Over the last two decades, Jean Claude Van Damme has kicked, punched, stabbed, shot, and otherwise murdered and maimed thousands of villains. Yet, much like Blofeld to his James Bond, one man whom deserves to pay for his sins has so far eluded him: His agent.
It's no secret that Van Damme has made more than his fair share of cinematic bombs, and unfortunately his rarely good or at least passable films will be lost to his rather dubious reputation. Maximum Risk certainly falls into the latter category, however the plot is a little more complicated than most (maybe arbitrarily so), so listen carefully!
After a high speed chase, a man; Mikhail Suverov is killed whom shares more than a passing resemblance to cop Alain Moreau (Jean Claude Van Damme), as well as the same birthday. When pushed, his mother reveals that the man was his brother whom was adopted out at childbirth. Alain decides to visit the place where his brother grew up, in an attempt to connect with the brother he never knew. But he gets more than he bargained for when he finds out that he has more than standing beef with the Russian mafia and sometime girlfriend Alex Minetti (the always stunning Natasha Henstridge).
It's not a classic, it's fairly unmemorable, but despite this you could certainly do a lot worse and to be honest, no one should ever miss the opportunity to see the stunning Ms Henstridge.
Maximum Risk is presented in the widescreen scope aspect ratio of 2.35:1.
I'll be frank, this film is the biggest mixed bag of a release I have seen on the format. Some shots look great, others like a little worse for wear. Overall, the transfer is generally sharp and well defined. Some shots have a tendency to look a little hazy, but are frequently interspersed with many that look above average, adding to the inconsistency. Above that, though, my biggest complaint is the major inconsistency of colour, most notably in skin tones. I can't say with certainty if its transfer induced or part of the original negative (I'd guess the latter), but many times skin tones appear overly pink, and sometimes even a little shade of red.
Sony Pictures appear to have done what they can to make Maximum Risk look as good as it can with the elements at their disposal, but I can't really say I was overly impressed by the results.
The main audio track here is an English Dolby TrueHD track, at 16 bits.
For an action film of this relatively recent vintage, Maximum Risk sounds pretty good, but hardly the best example of lossless audio. Dialogue is for the most part loud enough, but frequently sounds disconnected; likely evidence of dialogue re-recorded in post production, but not particularly well integrated into the mix. The music is fine, albeit wholly unmemorable, but fairly well mixed to give a good surround presence.
Surround effects, especially for an action film are a little on the restrained side, but generally pop into action when called upon. Bass is suitably rumbly to support the numerous explosions and effects sequences.
Overall, not a bad effort, but much like the video, nothing stellar.
Wow. There's a trailer. And that's it. That's it.
Review Equipment Used:
Display: Sony KDL52X3100 LCD (1080p resolution/ 24p playback)
Player: Sony BDP-S500 Blu-ray, PlayStation 3 (24p playback)
Sound: Sony STR-DA5300 Receiver (7.1 configuration), Sony SSX70ED front speakers (x2), Sony SSCNX70ED center speaker, Sony SSFCR7000 surround speakers (x4), Sony SAW3800 Subwoofer, (Front) Sony SAWM500 Subwoofer (Rear)
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