Mr. Robot Season 2 Blu-ray Review
Welcome to the apocalypse
Season 2 Review
For its sophomore year, Mr. Robot maintains unpredictability, delivering some of the most compelling viewing on TV.Following the apocalyptic hacking events of its first season, Mr. Robot continues into new territory, with its creator, Sam Esmail, forging what is effectively a sequel to the film screenplay that he used as the framework for the first season. In many respects, this is a daunting challenge. In fact it would have been an easier option to leave things unsaid, and allow the viewer's imagination to fill in the blanks of the potential society-changing effects that swept across America at the end of the first 'arc'. However Esmail attempts to form a fluid continuation, which prolongs his vision of an 'apocalypse' and even threatens to avoid it entirely, as E-Corp make shady deals to get bailed out by the Chinese and the Dark Army seems to take offensive action against the hacktivists behind the original attack.Of course, Rami Malek's psychologically troubled super-hacker drives the show, now on his own desperate mission as he takes drastic measures to remove Mr. Robot from his life. Malek is perfect in all facets of the role, but the show does actually allow Christian Slater to deliver some of the best work of his career (finally making good on all his early promise) whilst The Office's Craig Robinson (also known for Hot Tub Time Machine and numerous Seth Rogan movies) makes for a great antagonist. Although not quite as perfect as the first season - with some characters and arcs persisting beyond being welcome, and a slight blip in the momentum that was previously persistent across the first season - it remains some of the best viewing TV has to offer and sets up the third season nicely.
Picture QualityMr. Robot Season 2 hits UK Region Free Blu-ray courtesy of Universal and it looks as impressive as the first season, with an excellent 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition video presentation framed in the original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 widescreen. The palette remains skewed towards an almost monochromatic, almost jaundiced look that perfectly suits the psychological drama's near post-apocalyptic vibes.
Mr. Robot Season 2 looks as impressive as the first season
The show remains one of the most understated yet stylish offerings on TV, continuing, if not extending its curiously compelling framing, utilising the well-chosen selection of key locations to capture the feel of both the self-appointed NY 'resistance' movement and their targets in the pristine monoliths that tower above. Close-ups retain tremendous detail, lapping up the increasingly (and, in some case, brutally) worn visages of the key characters across the course of this season's arcs, and revels in the background nuances and perfect set design, trademark outfits and even trademark hair. Few, if any, issues are noticeable across the near-600 minutes of this season, which perhaps only struggles in the absolute darkest moments, with hints of banding and a smidge of crush in the extremes, but it's little to complain about in a thoroughly detailed and well-textured video presentation that perfectly reflects the filmic material it offers.
Audio QualityMr. Robot Season 2 also maintain the reference standards exhibited first time around on the audio from, with a tremendously atmospheric DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which again benefits from arguably one of the best TV scores of all time.
Mr. Robot Season 2 boasts a tremendously atmospheric audio track
Dialogue remains clearly and coherently delivered across the front and centre channels, despite Elliot's 'unreliable' narration, which rises with a suitably monotonic feel to pervade the track. The atmospherics are excellent, with fine observations bringing the often clinically minimalist environments to life despite their eminently sparse nature. Prioritisation is precise, whilst the more punchy elements - most commoly gunshots, of which their are considerably more this second season - echo with thunder and weight.
It's the score, however, that defines the piece, once again carrying with it that 80s sci-fi feel evocative of everything from John Carpenter's classic keyboard tones to M83's electronic accompaniment to Oblivion, and interspersed with some excellently-chosen song excerpts (the Phil Collins track is, unbelievably, perfectly selected for the scene) and some equally excellently-chosen score excerpts taken from some classic tracks (try to guess them all - one memorable sequence boasts a score sample from the excellent gem, The Parallax View). It's tremendous scoring - even if compared to Big Screen counterparts - and has very much become a character of its own in this excellent series.
ExtrasNo more - or less - feature-laden that its predecessor (i.e. they haven't suddenly decided to do informative commentary tracks across a slew of episodes), we still get the mandatory overview Featurette, as well as a scattershot of Deleted Scenes and the full clip of the faux horror movie depicted in the series.
Although not quite as perfect as the first season - this remains tremendous viewing
Universal's Region Free Blu-ray release of the second season of Mr. Robot is just as impressive as its release of the first season, with excellent video and audio to reflect the show's exquisite style on both fronts. The disc offers a great way for those without Amazon Prime to catch up on the continuing hacking-apocalypse saga with its excellent characterisations and unpredictable plotting.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £20.99
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