The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 1996
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 100 Minutes
Genre: Crime thriller/Action
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English/French Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Thai 5.1, Spanish/Portuguese Dolby Surround
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish, French, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Indonesian, Arabic, Dutch
Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Natasha Henstridge, Paul Ben-Victor, Stephane Audran, Frank Senger, Zack Grenier
Directed by: Ringo Lam
Music by: Robert Folk
Written by: Larry Ferguson
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 12, 2008
"The other side of safety"
Prepare for Maximum Van Dammage when action superstar Jean-Claude Van Damme is joined by sexy newcomer Natasha Henstridge (Species) in their most explosive roles yet! Alain Moreau's (Van Damme) investigation into the death of his identical twin brother leads him from the beauty of the south of France to the mean streets of New York City and into the arms of his brother's beautiful girlfriend (Henstridge). Pursued by ruthless Russian mobsters and renegade FBI agents, the duo race against time to solve his brother's murder and expose an international conspiracy.
I can remember a time when Jean-Claude Van Damme was all the rage in action films. I saw a few of them but quite honestly never really found him all that appealing. Maximum risk came along later in his career but at a point when he was still popular enough to be a box office draw. The story wasn't bad and I thought that the screenplay stayed on point which kept things moving along. Van Damme is not much of an actor but he did the best he could which kept him within his limits and those of the character. I chuckled when I saw the actors who portrayed the villains (Zach Grenier, Paul Ben-Victor, and Frank Zenger). The first two are character actors who have been in quite a few films and always seem to end up on the wrong side of the good guys (especially in Ben-Victor's case). I have seen Frank Zenger in two films, Leon (The Professional), and The Fifth Element. In both cases he got disrespected big time. Anyway, not a big deal, but I found it hard at times to take them seriously here. Natasha Henstridge is attractive and plays well in her role. To me this felt like a movie that you might see as part of a triple feature at the drive-in. It wasn't particularly bad or good but just okay. It features Van Damme in several hand to hand combat fight sequences, one of which takes place in a steam room, where he is wearing only a towel (imagine that!). The dialogue, action sequences, and clothing felt dated even though the film is not really that old. I did appreciate the fact that this did have a story that contained elements of a dramatic nature in addition to its action/thriller based roots. I think that Van Damme fans will appreciate this more than others.
The rating is for strong violence, sexuality/brief nudity, and language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Maximum Risk comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio with an average bitrate of 1.5 mbps.
This represents another solid audio/video Blu-ray catalog release title from Sony.
The video transfer yielded solid detail with crisp highlights and good dimensional depth. Edge enhancement was kept to a minimum with edge halos being noticeable only on occasion. Colors were rendered cleanly with natural tones and ample saturation. Shadow detail was above average and black levels were respectable. The surround mix was active and blended the discrete and ambient detail contained in the soundtrack very well. This created a fairly immersive atmosphere that had good dynamic quality with clearly discernible dialogue and sound effects. Low frequencies had enough kick to keep my subwoofer pumping although I noticed that the quality of the bass was lacking a bit in tightness and deeper extension. I thought that overall this was a very decent and well balanced audio/video presentation.
The only bonus supplements offered is the theatrical trailer. The disc case indicates that Maximum risk is BD-Live enabled.
- (HD) Theatrical Trailer
Maximum risk is a film whose title most can recall but can never seem to remember what it was about. It feels a bit dated and does not feature an all star cast but that shouldn't be held against it. I have not seen a lot of Van Damme films but I think this is one of his better performances. Sony has delivered it to Blu-ray Disc featuring audio/video quality that is quite good for a 12 year old catalog release title. The lack of bonus content will be disappointing to its fans but this surely trumps any previous home version of the film from a technical perspective.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS1x 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BD30 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Marantz DV7001 Universal Disc Player
Denon AVR 5308CI THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Outlaw Audio Model 7700 seven channel amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 seven Channel amplifier
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package