Phase IV isnâ€™t a sequel, and it isnâ€™t a remake of the 1974 movie about aliens brainwashing desert ants to wage war over its human desert inhabitants. Those of you looking for that film might be disappointed. Instead, you get this modern action film staring Dean Cain and the Boz, Brian Bosworth. And it ainâ€™t half bad.
Simon Tate (Dean Cain) plays a reporter trying to clear the name of his best friend. The friend is involved in a mysterious death of a scientist. This death is just one in a s…ries of â€œaccidentalâ€ deaths involving this group of scientists. Seeâ€¦the group is working on an experimental drug. Thereâ€™s a conspiracy involving a corrupt cop (Brian Bosworth) and a United States politician (Mimi Kuzyk). Twists and turns ensue. There are lots of foot and car chases, for the chase crowd. And thereâ€™s lots of conspiracy, for the conspiracy crowd.
For a mindless night at home, Phase IV works. What other movies can you think of that start with a 10 minute, virtually wordless, car chase? Dean Cain makes a good everyman. You believe in his cause. You want him to win. He handles the action well too. The Bozâ€¦wellâ€¦he ainâ€™t no actor. But as football players turned actors go, heâ€™s not the worst (Terry Bradshawâ€™s performance in Cannonball Run set the bar really low). When you have a guy who canâ€™t act, the best advice is to â€œunderplay everythingâ€! Boz does quiet menace well. Itâ€™s a one note performance, but what do you expect from a guy who used to have a Vanilla Ice hairdo.
Nothing special about this Dolby Digital 2.0 mix. Rear speakers used for music mostly. Some car crash and explosion effects in the back, but not as much as I wouldâ€™ve liked. Dialogue is front heavy, but clear.
The video transfer is quite good, actually. Crisp and clear picture. Night scenes look excellent. The colors are fairly realistic. Not too many flourishes of chromatism. There are some video game like special effects, that are laughable. But at least you can see them with clarity. Edge enhancement, haloing, and specks and flecks are all minimal. The 1.33:1 full screen enhances the low budget quality of the film, unfortunately.
Thereâ€™s a cheesy trailer. And Scene Selections. Wow. And the â€œSpecial Featuresâ€ are not rated, it says. I didnâ€™t know Scene Selections could be rated. Menu is basic, but scored.
Phase IV throws a lot of stuff in the oven: car chases, explosions, murder, and conspiracy. What comes out of the oven is a big ole American pie. But is it good enough to eat? Sure. What the hell. Kick back and have a slice. Just donâ€™t think about it too much. You might be feeling it the next day.
Special Features List