Maximum Risk Blu-ray Review
PictureMaximum Risk comes to Blu-ray with a decent enough 1080p High Definition video rendition in the movie's original (and surprisingly broad) theatrical aspect ratio of 2.4:1 widescreen. I'm not sure any Van Damme movie really requires this kind of cinematographic breadth, but certainly not this one, the extra room utterly wasted and only exacerbating any audience disinterest. Still, technically, it doesn't look bad for a relatively low budget film ($25 Million) that's over a decade old. Detail is fairly good throughout, with the softness apparent only in some sequences and never intrusive. Grain is slightly more confusing, appearing almost randomly in some night shots but not others, and proving marginally more annoying. Still, the clarity never drops out too much and there is no noticeable digital artefacting. The colour scheme is reasonably broad and well-represented, purposefully gaudy (and also somewhat dated now) for the setting, with pretty natural skin tones and fairly solid blacks. Better presented here than on its previous DVD incarnation, this is probably the best we are likely to see from this production.
SoundTo accompany the movie, the Dolby True HD track is actually quite potent, surprisingly good for this class of action vehicle, and certainly making the best of the material on offer. Dialogue is presented clearly and coherently, taking centre-stage when appropriate, and predominantly emanating from the fronts and centre channels. The effects are frequent and well-rendered, giving the surrounds plenty to do and offering some nice dynamics and punch in the shape of gunfights and noisy car chases. The score is pretty unobtrusive and not in the least bit memorable, but keeps up enough background rumbling to glue everything together. This may not be a particularly good use of Dolby True HD, but the flipside is that this is easily the best aural presentation that this movie has (or likely ever will) received.
ExtrasWell kind of what you would expect, but nevertheless consistently disappointing - just the Trailer here.
VerdictEven for a Van Damme movie Maximum Risk is disappointing, whether it be for his fans or action aficionados, a shame considering the people involved in this production. On Blu-ray it has never looked or sounded better, but that does not make up for the fact that there really isn't much reason to have this in your collection, except perhaps if you're a massive Van Damme fan who wants to pick up his Blu-ray releases as they come out.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £17.99
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