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Featured Blu-ray Review: Drop Zone

February 6th, 2010

Drop Zone - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon

By some weird coincidence, there were two skydiving movies released in 1994: Terminal Velocity and Drop Zone. Neither earned good reviews and neither did well at the box office. Drop Zone did a little better in both categories, but it is enough to make it worth checking out?

Wesley Snipes and Malcolm-Jamal Warner are Pete and Terry, brothers and U.S. Marshals. At the beginning of the movie, they are escorting a prisoner, Earl Leedy, who is a computer expert who was working for the Triads to help them hide money from the Feds. While flying at 38 thousand feet, a group of terrorists, led by Ty Moncrief, hijack the plane, a fire fight starts, Terry is killed and Pete is blamed and suspended. He believes that this was not a terrorist attack, but an attempt to break Leedy out of prison. And he has some compelling evidence. For instance, the only bodies burnt beyond recognition are those of Leedy and the terrorists, but the FBI refuses to even investigate. Going out on his own, he learns that there are only a couple of people in the world skilled or crazy enough to try a stunt like that, Jessie Crossman being one of them. Now it is up to him, and Jessie, to unravel the plot.

This movie can be judged as two parts: The Action Scenes and Everything Else. Clearly the former took precedence over the latter, but there's still a major weakness in these scenes. Namely, there are three scenes in which someone without a parachute is falling from a plane and is then rescued. No, this is not really a spoiler, as you know this was going to happen. However, as thrilling as it might have been the first time we saw this, by the third time around, it has lost its edge. For that matter, the skydiving in general seems a little too repetitive. As for, "Everything Else"... there's little to recommend here. The plot is overly complicated and likely wouldn't hold up to scrutiny, if the viewer even bothered to pay attention to it. The tension never builds enough to make the stunt work shine. While the attempts at humor fall flat too often.

There are no real extras on this Blu-ray. You can set bookmarks and there's the theatrical trailer, but that's it. As for its technical specs, it is better than expected both in terms of video and audio. It looks great and there's good use of surround speakers, especially in the action scenes. This is not a disc you will pop into your machine to show off your home theater system, but I don't think anyone was expecting that.

The Verdict

As an action movie, one expects the stunt work in Drop Zone to be more important than the plot. This is true. However, the stunt work here is a little too repetitive and the rest of the movie is inconsequential to work even in this limited regard. It isn't a total waste and for fans of the genre it makes an acceptable Saturday afternoon rental, but without any value-added extras, that's as far as I can go with my recommendation.

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