Plot: What’s it about?
On board a cruise vessel on the calm ocean waters, a priceless artifact is stowed away and more than one person plans to take possession of it, before the cruise ends. This Greek artifact is a statue of Artimus and it once belonged to Elgin Bates (Craig Wasson), a wealthy art collector. But when it was taken from him and placed on the cruise vessel, he sent a mercenary on board to recover the statue for him, no matter what that takes. Also interested in the piece is Chloe (Larissa Miller), a young scholar who would hate to see the artifact end up in Bates’ hands. So she and her risk taking husband, John (Rob Lowe) decide to do their best to prevent that from happening. But when Bates’ forces hijack the vessel and use armed force to overtake the ship, things seem to be a little more dangerous than first thought. Now the terrorists have caused the ship to sink, with Chloe and John still trapped on a lower level. Can these two escape this sinking death and manage to recover the priceless piece?
I wasn’t looking forward to viewing this film, as the idea of Rob Lowe leading a made for cable movie just doesn’t spark my interest. So needless to say, my expectations were pretty low and perhaps that’s why I wasn’t too let down here. Now, the film wasn’t that good and I don’t recommend it that highly, but you could do worse with a rental. I doubt I’ll return to the movie again, but I have to say, it was better than I expected, though that isn’t saying too much. The cast includes Rob Lowe and Larissa Miller and while the turns aren’t award caliber, they’re a notch above the usual made for cable levels. I found the writing to be rather simple and unimpressive, but the film has no problems holding your attention, especially when the tense portions arrive. The special effects are nothing to marvel at and the production value is pretty low, but in the end, this one is worth a look. Since the film has little replay value and this disc is rather lame, I think a rental will be sufficient in all cases.
I am unsure if I would entrust an entire film to Rob Lowe, but he seems to be in decent enough form here. But then again, I suppose it doesn’t take much to carry a movie like this one, especially when you’re surrounded by lesser talents. Lowe doesn’t shine or seem better than usual, but he is better than you might expect, especially for a made for cable presentation. Lowe has some potential and can perform when he needs to, so let’s hope he avoids projects like this one in the future. You can also see Lowe in such films as Class, St. Elmo’s Fire, Tommy Boy, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Contact, and Mulholland Falls. The cast here also includes Craig Wasson (Velocity Trap), Harry Van Gorkum (Gone In Sixty Seconds, Batman & Robin), Scott Anthony Viscomi (Going Greek), and Larissa Miller (Halloween: H20).
Video: How does it look?
Escape Under Pressure is presented in full frame form, which is how the film was first shown on television. The image looks about the same as it would on television, though a little sharper for the transition, which is always welcome. The colors seem natural, but bright and I saw no problems in terms of bleeds or flesh tone mishaps. The contrast is a little bright at times, but comes through well in the end with a nice overall detail levels. The main drawback here is the presence of frequent compression flaws, which force me to lower the score somewhat.
Audio: How does it sound?
The included 2.0 surround track is much like you’d expect, it sounds just like it would on television, which is all you can ask. The mix picks up at times, but on the whole, this is a conservative overall package. I found little surround use at all, even in a few sequences where it would have been very welcome. I am unsure if this is a fault with this mix or the material, but I am lowering the score, as this mix should have been more active. The dialogue sound solid though, no volume or clarity issues in the least to discuss. This disc also includes a Spanish mono track and subtitles in English, Spanish, and French.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc contains some talent files, but no other supplements.