• Direct Contact (First Look Studios) DVD Review

    Released by: First Look Studios
    Released on: June 2nd, 2009.
    Director: Danny Lerner
    Cast: Dolph Lundgren, Michael Pare, Gina May, Bashar Rahal, James Chalke
    Year: 2008
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    Direct Contact - Movie Review:

    In this straight to video movie from the fine folks over at Nu Image, Dolph Lundgren plays Mike Riggins, a former U.S. Special Forces operative doing hard time in a Russian prison for weapons smuggling. Mike’s not particularly enamored with life in the big house so when a strange group of men approach him, offering him his freedom in exchange for rescuing a young American woman named Ana Gale (Gina May), the daughter of a wealthy oil mogul who has recently been kidnapped by some no goodniks, he accepts.

    Mike calls up his local illegal arms dealer (a guy with an eye-patch) and then uses a few connections to find Ana, who has become quite sympathetic to her captors, stashed away at some sort of commando training camp. Then, using his awesome fighter guy abilities, Riggins manages to sneak in and save her whilst blowing tons of up, sky high. They make their escape and then Mike finds out the truth behind his ‘mission’ when those who hired him soon try to kill him. He and Ana must then make their escape from the various bad guys who will stop at nothing to kill them both.

    So, yeah…. Direct Contact, a movie as utterly generic as its innocuous title. This film doesn’t have an inspired bone in its body and it’s pretty much just an hour and a half of ridiculous action movie clichés. But you know what? It works. Dolph isn’t the most charismatic actor on the planet, but he’s good at beating the snot out of people and he’s got enough of an inexplicable screen presence that he really works in the part. The rest of the cast? Completely disposable, which maybe isn’t a bad thing as Dolph more or less completely disposes of them. The film moves at a good pace, wasting no time with unnecessary things like character development or actual storytelling – it just pretty much gets right to the action and runs with it.

    The action scenes are ridiculous and over the top but hardly out of place in the context of this film. Realism isn’t a factor that the filmmakers were particularly concerned with, as is made obvious in the multiple shoot out scenes in which Mike is running around unscathed, never once hit by a bullet. On the flip side, his aim is so good that he rarely misses! Plenty of squibs are used for the splatter effects – a nice touch in this day and age where CGI is used more often than not for blood work – and this gives the movie a fun ‘80s feel’ that has a sort of low rent charm to it. In the end, this isn’t an original movie in the least, but it is an entertaining one, the type of film that goes well with a six pack of cheap beer and a big, greasy pizza.

    Direct Contact - DVD Review:

    The 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is good, if a bit uneven. There are some spots where skin looks just a little bit on the waxy side and fine detail can get lost sometimes. Generally, however, this isn’t a bad looking picture. Color reproduction looks good and black levels are strong. You won’t notice much in the way of print damage or heavy or inordinate grain. Overall, the movie looks good, it just doesn’t look great.

    The English language Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound mix is pretty solid with some nice channel separation evident during the shoot outs and the action scenes. Bass response doesn’t pack quite as much of a punch as it could in some scenes but the levels all sound well balanced and the dialogue is clear enough and easy to understand. This isn’t a track that will blow you away, but it sounds alright. Optional subtitles are provided in English SDH and Spanish.

    Aside from previews for a few unrelated First Look Studios release, this disc contains only a static menu and chapter selection options.

    Direct Contact - The Final Word:

    Lundgren’s fan base will appreciate this no-nonsense action movie. It isn’t deep or even close to original but it does deliver an hour and a half’s worth of solid ass kicking and violence.