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"Prime Suspect 2"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Prime Suspect 2" More at IMDbPro »

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18 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Nearly flawless

10/10
Author: dbrown-4 (dbrown@math.ucsb.edu) from Goleta, CA
25 June 2000

Television has never been considered "high art", but this 4-hour miniseries is about as close to that as you're going to find. When I first saw this series several years ago, I said it was the finest television miniseries I'd ever seen (so, longer-running series like I Claudius don't fall into this category). I recently saw it again, and I stand by my original opinion. Virtually every aspect of this series is exception and memorable -- an intricate, intriguing detective story, finely-drawn characters, subtle probing of psychological, social, and racial issues, remarkable acting, original and impressive cinematography, incredible editing, clear direction...even great costume design and an unforgettable musical score. This series was as riveting to me the second time I saw it as the first, and I constantly noticed many nuances and attention to detail which I missed the first time. This is a remarkable film, which stands up to repeated viewing and can be enjoyed on many levels. I can't recommend it enough. You won't be disappointed. (And I really don't engage in such hyperbole often...see some of my other reviews!)

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Just Two Comments?

9/10
Author: Bob Westal
31 July 2002

Yes, this terrific four-hour (really 3.? hours) miniseries (actually, just a long movie when you think about it) deserves far more accolades on this here site.

I don't have much to add, except to say that I thought this was a notable improvement on PS I -- truly impressive stuff that, for me, didn't QUITE live up to the hype.

This one, however, exceeds it. If you're a fellow fan of T.V. police procedurals, this is possibly better than even the very best episodes of "Homicide" and definitely far more fleshed out and believable than any episode of "Cracker" -- and with an lead actor every bit the equal of the amazing Robbie Coltrane. This one was powerful stuff indeed, upsetting at times, complex in the best possible way and constantly fascinating.

And Helen Mirren as Jane Tennyson is, in her own way, almost as morally ambiguous and psychologically messed up as poly-addicted Fitz of "Cracker"...In a world where most movie cops fear promotions and the specter of a desk job more than death itself, she just may be the first truly careerist detective hero.

The only thing missing is that there's little humor here, but that's probably appropriate too. In the case of Jane Tennyson, a policeman's lot is definitely not a happy one!

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

DCI Tennison returns.

Author: grendelkhan from Xanadu
28 February 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoilers: Helen Mirren returns as DCI Jane Tennison, now enjoying the notoriety and success of capturing a dangerous serial killer. Now, she must solve the murder of a young girl, whose remains were found buried in a back yard. The body is found in a minority neighborhood, one that has been at odds with her police station. Tennison must confront racist attitudes amongst her own team and from within herself, while trying to identify the body and track down her killer. Added to that is her brief affair with a subordinate, a black detective sergeant.

Mirren provides another great performance, again aided by Lynda La Plante's excellent script. This time around, she doesn't have to prove herself; but, she does have to overcome racial obstacles and political hurdles. Her task is further complicated, when her former lover, DS Bob Oswald is added to her team, without her knowledge. She is desperately afraid that their affair will become public knowledge and hurt her career. This leads her to treat Oswald with disrespect.

Colin Salmon makes a tremendous debut as Oswald, a man who shares many traits with Tennison. He, too, has had to overcome obstacles in his career; where she had to overcome gender discrimination, he has faced racial discrimination. He possesses the same obsessive nature, which ultimately leads to tragedy. It's amazing that Salmon hasn't appeared in more prominent roles, at least here in the US. He is far too talented to be wasted in minor supporting roles in James Bond films.

This case ends on a less satisfying note than the previous one. Although Tennison and Oswald solve the case and catch their killer, their careers have been harmed. Oswald is disciplined for his actions which contribute to the suicide of a suspect, while in custody. Tennison is passed over for promotion, in part due to her gender, but also due to her involvement with Oswald. To make matters worse, she is passed over for a junior colleague with political connections. Tennison resigns rather than face the humiliation of working for her adversary, Thorndike. Although not as tightly paced and suspenseful as the first series, this succeeds quite well. There is an interesting feature to the broadcast of this series: in the recent dvd release, there are scenes added which did not appear in the original PBS broadcasts, or in the video release. These mostly involve shots of nude or partially nude photos, and at least one graphic scene involving Jason Reynolds (well, graphic in comparison to what was broadcast here). More curiously, several racial epithets are heard, which were censored in the PBS broadcast. Equally curious, is the deletion of a scene where young men from the neighborhood hurl bricks and stones over a wall at police working in the back yard.

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8 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Watch it for Colin Salmon's performance

8/10
Author: Justin Harris from Los Angeles, CA
21 January 2003

I was flipping through channels and came across this second installment of the Prime Suspect mini-series which star Helen Mirren. However I'm not really a fan of the series, but was very impressed with the performance of Colin Salmon, who plays Sgt. Robert Oswalde. Salmon since then has worked on films such as the Bond films, Resident Evil, and the mini-series Dinotopia, however didn't ever have such a big part as he does in Prime Suspect 2. Salmon is very good in this role and his performance alone is a reason to watch it. Pretty decent mini-series.

SCORE: 7 out of 10 (good)

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A must-see movie, a great mistery involving a great policewoman.

10/10
Author: marius_nicolescu from Constanta, Romania
25 July 2002

DCI Jane Tennisson finds herself having a bit awkward case involving a body in decomposion for over 3 years. It is supposed to be a black girl living in the neighbourhood where she lived, abused by a white man. The story reveals some rasisim from the british policeman regarding the black neighbourhood. Also DCI Tennison finds herself with an affair with one of her colleague-detectives, who is also black. Hellen Mirren does a great job acting in the second part of this mini-series.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Possibly even better than Number 1

9/10
Author: paudie from Ireland
28 November 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is possibly even better than the Prime Suspect I. DCI Tennison has to find a murderer when the body of an unknown teenage girl is dug up from a suburban garden.

The theme of tensions between the Afro-Caribbean community and the Metropolitan Police is added to the mix of Tennison's personal life and police politics.

There are some unforgettable scenes, such as when the hysterical mother of another missing girl identifies all the items found with the body as belonging to her daughter, as well as Tennison's own watch that she surreptitiously puts on the table.

There is also a magnificent sequence lasting about half an hour that starts with a deathbed confession and ends with tragedy in the police cells. This was one of the most gripping pieces of television I have ever watched. At over three hours the writer and director can again take their time in revealing the plot to have the maximum effect of the viewer.

The acting is again superb. Helen Mirren is brilliant, as are all the supporting cast. Tennison is almost an anti-heroine. She makes no secret of her desire to climb the promotion ladder in the force and her personal life is a mess. However she is a superb copper, using her gut instinct as well as normal police procedure to get to the bottom of the grisly murder.

Needless to say I can't wait to watch the rest of the complete Prime Suspect box set.

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6 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

misses the narrative flow

Author: (elle_knight@hotmail.com) from USA
27 May 2004

I've seen three of the Prime Suspects and I like the series a great deal. This one messes up. I don't expect perfection. I tolerate the usual contrivances of the genre. The fatal narrative flaw here is that the plot starts with one girl's murder and never ties the pieces together, even though the mother of the girl plays a predominate, even intrusive role, this lead guest character disappears entirely. There's enough pieces to put the mystery to rest but it lies literally and figuratively jumbled on the evidence table. There needed to be a resolving scene with the principle victim's mother. I enjoy the intradepartmental friction and the political issues. Not at the price of dramatic satisfaction. After reading in other reviews that the writer/creator did not write this one, it makes sense. I like to understand cultural frictions in other societies, as well as ours; it's a disappointment that this didn't satisfy me on their own initial question. I can forgive this series one serious lapse because it's well done, in cinematography, directing, casting, and acting. I was so incredulous and felt betrayed - I saw it twice to be sure, I didn't miss it.

I didn't it wasn't there. I hope the other three parts are not as disappointing as this one.

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8 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Tennison anyone?

6/10
Author: George Parker from Orange County, CA USA
21 January 2003

The always calm, clear thinking, and very busy Brit Detective Jane Tennison (Mirren) is back in "Primary Suspect 2" solving a pornography laced murder case while mired in police brutality allegations and suspicions of inappropriate conduct involving an affair with a fellow cop. This edition of "PS" is more emotionally charged than the first and rumbles with racial undercurrents. However, like the first in the series, it ends abruptly with unresolved issues and plenty of room for a follow up installment. Okay stuff for sofa spuds into realistic police/crime drama tv fare out of the UK. (C+)

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5 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Bit of a Dip

Author: Rick Blaine from London
2 December 2006

This one isn't written by La Plante and it shows. The cacophony of the station room is replaced by a hum. Things are more sorted, the plot details pointed to ostentatiously.

This one is about racism - about how racial tensions cause destruction all around. Many of the familiar faces from the first episode are back, but others are unfortunately gone.

This one goes on forever. All these episodes are four hours long but this one feels that long. Two hours through it and you'll expect an ending and then you'll check the clock and you're likely to yelp 'OMG another two hours?'

It's not bad - but it does drag. As all these stories, it's incredibly complex and intricately woven - and it will beat most television crime drama fare. But odds are at the end of the game you'll long for the return of La Plante.

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