Plot: What’s it about?
In a somewhat nostalgic effort, the U.S.S. Britannica is extending the chance to cross the Atlantic and take in all the sights along the way. Of course people flock to be included and the event attracts some of the richest and most favored folks in the world, which is bound to mean some unsavory characters will show up as well. Josef (Ice-T) leads a team of terrorists on board the ship and once the trip is underway, they plan to take control and rob the patrons of their goods, as well as make some steep demands. If the authorities or people on board refuse to cooperate then the terrorists will sink the ship, leaving this pleasure cruise on the ocean’s floor. Once the terrorists have made their play and rounded everyone up, it seems as if their scheme might work. But one man has eluded them and remains a loose end roaming around the ship. This man is Aaron Carpenter (Dylan Walsh) a security officer for one of the wealthy passengers and he is dead set on spoiling the plans of the terrorists. With the terrorists growing impatient and the ship taking on water due to a stray bullet, can Aaron manage to foil the plans before time runs out?
This is another low budget film release from Artisan and I have to say this one is so bad, you’ll be laughing all night. If you’ve seen similar films such as Stealth Fighter or Judgment Day and liked them, then this will be right up your alley. I like these movies if for other no reason than they’re humorous to watch and find mistakes, which can be very entertaining. This is about as renegade a movie as you can make, as you can tell these guys were rushed and without a permit to shoot in some locations. So yes this movie is bad and made on a shoestring budget, but that doesn’t mean you should just pass this disc by at the rental counter. If you’re into low budget stuff this would be a terrific choice and I think the disc is worth renting just to listen to the commentary track, which is hilarious in every sense of the word. If you think about how little cash and resources this team had when making this movie, you’ll agree things didn’t turn out as bad as they could have. I recommend this release as a rental to low budget film fans and those looking for some Mystery Science Theater 3000 fodder, but if you want to purchase this title Artisan has issued a nice disc, so don’t hesitate.
This film was directed by Jim Wynorski (credited as Jay Andrews), who has a resume loaded with low budget movies some of which have achieved a level of cult classic status. I doubt Wynorski will win any awards for any of his films, but he does deliver a solid and acceptable picture here when you consider what he was given to work with. The faults with this film reside with the production values, not Wynorski’s directing and perhaps if he were given a bigger budget he could have scored an impressive flick from this material. I’d be interested to see some of the film’s detractors take the same resources and make a better film, which I doubt they could do. If you want to see more of Wynorski’s movies I recommend Chopping Mall, The Bare Wench Project, Sorority House Massacre II, Dinosaur Island, and Stealth Fighter. The cast in this film is decent, but then again with the circumstances and presumably low paychecks you can’t expect much more from them. Ice-T (The Wrecking Crew, Urban Menace) returns in what has to be his millionth low budget movie in the last year and current low budget staple Erika Eleniak (Chasers, Under Siege) also makes her presence felt. The rest of the cast includes Dylan Walsh (Congo, Chapter Zero), Claudia Christian (The Chase, The Hidden), Rick Ducommun (The ‘Burbs, Scary Movie), and Jonathan Fuller (Castle Freak, Last Man Standing).
Video: How does it look?
Final Voyage is presented in a 1.33:1 or full frame transfer, which seems to be an acceptable aspect ratio since I noticed no pan & scan or image loss. The colors look bright and error free and flesh tones appear natural and consistent as well. The contrast is usually solid with accurate shadow depth and good detail, but sometimes the shadows become too dark. The source print seems in good shape and I noticed only minor compression hiccups.
Audio: How does it sound?
This release contains a Dolby Digital 5.1 track which offers a solid experience, but never really packs much of a punch. This movie has some gunshots and the like and I expected some surround power to kick in, but it never really does. Even when stuff begins to explode the surrounds are almost silent, which is not cool. While the surround never really wake up the track is still acceptable as the elements seem present and clear at all times. The dialogue is crisp and shows no signs of error at all I could locate. This track is good, but more surround use would have been welcome.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This release contains a hilarious audio commentary with director Jim Wynorski and actor Claudia Christian, in which the two pick their own movie apart and poke fun at the sequences which turned out poorly. This is a fresh and entertaining commentary and perhaps more less than stellar films should have tracks more along these lines. You’ll also find talent files and a trailer on the disc and some words from the director inside the insert booklet.