Jon Voight is a rogue director in the National Security Agency. When politician Jason Robards stands in the way of dangerous bill that would give the NSA almost unlimited powers, Voight has him killed. The murder is captured on tape, and a disc containing the incriminating evidence winds up in the hands of attorney Will Smith. The next thing he knows, his life is turned upside down as Voight sends high-tech minions after him. He seeks the help of retired surveillance whiz Gene Hackman.
The casting of Hackman is very clever, as his character is a reprise of the one he played in Coppola’s The Conversation, and one could even make the case that this IS the same character. At any rate, this is exactly the kind of result one expects from a Tony Scott film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer: stylish and flashy as hell, and very fast-moving. Scott’s more recent stylistic excesses are not yet in evidence here, and the ideas are neat, even if the result isn’t exactly groundbreaking. The concerns that are raised, however, are even more relevant than at the time the film was made.
A film from Bruckheimer and Scott invariably sounds and looks terrific (and loud) in the theatres, and one expects no less from the DVD. No problems here. The score is enveloping and thunderous, with nicely ominous bass. The surround effects are equally good, with a very convincing sense of environment created. Nice placement on the sound effects, too (an early scene set in traffic is a case in point).
A striking transfer here as well. The image is extremely sharp, and the colours are terrific. Blacks, flesh tones, contrasts – all are great. There is no grain or edge enhancement, and the print is flawless. All in all, the movie looks simply fabulous – which is very much the purpose of Scott’s approach to filmmaking.
Now how, exactly, does this qualify as a special edition. So the movie is now eight minutes longer, okay. But the extras are hardly special: two deleted scenes, a promotional making-of featurette (yawn), behind-the-scenes footage of the final shootout being shot, and the theatrical trailer. Not much.
If you already own this, don’t bother unless those eight minutes are that important to you. This isn’t the Touch of Evil restoration, people.
Special Features List
- Making-of Featurette
- Behind the Scenes Featurette
- Deleted Scenes
- Theatrical Trailer