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Bridget Jones:
The Edge of Reason

Tsk, Tsk, Bridget. We had such high hopes for you.

It’s hard not to feel a little bit like that of a disappointed parent in regards to the latest installment in the Bridget Jones series. This isn’t to say that the film is a complete disaster, because it manages to please and entertain for the majority of its duration.

In fact, many will think I’m off my rocker when watching the film, because it really never loses pace until trouble comes flying out of nowhere when it's time to set up the third act.

Let’s not get too far ahead of things here. You all remember Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger), so we needn’t go into too much detail setting her up. This is the route Director Beeban Kidron chooses to take as well, and it works. We pick up approximately seven weeks after the original film left off, and we find Bridget hopelessly enamored with her Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). The two lovebirds have spent their time together exclusively in what Bridget describes as “seven weeks of glorious shagging.”

After seeing the original film, I learned that author Helen Fielding had also penned a sequel to her popular Bridget Jones’ Diary. At first I pondered whether events from both books had been used as inspiration for the film, but was sadly told otherwise.

Then Edge of Reason is slated for production, and this intrigue grows: “What happened to Bridget and Mark? Did she manage to blow that relationship somehow?”

Thankfully the film does its best to steer clear of falling into repeat escapades for the sake of a trip to humorous yet fond territory from its predecessor. This is normally the crutch that sequels rely on, and Edge of Reason avoids this for the most part.

It does waver at times, at one point dipping back into a scenario involving Marc Darcy and Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) that, honestly, could not be avoided. The moment was far too hilarious the first time so it begs for a repeat visit.

This time around, Bridget has what she wanted but now questions whether or not she is worthy of such happiness. Her desire to be all that Darcy requires proves her own worst enemy, and what we witness here is the all too crucial “first fight” between new lovers.

In a way, this is the test for their relationship to come. Bridget, of course, allows her mind to run away with circumstance, and her paranoia is the often the instigator of her folly.

The film moves along at a comfortable pace, covering relevant ground in regards to Bridget’s relationship with Darcy, and providing ample laughs throughout. Until a major league curveball is thrown at the audience in at the onset of the third act that is so jarring that it nearly sinks the film in one fatal blow.

The premise is that Bridget’s job now has her traveling the world reviewing travel locales with none other than Daniel Cleaver himself. While on her first assignment in Thailand, Bridget is torn between hooking back up with a supposedly reformed Cleaver and sticking to her guns because he cheated on her before.

Things are still good until she somehow ends up in a Thai prison for drug smuggling. This development even works to an extent, but a Thai prison sequence is too “left-field” for the flightiness of the Bridget Jones series. Unfortunately it drags on in attempts of finding humor in the situation, and frankly there just isn’t any to be found.

All this aside, the film recovers from said trauma enough to pull viewers back into the film, and it ends nicely enough to make the awkward prison sequence a slightly hazy memory. Many at the screening I attended walked out pondering: “Was Bridget singing Madonna in prison? OR was it all a dream?”

Unfortunately, yes, and it was a nightmare best forgotten.


Mario Anima

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