH


  • Dissecting Pope Featurette with Actor Shawn Hatosy and Producers
  • Deleted Scenes

Sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll - that's the Cody family in a nutshell. Oh, and crime and violence, that too. Animal Kingdom: The Complete Second Season starts off with the Cody boys pulling another heist, still a bit high from the huge robbery they pulled off at Camp Pendleton last season, with the unwitting help of Nicky's (Molly Gordon) dad. This time, they are ripping off a brewery that supposedly pays its illegal employees in cash on the day of the planned caper, as per matriarch and boss of the crime family, Smurf Cody (Ellen Barkin). The heist goes well, with a few hiccups along the way, but newcomer J (Finn Cole) is a quick thinker and saves the day. However, Smurf has been hitting the bottle hard lately and it turns out that she got the day wrong and they came away with a heavy safe containing a few hundred bucks instead of tens of thousands. Needless to say, the boys are mad, especially since Smurf shot down all of their ideas in lieu of the brewery grab. Basically, they all blow up and walk out on Smurf, and when they reconvene without her, Baz (Scott Speedman) takes the lead and they decide to cut her out of running the family business. She definitely won't take something like that lying down, even if they are still giving her a cut of the money, because Smurf loves control.

Smurf moves to pull J closer, even as Baz, Craig (Ben Robson), and Deran (Jake Weary) pull away, but J is smart and decides to work both sides, joining the boys on their discussions of the next big hits, which include a megachurch and a high-end wedding on a yacht. However, the biggest mark of all turns out to be Smurf herself when Baz discovers she has a secret storage unit containing not only millions of dollars that he feels she has been skimming from them over the last decade, but also enough evidence in loot that was supposed to be destroyed to put them all away for years. When the boys team up against her, Smurf will barely know what hit her, especially when her past comes knocking.

When Manny, an old robbery associate passes away, it turns out he has left bunches of cassettes where he recorded their crimes, including one where they finished off one of their own when he was too injured and kept the proceeds from the job. As it turns out, the son of this guy has been caring for Manny and wants his due from Smurf, but when she tries to pay him off, she gets double-crossed and has to get really dangerous to settle this old score. However, getting even could cost her everything when she is making enemies on all sides.

Deran has decided he wants to quit pulling jobs, especially since an old run-down surfer bar has come up for sale and he buys it. Can he finally get out from Smurf's thumb and go straight? Well, not straight, but not criminal anyway.

Meanwhile, Pope starts falling for a woman named Amy as he gets entrenched with the megachurch in preparation to rob them. This just can't end well, especially with all of Pope's guilt over killing Cath and all of Amy's talk of forgiveness. At least Pope has been looking over little Lena, what with Cath AWOL (and dead and buried) and Baz running back to his mistress, Lucy, back in Mexico. That little kid can't catch a break, but Pope sure is trying his best to care for her.

Nicky can't decide whether she wants stoned-all-the-time Craig, who accidentally burned his apartment down by leaving a lit joint on the sofa, or steadfast and smart J, who is learning the financial side of their crime business from Smurf. She really ought to just go home, but instead she accepts Smurf's offer to live at the Cody house, having no idea Smurf is just trying to annoy Craig.

The end of the season will find one of the Cody family in prison and scheming to get out, and another bleeding on the pavement, future in jeopardy, plus lots of other little loose ends that are sure to get lit on fire during next season. One thing is for sure, life is never dull around the Cody clan, nor is it safe and secure.

Special features include a short featurette called Dissecting Pope, on the character of Andrew "Pope" Cody and a handful of deleted scenes scattered across the discs. One thing I need to mention is that during the deleted scenes, the audio was off by a couple of seconds, so you'd hear the dialogue, then watch as the characters mouthed what was just said. All of the sound effects were at the appropriate times, it was just the spoken audio that was off, but it made the deleted scenes pretty annoying to watch.

Overall, if you liked last season, you'll probably enjoy Animal Kingdom: The Complete Second Season as well. Personally, I just think the entire family just needs to grow up, but that's just me.

Warner Brothers provided me with a copy of this DVD for review. The opinions I share are my own.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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