Release Date(s)1997 (August 28, 2018)
Studio(s)Cruel Stories Inc./Filmwerks (MVD Marquee Collection)
- Film/Program Grade: D
- Video Grade: C
- Audio Grade: A
- Extras Grade: D
Director Albert Pyun, responsible for Cyborg, Dollman, and the Nemesis series, dives into familiar territory with the 1997 action film Blast. Disguised as event staff during the Olympics in Atlanta, terrorists, led by Omodo (Andrew Divoff), kidnap and hold the United States women’s swim team hostage. If their demands are not met by the town’s mayor, all of the swimmers will be killed. The only man who can stop them is former martial arts champion turned janitor Jack Bryant (Linden Ashby). Using his fighting skills to take on the terrorist group, Jack battles against the odds and attempts to try and save the hostages.
Albert Pyun has certainly done much more entertaining, and for that matter, much more original work. Blast is nothing more than a blatant, low-budget, and rather bland Die Hard rip-off. Besides the artwork, it even borrows a key element, which is that the main hostage is Jack’s wife (Kimberly Warren). There are some good action sequences to be had, but everything lacks some much-needed suspense. Characters are also a bit on the dull side, lacking any flair to make the story feel lively; not to mention that both Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner, The Hitcher) and Tim Thomerson (Trancers) in secondary roles as F.B.I. officers are wasted. More’s the pity.
The MVD Marquee Collection presents Blast in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, but the presentation, like the movie itself, isn’t all that spectacular, but is certainly serviceable. Colors are sharp, especially the reds and blues of the costumes worn by the cast. The scenery, which is mostly indoors, has good texturing. Black levels also have good depth to them. And while film grain is definitely present, but there’s hardly any dirt or debris leftover. The audio is included in English 2.0 mono LPCM and, generally speaking, sounds clean and clear, especially during explosions and exchanges of gunfire, which are aggressive. Some of the dialogue sounds a bit rough in a couple of spots, but there’s nothing worth complaining about. The only extras provided are a set of trailers, which include other MVD releases Lionheart, Walking Tall, and Crazy Six.
While it wasn’t a “blast” watching this movie, Blast is recommended for fans of lower tier/B-action movies. The A/V presentation is satisfying enough for those who might be interested.
- David Steigman