48 Hrs. Blu-ray Review

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Reviewed by Chris McEneany, 21st February 2011.
One of the great early 80's actioners, 48 HRS remains an extremely efficient and highly rare example of how to successfully mingle two genres together. It helped cement Walter Hill as Hollywood's most hard-edged and macho directors of the new breed. His material wasn't as clean-cut or as jingoistic as the Stallone vehicles of the times, and even his Arnie outing in Red Heat was quite a grungy affair.

But this cult-adored urban Western took the “Peterbilt” of screen stars and placed him right alongside Tinseltown's most unpredictable motormouth, and both made a meal out of Walter Hill's proto-buddy/buddy actioner. The two-fisted double-act of weather-beaten machismo was born in earnest and, without it, it is unlikely that we would have seen Lethal Weapon taken out of its holster, or Point Break … or countless other mismatched hero outings.

Paramount's BD release has taken a long time to surface, and though we can applaud the fact that the transfer has not been digitally molested, the visual rewards are actually quite few and far between. The audio side of things, however, should put a smile on fans' faces, even if this isn't the most aggressive track around. We get just a theatrical trailer as an extra, and this is a definite disappointment. The legacy of the era's testosterone-fuelled thrillers is hardly deemed worthy of critical debate by some people (though not me, I hasten to add), but this was a hugely influential movie and surely something could have been done to add some respectful value to the deal.

Still, this is one of those films that can be termed as a guilty pleasure … but is actually a helluva lot more. And I can't help but recommend it, even if this disc lacks extra value and the image looks like it has been driven over a couple of times.


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