PictureThe anamorphic 2.35:1 image is very good. Colours are rich and well saturated with plenty of detail on show and no signs of bleed or blooming. Grain however is a problem especially during darker scenes and the print also exhibits signs of dirt and scratches here and there. Apart from the problems mentioned this edition (along with the R3 Korean edition) offer the best possible quality from the given source and are surprisingly better than the recent R1 superbit edition which exhibited copious amounts of edge enhancement which is thankfully almost absent on these prints, which appear to be sourced from Besson's own production company and not the Columbia vault like the superbit and the R1 director's cut.
SoundThe Dolby Digital sound mix is also an improvement over the R1 superbit which may surprise many. We are treated to a dynamic performance which takes full advantage of the LFE channels and surrounds are active where required. Eric Serra's beautiful score is also captured in all its glory in the 5.1 mix. Dialogue is rich and detailed and easy to follow throughout. The DTS sound mix ups the quality issues over the Dolby track with a wider and more spacious sound field and tighter LFE. Comparing this edition against the others out there, only the Korean R3 disc offers quality approaching what is on offer here, but that disc doesn't have the DTS track. Comparing against the R1 Discs this Japanese R2 is in my opinion far superior (especially against the faulty Superbit DTS edition) than the US discs and this must be because different master sources are used.
ExtrasExtras on this edition are sparse and have forced Japanese subtitles. There are two short featurettes, cast and crew text, clips from the film set to Stings music number and a selection of trailers.
VerdictThis is arguably Besson's finest movie to date and the presentation on this R2 Japanese edition is far superior to the recent R1 directors cut disc as well as the superbit which was used for comparison and reviewed elsewhere on this site. It is on a par with the Korean R3 edition which has the same quality print transfer but misses the DTS track. Recommended if you want the best transfer and DTS track of the movie.
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