Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on February 1st, 2007
Five men wake up in a middle-of-the-desert chemical warehouse. Some of them are tied, some are wounded, and all have no memory of who they are or how they came to be here. They soon discover that they are part of a kidnapping plot, but who is victim and who is kidnapper remains a mystery. What they do know is that the rest of the criminals are on their way back, and if they don’t escape the warehouse, someone is going to die.
Though the opening had me worried this was going to be Saw II with a prestige cast (Jim Caviezel, Greg Kinnear, Joe Pantoliano, etc.), it quickly developed into a tight thriller whose premise made up in niftiness what it lacked in plausibility. The paranoia is played out to the fullest, the twists come fast and furious as fragments of memory return, and frequent cuts to the police investigation of the kidnapping prevents the film from becoming a claustrophobic play. We’ve certainly seen variations on this concept before (everything from Reservoir Dogs to House of 9 is swimming in the same waters), but that doesn’t prevent this from being a very fun hour-and-a-half.
The score is impressive, urgent and pounding. It winds up setting up shop primarily in the rear speakers, acting as effective but not overwhelming background to the action. The environmental effects are solid, with solid placement (a phone, for instance, always rings in the correct speaker with respect to the position of the characters). There is also nice movement from front to rear (and vice versa).
The image is very strong: sharp, with good blacks, reds and flesh tones, and no grain or edge enhancement to speak of. The colours are strong, but naturalistic. The picture is never murky, and the contrasts are excellent. The transfer manages to be gritty but attractive at the same time. A very solid job all around.
Nine deleted scenes and some trailers are all you have to work with here.
Give it a look: it’s a plenty of tense fun.