The Wrong Mans Blu-ray ReviewSam and Phil work for Berkshire council's town planning department. Sam (Baynton) is the estranged boyfriend of his now boss, Lizzie. Phil (Cordon) is the mail room guy. Phil is a happy-go-lucky thirtysomething who, after taking pity on him, Sam befriends. On his way to work one morning, Sam witnesses a car crash and shortly afterwards finds what he believes is the car crash victim's phone. When a mysterious caller instructs Sam that he must do exactly as he's told it becomes lear that a case of mistaken identity has left a woman's life in his hands. Upon reluctantly revealing this information to Phil, the pair embark on a mission to save the woman's life that turns out to be more than they bargained for.
Had this been a feature film, I would be filled with praise for the fact that the BBC turned out a fantastic British action romp that's laden with the clever witticisms and comedy one liners. I'd be buoyant at the fact that we have what feels like a British indie movie that would hold it's own against the likes of Sightseers. Instead, The Wrong Mans feels like a rather drawn out affair that works far too hard to build to a climax at the end of each episode which, ultimately, makes it feel rather rushed and badly paced.
The Wrong Mans Blu-ray Picture QualityThe Wrong Mans comes to Blu-ray with a decent 1080i 1.78:1 aspect video presentation. Though never gob-smackingly beautiful, it certainly holds it's own in terms of modern TV series, and though at times it feels a little on the cheap side, it still manages to have a filmic impression to it – something all too often missing when it comes to BBC episodic material. In terms of the visuals themselves, being an action/thriller/comedy demands quite a lot from such a modest budget, and I have to say it doesn't disappoint. Lighting is used well to create a cinema like atmosphere that's coupled with decent production design, and the grading lends a weighty hand to the show, making it feel authentic despite having been done relatively cheaply.
It's not without it's eyebrow raining moments of action packed visuals either, and from the very first few moments of the very first episode where we see a BMW cartwheeling through the air with an incredible amount of detail, you know you're in for a visual treat. Sadly, this seems to be a scenario where most of the budget was blown on the one big stunt that features throughout the whole six episodes, but what follows the big opener isn't all that bad, it's just far less impressive.
The transfer is good. Blacks are decent enough without holding an incredible range of depth. Contrast isn't pushed too hard and the image is better for it. Colours are, on the whole, reasonably well presented and the grading on the picture is pretty subtle and very effective, giving everything a slightly murky greyish feel one might expect from Bracknel weather. Detail is very good, and never feels like it's lacking much as a result of the interleaved video presentation.
Though nothing to write home about, I'd say that The Wrong Mans can hold it's head up in terms of picture quality.
The Wrong Mans Blu-ray Sound QualityRather disappointingly we're offered no more than a stereo audio presentation with the Blu-ray release of The Wrong Mans. Fortunately enough it's a fairly decent DTS-HD 2.0 MA track so remains uncompressed on output, but I was staggeringly surprised to find that this wasn't presented on the Blu-ray in surround, especially given the fact that it's trying to be “Hollywood” in every way possible. Shame.
What's there though is decent enough. Dialogue is clear and never gets swamped by the multitude of explosions and car chases that are going on from moment to moment. High frequency detail is fairly good too with plenty of dynamic range. Wrap that all up in a suitably mysterious and orchestral sounding soundtrack and you're only left wondering, once again, why not give this to me in surround. Pity.
Rather disappointingly we're offered no more than a stereo audio presentation with the Blu-ray release.
The Wrong Mans Blu-ray ExtrasNot a great deal by way of extras on show with this Blu-ray release unless you're into re-watching the entire thing again but with people talking over it. If you are, there are commentaries featuring the cast and crew.
Behind the Scenes – This is a short making of that shows behind the scenes footage of the cast and crew on set, and features many of the cast and crew commenting on what it's like working with Director Jim Field Smith. Some comedy japes from Baynton and Corden are thrown in for free.
Is The Wrong Mans Blu-ray Worth BuyingIt's hard to dislike The Wrong Mans despite it bearing some fairly significant pacing problems throughout. Its largely down to James Corden's natural comedic timing that I'm able to forgive the show's few issues and forget my misgivings and give it a thumbs up. It's a good natured action comedy romp that's overloaded with cliches and movie references with many a cap tipping to Edgar Wright's unique style of directorial delivery.
I can't help but feel as though Corden and Baynton's on screen chemistry could have been better served if this had been made as a feature film rather than an episodic series, but I guess we'll never know if that's true. What certainly is true though is that sitting through a couple of episodes of The Wrong Mans, the comedy does begin to slowly wear thin as we're bombarded with cliché after cliché and twist after turn. It starts with huge potential, but sadly fails to deliver. Despite this, there's most definitely fun to be had in watching it, and I'm certain it'll raise a few chuckles along the way.
As far as the Blu-ray package goes, it could be a lot worse indeed but with the inexplicable decision not to mix the audio presentation in surround, given the Hollywood nature of the show is an absolute mystery, and with barely a morsel to whet the appetite of those who enjoy additional features, its a tough sell. The best I could say is: If you enjoy british comedy and you like action movies, you could do a helluva lot worse than taking a chance on The Wrong Mans.
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