Plot: What’s it about?
I have seen several movies in my life, and I’m most certain I came across Blue Steel at some time, but the memory of it is rather vague. As I rewatched it for this review, certain elements triggered my memory, but not enough to have a full recollection. While I enjoy films of this sort, this one is somewhere at the bottom. I will get more to that in a bit, but it isn’t a total loss as there is enough good here to at least warrant a single viewing. It’s also nice to see a film like this that is something of a dinosaur today. A few films of this sort may pop up here and there, but they most certainly aren’t made the way this one is. For that, I can credit it more even though it fails to make me want to revisit it often.
There is a grocery store robbery as the film begins. This finds Officer Megan Turner (Jamie Lee Curtis) on her first shift in New York kill an armed man, played by Tom Sizemore. It seems on the one hand to be an open-shut case. That is until the weapon disappears. A customer Eugene Hunt (Ron Silver) takes off with the murder weapon. Euguene begins using the weapon to murder people and begins a relationship with Megan, who is brought back on the force after she’s dismissed.
The premise for the film is just too flawed for us to become fully invested in. The fact that Hunt simply disappears with the weapon with no witnesses is hard to swallow as is the fact that Megan is dismissed from the force when the man she kills is clearly up to no good. I’m no cop nor am I a lawyer, but it doesn’t hold up to much scrutiny. If taken at face value, however, the film zips by and offers enough action and thrilling elements to at least pass the time easily enough.
Video: How’s it look?
The 1.78:1 transfer looked good enough to my eyes. For an older film on a smaller label, I didn’t expect a demo-worthy disc, but it remained decent enough. New York can act as its own character in many films and that is the case here. Background shots remained clear enough. Some may have hoped for a 4K transfer, but this worked well enough for me.
Audio: How’s it sound?
The DTS HD 2.0 track is admittedly limited, but still serves its purpose. I would’ve liked a more expansive track, but otherwise it seemed fine. The action involved me and the vocals have the crispness I expect. There was a good stereo presence with some of the music heard in the film as well.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Audio Commentary – Film historian Alexandra Heller-Nicholas provides an engaging and lively chat. She offers a lot of praise for the film, but otherwise this track covers the ground well.
- A Hired Gun – Interview with editor Lee Percy. For fans of editing talk, have at it.
- The Phallic Woman: Deconstructing Blue Steel – This one goes for just under 20 minutes and offers some decent, albeit usual, notes.
- Staring Down the Barrel – This one offers a chat with the production designer.
- A Profound Emotional Response – Offers a visual essay by film historian Chris O’Neil.
- Trailers – Generic stuff here…
- Still Gallery – Generic stuff here…
The Bottom Line
Blue Steel offers enough to warrant possibly one viewing, but not much of it stands up when thinking back over it. This set at least presents the film in a good fashion and provides some useful supplements.