Plot: What’s it about?
Alain Moreau (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is a detective in the United States, a transplant from France. He has been called in to investigate a most unusual case, the murder of his own twin brother, Mikhail Suverov. The two brothers lived in very different worlds, but Alain is determined to uncover the truth about his brother’s death. When he runs into his brother’s girlfriend Alex (Natasha Henstridge), she has no idea that Mikhail was killed, so she assumes Alain is her boyfriend. As he delves deeper into his brother’s life, Alain discovers some harsh realities and dangerous situations. Soon he is being pursued by not only Russian mobsters, but rogue agents as well. Can Alain manage to survive long enough to find out the truth and if so, what will become of his relationship with his brother’s girl, Alex?
Now this is what Blu-ray needs, right? Who better to kick off the high definition revolution than Jean-Claude Van Damme? Of course, I don’t believe that and even if I did, Maximum Risk wouldn’t be the Van Damme movie to release. This movie does come from when Van Damme was close to his apex of fame, but it can’t hold a candle to his best movies, in terms of action or overall cheese fun. He hits all the notes we want, from his hilarious dialogue to his contractually obligated bare ass stroll, but nothing seems to stand out here. The presence of Natasha Henstridge adds some fun and she is quite delicious in Maximum Risk, but for Van Damme fans, this movie is a disappointment. The action seems scaled back, both in fights and set pieces, while unintentional humor isn’t up to snuff either. But if you simply adore The Muscles from Brussels and must see him in 1080p, then Maximum Risk might be worth a rental.
Video: How does it look?
Maximum Risk is presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is a solid transfer for a catalog release, one that should please fans. The image has improved detail and clarity over the DVD, but don’t expect wall to wall three dimensional depth, just solid visible detail. The print looks good too, with minimal grain and only minor debris, so that is good news. I found colors to be natural and on the mark, although contrast was a little off at times. Even so, this is a good looking visual effort that Van Damme fans should enjoy.
Audio: How does it sound?
This Dolby TrueHD 5.1 option was a little better than I expected, but is by no means an upper tier soundtrack. The surrounds come to life when the action kicks in, with moderate power, but not ground shaking force. But the action has a nice kick and this has more oomph than the DVD, to be sure. The music also gets a welcome boost here, while dialogue is clear and the rest of the elements are well presented also. Not a memorable soundtrack, but an above average presentation. This disc also includes French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Thai language tracks, as well as subtitles in English, Chinese, Arabic, Dutch, French, Spanish, Korean, Portuguese, Thai, and Indonesian.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes the film’s theatrical trailer.