Blu-ray Review: Hawaii Five-O (The Second Season)



Recently reboots of ’70s TV shows haven’t fared too well. Charlie’s Angels, Bionic Woman and even Wonder Woman have gone ice cold when fanning the flames of nostalgia. Luckily one series provides its own tropical heat to make sure it wasn’t canceled mid-season. Hawaii Five-0 had been a massive hit for 11 seasons with Jack Lord as super cop Steve McGarrett. How could they replace an icon? They found Alex O’Loughlin and reconfigured the character to meet today’s police procedural texture. He’s an ex-Navy leader that gets his own police unit created by the governor (Jean Smart). Hawaii Five-0: The Second Season has McGarrett booked for murder one involving his boss.

“Ha’i’ole” puts McGarrett behind bars and his team busted up. But he’s not going to rely on an attorney to set him free. McGarrett busts out of jail so he can track down Wo Fat (Iron Chef‘s Mark Dacascos). The team must help him without being busted for assisting a fugitive. While Jean Smart is gone, Masi Oka (Heroes) joins the cast full time as Dr. Max Bergman. Not to spoil the ending, but Kono (Battlestar Galactica‘s Grace Park), Chin Ho (Lost‘s Daniel Dae Kim) and Danno (Scott Caan) don’t have to find new occupations. Terry O’Quinn sticks around as McGarrett’s old navy mentor. “Ua Lawe Wale” puts the team on a kidnapping case. This was always a classic storyline. Tom Sizemore pops up as Captain Vincent Fryer. “Kane’e” brings on William Baldwin as one of Fryer’s old partners. He’s in different position. McGarrett has to stop a killer targeting Navy SEALS. Kono contemplates a position with the enemy. “Mae Makamae brigns star power on the island with Patty Duke (The Patty Duke Show) and Peter Fonda (Easy Rider) wrapped up in a salvage operation.

“Ka Hakaka Maika’I” unloads the pain with Chuck Liddell as himself. Chuck is best known for being a UFC champion whose fighting career went South after I learned his name. “Ka Iwi Kapu” makes a haunted house even more haunted when two ghost hunting filmmakers turn up dead. During the crime scene sweep, they find even more bodies. Robert Englund (Nightmare on Elm Street) plays up the fears. Time to break out your parrothead when Jimmy Buffett arrives on “Ki’ilua.” The singer and theme restaurant superstar gets tangled in a Wo Fat plot. “Tangled in a Wo Fat Plot” ought to be his next single.

“Pahele” has a busload of kids nabbed by drug dealers that want their stash returned by the cops. “Alaheo Pau’ole” seems like a simple episode with Chin Ho getting hitched. But crime doesn’t RSVP for the reception. “Ka Ho’ Oponopono” makes Joe the target for Yakuza payback. “Mai Ka Wa Kahiko” puts Danno and his daughter in the crosshairs of a killer. This never happened to the childless original Danno. “Kupale” has a historical recreation battle go bad when a bigwig gets killed for real. They would have been better off recreating the Brady Bunch goes to Hawaii episode.

“Lekio” sort of unites Scott Caan with his dad James Caan (The Godfather and Rollerball). Dennis Miller has to butt into the fun. “Kalele” proves that Jason Scott Lee (Dragon) is still around. He’s involved in a diamond smuggling investigation. Ed Asner revives his character from the original series. He looks the same after all these years. “Pa Make Loa” is a crossover event with NCIS: Los Angeles. LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell get to enjoy the waves. The NCIS: Los Angeles episode is included in this boxset. It’s a deadly virus tale. “Ua Hopu” puts McGarrett on the trail of Wo Fat. “Ua Hala” opens deadly when a recurring character gets killed. The killing appears to be tied to a crooked cop incident. This is the season finale so there’s plenty of cliffhangers for all.

Hawaii Five-0: The Complete Second Season has the show coming in on its own. They aren’t just impersonating Jack Lord and his crew even with same name. Alex is his own McGarrett. The battle with Wo Fat keeps up the tension through out the 23 episodes. This is a tropical feast of criminal activity.

The Episodes
“Ha’i’ole,” “Ua Lawe Wale,” “Kame’e,” “Mea Makamae,” “Ma’ema’e,” “Ka Hakaka Maika’I,” “Ka Iwi Kapu,” “Lapa’au,” “Ike Maka,” “Ki’ilua,” Pahele,” “Alaheo Pau’ole,” “Ka Ho’oponopono,” “Pu’olo,” Mai Ka Wa Kahiko,” “I Helu Pu, “Kupale,” “Lekio, “Kalele,” “Ha’alele,” “Pa Make Loa,” “Ua Hopu” and “Ua Hala.”

The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The high definition transfer brings out the colorful nature of the islands. The greens bounce off the screen. The audio is 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. The mix pumps up the action scenes. The episodes are subtitled in English, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian.

Shore Lines: The Story of Hawaii Five-O, Season 2
(30:36) explains what will happen on this boxset. Don’t watch it until after you’ve seen the seasons.

Audio commentaries
featuring the cast and crew are on “Ha’i’ole” and “Ki’Ilua.”

Deleted scenes are included on several episodes.

Aloha Action! Season 2 (23:29) deals with topping the first season’s stunts.

Hawii Five-O Ahu: An interactive guide to the season 2 locations is perfect for your next trip to the islands.

Becoming a Seal: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Toughest Training (8:46) is a short view of what it takes to becoming part of an elite Navy team. The show has an ex-Seal on staff to make sure McGarrett looks right for his trained moves.

Gag Reel (10:08) works better since they can get the blown scenes covered by two cameras. The cast likes to get funky when warming up for action.

Hawaii Five-0: The Second Season heightens the action in 1080p. The series has improved with a good balance between the force’s private lives and their public investigations.

CBS DVD presents . Starring: Alex O’Loughlin, Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park and Masi Oka. Boxset Contents: 23 episodes on 5 Blu-rays. Released: September 18, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.

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