Recoil Blu-ray Review
Although the video presentation of Recoil is generally very good – and never less than accurate – that doesn’t save the movie itself from looking cheap as all hell. Still, we can’t levy that kind of blame on the presentation itself, which offers up all the benefits of 1080p High Definition, framed in the movie’s original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 widescreen. Detail is generally very good indeed, facial textures and landscape shots displaying all the fine nuances and textures that you would only expect from the lauded Red One camera. The colour scheme is extremely drab and dour, with no particularly vivid tones to show some range to the proceedings, but this is totally in-line with the movie’s intentions, or at least in-line with the movie’s budget, and the colours that are on offers – Canada’s own brown, green and blue-dominated locales – are rich and deep and accurate. Black levels are reasonably strong although there is sight of both banding and aliasing in parts across the feature, with motion-blur evident whenever we get action sequences, although again this probably has little to do with the resulting video presentation itself, but more the filmwork. Overall it’s a healthy, accurate video presentation which only suffers in score because of the material it has to work with, and would likely be demo or even reference quality if it didn’t have to contend with such low budget content.
Recoil’s DTS-HD Master Audio aural accompaniment is just as accurate, and similarly quite engaging, if not completely refined. Dialogue comes across clearly and coherently from across the frontal array, largely dominating the centre channel wherever necessary. Effects are surprisingly limited for an actioner – no doubt because of the budget – but the gunshots, body blows and single explosion come across reasonably well on the array, which may not be all that nuanced, but does have a fairly hefty punch to it, bringing the LFE channel down to bear more often than not. The score keeps things rolling, and whilst being almost as generic as the movie itself, does still manage to somehow enhance the experience – and the audio track – rather than taking away from it. There are no resounding dynamics on offer here, nor anything worthy of a demo quality award, but this is a perfectly decent aural accompaniment which works well with the material and occasionally even surprises by the presence that it exhibits.
There’s nothing here but Preview Trailers on disc startup for Man on a Ledge and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (really, we need another one?!) and a Theatrical Trailer for the film itself available from the main menu. Now I wouldn’t normally be particularly surprised by this kind of vanilla treatment for a release like this, but for the fact that the US disc sports some Deleted Scenes and a Making-of Featurette. It’s shameful that we don’t at least get the same over here in the UK.
Another film which feels like it was made a couple of decades too late, Steve Austin’s latest straight-to-Blu-ray vehicle, Recoil is an old-school, no-nonsense film that struggles mainly because it doesn’t really have anything new to say, nor any new kind of way of saying it. It’s not an awful, unwatchable mess of a movie, but, by the same token there’s nothing here that particularly warrants watching in the first place. Who can tell if Austin deserves better – his film history certainly does not support such a theory – but this kind of film is so painfully unoriginal and staggeringly mediocre that you wonder why anybody ever backed it in the first place.
On Region B-locked UK Blu-ray the film gets good video and audio presentation, but zero extras – unlike the US counterpart – so those few who can’t help but buy this film should probably look overseas to get their fix. Everybody else will be better off watching this on Channel Five on a drunken kebab night in with nothing better to do.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £12.99