Another Meltdown

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Arthur Wong (Man Cheuk Chui) has just been knocked down the corporate ladder a few notches, after some renegade tactics. Wong is a special agent in Beijing and as part of a rescue mission, he ignored orders and took his own measures. So now he has been dropped down a peg or two, sent to a European country known as Lavernia. His new home won’t be devoid of business however, as he soon makes some quick enemies. A cult known as The Red Sun is based in Lavernia and of course, Wong soon gets on the bad side of the organization. The cult’s leader is Keizo Mishima (Andrew Lin), whom Wong encounters soon after he arrives. The Red Sun is involved in some illegal affairs that involve high ranking officials in Lavernia’s government, including agents of the nation’s military. The cult has been doing arms dealing with Lavernia’s military and of course, this means both sides have a lot to lose. A recent clash resulted in the deaths of some Interpol agents, which sparks Wong to move in on Keizo and make an arrest. At the same time, he is meeting with an old girlfriend Tammy (Shu Qi), as he is depressed and alone in his new residence. As Keizo is being processed to be extradited, Lavernia’s government fears he could turn over evidence against them. So an ambush on the transport has been planned. But with Wong in charge of the transport, can he somehow fend off the attackers and deliver true justice?

Columbia has made it confusing to know which Asian film is which, thanks to the new titles given to their releases. Jet Li’s High Risk was released as Meltdown and as this film is titled Another Meltdown, you might assume it is a sequel. That is not the case however, as this movie is better known as The Blacksheep Affair and has little to nothing in common with Meltdown, once you get past the new titles involved. I’ve seen this movie a few times before, but it remains a brisk and fun flick to watch, though it is by no means a masterpiece. So Another Meltdown falls in with other Hong Kong B level action pictures, but that isn’t bad news, as the film is still action packed and has some great moments. The fight sequences look cool, but some of the editing choices are questionable, as they make the battles a little hard to follow at times. There is also some gunplay involved, which helps spice up the action from time to time. I really liked the premise in Another Meltdown, which comes off as realistic and well executed, but also excellent for setting up action, tension, and a believable environment. The performances are more than solid, with Man Cheuk Chui (Body Weapon) in the lead role. This movie is fun and worth a look, but Columbia’s disc offers a bland visual treatment and minimal supplements. So if you’re interested, give Another Meltdown a rental, but I can’t recommend this release as a purchase.

Video: How does it look?

Another Meltdown is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The image here is not miserable, but I expected a little from Columbia on this one. I am pleased the treatment is anamorphic, but this doesn’t offer much of an improvement over the Asian releases I’ve seen, which is a real let down. The print is riddled with small nicks and grain, which means visual detail is softened and that gives the visuals a worn texture. The softness impacts the contrast also, so black levels have a brighter, more uneven presence. I found colors to be passable, though never as bright and rich as I would have liked. This is simply a basic, watchable visual effort and it pales in comparison to Hong Kong Legends’ restored version. I won’t ride Columbia out on a rail for this treatment, but Another Meltdown should look better than this.

Audio: How does it sound?

The original Cantonese soundtrack is preserved here, via a Dolby Digital 5.1 option that provides a passable experience. This track proves to be as basic as can be, with no real power and middling use of the surrounds. But in fairness, Asian films have just now started to showcase high level sound design, so the scale has to be slanted somewhat. The surrounds do see some action, but the results are never that impressive. So you’ll hear some directional presence and the action scenes have some extra kick, but don’t expect too much. I was also expecting more bass, but this track is all but devoid of subwoofer presence. The music is solid however, while dialogue is crisp and never suffers from any problems. This disc also includes English and Mandarin language tracks, as well as subtitles in English and Spanish.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes the film’s trailer.

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