• Recoil

    Released by: Vivendi

    Released on: March 6, 2012.

    Director: Terry Miles

    Cast: Steve Austin, Danny Trejo, Serinda Swan

    Year: 2011

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    The Movie:

    Directed by Terry Miles, Recoil is a 2011 straight to video action movie that stars former WWE superstar ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin (or Stunning Steve Austin if you want to go back even further) as a renegade vigilante named Ryan Verrett out to avenge the death of his family at the hands of a biker gang who roam around in scary clown masks. According to some stereotypical cop characters who blab about his past a bit in a few scenes, Ryan’s been cruising around in his rad muscle car picking bad guys off a few at a time for awhile now. He used to wear a badge and play by the rules but once his family got offed, he decided it was time to clean things up his way.

    At any rate, he motors on into a small town and takes a room at a small hotel run by a pretty dark haired lady named Darcy (Serinda Swan) who has a connection to a local bike gang run by a tough Mexican guy named Drayke (Danny Trejo) that sells meth and causes trouble. Lots of trouble. The kind of trouble that gets Ryan into a brawl with the gang leaders brother and the kind of trouble that gets that guy dead when Ryan decides to tie the guy to the hood of his car and drive it into some sort of exploding building. With Ryan now on the bad side of the bikers, Drayke more or less declares war on him, which is just fine with our vigilante hero who is going to take these bad guys down and save the day no matter the cost.

    About as predictable and cliché ridden as a straight to video action movie can be, how much mileage you’re going to get out of this will pretty much depend entirely on your affection for the staples of the genre. This one packs in just exactly what you’d expect from a low budget DTV movie called Recoil, from the dramatic show of our hero walking away with his back toward a giant wall of fire to a finale in which he squares down against the lead bad guy (or at least his stunt double) in a man to man match to the death. Austin’s Ryan is seemingly invincible, unstoppable and unflappable, singularly driven to get what he’s after with no regard for his own safety – with that said, when you’ve got the uncanny ability to defend yourself from dozens of attackers at the same time without even breaking a sweat, you probably don’t need to be all that concerned with your wellbeing in the first place. It’s that kind of movie.

    As far as the performances go, Swan is here pretty much as eye candy and doesn’t really add much more than that to the movie, though the ‘hubba hubba’ factor is important to the film simply because without it the movie would be a complete sausage fest. Trejo is… Trejo. He’s not stretching here an actor at all, and while it’s all well and good that his Drayke likes to challenge people in some sort of underground fighting ring that he operates, he’s not doing anything here we haven’t seen him do in his last two dozen roles. When given leading man material, he’s proven to be a pretty great lead (Machete was a lot of fun) but this is generic stuff and his performance reflects that. Austin is fine as the man of few words, but let’s be honest, he’s playing the same character that he’s played in pretty much every other movie he’s appeared in.

    All of this is fine – keep your expectations in check and you’ll find that this completely generic action movie offers the sort of completely generic thrills you’d expect from it. As dumb as all of this is, the film gives you want you want in the form of some tough talking dialogue, decent fight scenes, completely unrealistic explosions and a lovely damsel in distress. Nobody was thinking outside the box here, but if you’re in the mood for mindless entertainment, this’ll fit the bill.


    Recoil looks pretty good in AVC encoded 1.85.1 widescreen presented in full 1080p high definition. Detail is generally sharp in the lighter scenes, not quite as crisp in the darker bits but overall the image is pleasing. There are no issues with compression artifacts and only some minor shimmering, the kind you sometimes see with digital video productions made on less than massive budgets. Skin tones look good, black levels are strong, any complains levied here are minimal.

    The only audio option on the disc is an English language DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track, but it’s a good one. Gun shots pack a pretty solid punch as do, er, punching sounds while the goofball dialogue comes through nice and clear from start to finish. Bass response won’t blow you away but you’ll notice it when Steve fires up his muscle car and zips away and the score adds some welcome dramatic effect here and there. English closed captioning is provided.

    There aren’t a ton of extra features here but a brief behind the scenes documentary is worth checking out for a peek at how this was all put together. The included deleted scenes aren’t anything to write home about, mostly just bits trimmed likely for pacing reasons as they’re basically extensions of what was left in the movie. The film’s trailer is included as are menus and chapter selection options. Trailers for a few unrelated Vivendi properties play before that main menu loads.

    The Final Word:

    Recoil is about what you’d expect from a straight to video movie that pairs up Stone Cold Steve Austin with Danny Trejo. It’s dumb, full of senseless violence and tough talking dialogue, and it’s pretty much completely brainless – but it’s also a lot of fun, and a movie that those with an appreciation for B-grade action pictures will probably really get a kick out of.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!