Plot: What’s it about?
Tim Kearney (Paul Walker) is a former military man who landed on the wrong side of the law, so now he is in prison. His incarceration is bad enough, but he has made enemies inside the walls that want to do him harm. A group of bikers have marked him for death, so if prison doesn’t kill him, this is sure to end his days. But he has been given a chance to save himself, as DEA agent Gruzsa (Laurence Fishburne) has need of his assistance. Kearney happens to be a dead on match for a deceased drug lord, so Gruzsa plans to have him impersonate him and gain access to his empire. The choice seems simple to Kearney and once he is in, the wealth and power begin to take hold on him. But his new life comes at a price, as he has the same enemies as the drug lords, so can he survive, or did he dodge one bullet only to walk into another?
I am not a fan of Paul Walker, his presence in a movie is a sure sign for me to pass it up. But Bobby Z seemed to have some potential, so I took the chance. As I expected, Walker is his usual wooden self, but at least he isn’t the sole reason this movie sinks like a stone. The cover artwork sells Bobby Z as an action movie with a thriller edge, but this makes no sense, since the film has no thrills and very little action. The action isn’t bad and is the lone highlight of the experience, but the scenes are rare and when they do appear, they’re rather brief. Walker is terrible, as usual, but even Laurence Fishburne can’t do much with this material, so you can’t blame the cast. The story is good, but poorly executed and in the right hands, this could have been so much better. As it stands however, I can’t recommend Bobby Z, even as a rental.
Video: How does it look?
Bobby Z is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. The visual scheme here is not slick or high shine, the filmmakers chose a more natural, gritty presence. So this won’t be as glossy as some transfers, but then again, it shouldn’t be. The visual design enforces a kind of rough feel, which adds to the realism and natural environment. A few minor issues surface at times, but they are indeed minor and on the whole, this transfer gives us little reason to complain.
Audio: How does it sound?
The audio here has some moments of spark, but most of the time, this Dolby Digital 5.1 track remains rather dormant. The action sequences and a few of the more frenetic moments allow the surrounds to open up, but on the whole, this film has no need for powerful audio and by turn, you can’t fault this track for that. The music sounds good however, while dialogue is clean and always in proper balance, so no vocals are lost here. This is not a memorable audio experience, but the material is well covered and as such, I see no reason for complaints. This disc also includes a French language track, as well as subtitles in English, French, and Spanish.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes a brief behind the scenes featurette.