January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Although Capt. Scott Broughton (Matt McCoy) and his crew of Army Rangers have an impeccable record, it seems as though some people just don’t like them. Broughton and some of his men just helped to bring an Arab bomber to justice, but one of the agents (Glenn Plummer) was turned on in the course of the mission. Now Broughton wants to discover how deep the traitors are in the system, as well as how many others could be within their midst. But they’ll need some help if they want the inside scoop, which is where a crafty senator (Corbin Bersen) comes in, as he can give them some support when they need it. So the Rangers have to battle their usual enemies, as well as the ever present threat of internal betrayal, which makes it that much harder to deal with. But as a team of terrorists come to free the captured bomber, they will need all the strength they have to stand a chance.

This is an old school style action flick, made on a minimal budget and on a short schedule, so adjust your expectations as needed. Some folks like that kind of flick and others hate them, so unless you’re into these low profile action pics, then keep on truckin’ to another review. If you do like these lot however, Rangers is a solid installment and even with more corners cut than you can believe, it delivers some decent action thrills. The lack of resources is obvious of course, but veteran director Jim Wynorski (credited as Jay Andrews) covers up when he can, including a couple scenes pulled straight from another film’s reels. But the action is well presented and turns out better than you’d expect, which means junkies will find a decent fix with this release. The cast is headed up by Corbin Bernsen and also includes Glenn Plummer, Matt McCoy, and Rene Rivera, so you know this was made on the rush and looking for decent, lower level names. I can’t say that Rangers is a great, or even good movie, but if you’re a sucker for action flicks, it is more than worth a rental, so give it a shot and see what happens.

Who better to steer this low budget bonanza than Jim Wynorski, veteran shoestring finance filmmaker? As he often does, Wynorski has used a different name here and it is Jay Andrews, which he has directed a few movies under the guise of. Wynorski’s career is filled with these rushed, low resource pictures, but I think that is an artform, as he creates something from very little, which is not common in the higher profile circles of cinema. So while his flicks lack the shine and luster of bigger budget movies, he does a lot with the available funds and that shows, especially when compared to other films of the same levels. In other words, he might not have much, but he knows how to use it and that’s what counts. Other films directed by Wynorski include The Bare Wench Project, Dinosaur Island, The Pandora Project, Ghoulies IV, Chopping Mall, Final Voyage, Desert Thunder, and Stealth Fighter. The cast of Rangers includes Corbin Bernsen (Major League, Hello Again), Glenn Plummer (Showgirls, The Substitute), Rene Rivera (Carlito’s Way, Basquiat), and Matt McCoy (L.A. Confidential, The Hand That Rocks The Cradle).

Video: How does it look?

Rangers is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. As expected, Fox delivers a more than solid visual presentation, but the low budget nature of the flick prevents a pristine transfer here. You can see grain, edge enhancement, and print debris at times, but in the end, Fox has ensured a more than acceptable image here, much better than expected. The colors have a natural, but sometimes bright presence and flesh tones seem normal, no errors there at all. Aside from the scenes with grain, the contrast is also up to task and that means a good level of detail, which is always nice. As I said, this one was doomed from the start due to the lack of resources, but Fox has handled it with care and made sure it looked good for this disc.

Audio: How does it sound?

This is an action movie and this disc has a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, but don’t expect an explosive experience out of this one. Again, the limits of the resources become evident, as the surrounds are used mostly for musical score and a few impact effects, as opposed to an immersive atmosphere, which is what we’ve come to expected from this genre. But taking all of the circumstances into perspective, this track sounds decent and if a little hollow at times, due again to the source materials, so no real demerits there. The dialogue is clean and always easy to understand also, which leaves me to score this one well. Not the best track I’ve heard, but good enough, given the materials the mix was created from. This disc also includes a 2.0 surround track, as well as English & Spanish subtitles.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes some talent files and the film’s trailer, as well as an excellent audio commentary track. The track features director Jim Wynorski (credited as Jay Andrews) and actor Matt McCoy, who have a lot of fun here and reveal much about how the film was created. Wynorski seems open as usual, giving away all sorts of dirt on the production, such as scenes that were used from other films, as well as hilarious anecdotes. McCoy also chimes in at times, which adds some variety to the track also. All in all, an excellent commentary session and anyone who likes low budget action movies need to hear this, as well as any other Wynorski commentary tracks.

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