Randy Couture (The Expendables, The Expendables 2), Vinnie Jones (Snatch, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels) , and Dominic Purcell (Killer Elite, Prison Break) star in this high octane thriller that takes place 30,000 feet in the air on a, pardon the pun, hijacked plane. Make no mistake, this is a DTV film that hopes to set the world on fire with chills, thrills, and kills. Will it succeed or will it bomb? That’s what we’re here to find out. I like these guys, so let’s see how the film stands up to scrutiny from a keen eye. The no-smoking light is now on, passengers please fasten your seat belts, and don’t call the flight attendants “stewardesses.” Let’s do this thing of ours.
Paul Ross (Randy Couture) is a government agent on the heels of a powerful crime syndicate called “The Tribe.” The Tribe has their hands in everything – even politics. They take over the plane that houses (yes, houses; you should see this thing) a powerful and rich industrialist and demand the some of 2.73 billion dollars or they’ll crash the plane with everyone on board. Sounds cool, right? Sort of. Vinnie Jones makes an appearance as Ross’s fellow government agent slash partner. Dominic Purcell rocking a badass porno-stache also makes an appearance as a different agent who is on board the jetliner for added security. Seriously, with a cast of cool people like this that I actually like what can go wrong?
Everything. Everything can and does go wrong, which sucks, because now I have to write up this review telling you why you shouldn’t see Hijacked on Blu-ray. I’m always up for DTV (direct-to-video) features on Blu-ray, and I have found some gems, but Hijacked is all kinds of lame. I’m going to go down a list, in no particular order, as to what’s wrong with the film. Ready? Go!
The opening credits. When the film companies that have financed the film’s logos look like they were just copied and pasted from MS Paint, you’re in trouble. First impressions are everything, but when their corporate film logos appeared on screen, I actually gasped. Then the opening credits began rolling and I noticed the beautiful stock footage of Europe and wondered why the footage looked like I was watching a soap opera. Yeah, it’s one of those. It looks like it was shot in the PAL format.
During some of the gunfire the weapons used didn’t even fire real blanks, because it was all CGI gun fire and CGI blood and CGI gunshots that looked atrocious. I’ve seen Robert Rodriguez pull off the same exact thing, but he does it flawlessly and whoever directed this did not.
Oh, so back to another story point, Ross’s ex-fiance is on board the plane, as well. No, not because it’s lame luck, but because she got a job working directly for the rich industrialist on board the plane. By the way, the plane is also owned by the rich industrialist. *I just want to see how many times I can write in “rich industrialist” in a review.
I understand that Couture wants to branch out on his own after having been in some cool films as of late, but he’s not ready to headline films just yet. He needs to remain a supporting character until he builds up his chops a bit more. As for Vinnie Jones and Dominic Purcell, I still like those cats, but a paycheck is a paycheck, so I can’t really blame them for participating in this piece of crap film.
I’d have to say that the best part of the film was when it ended. No, actually, the Blu-ray cover art is pretty cool looking. That’s pretty much it.
Hijacked is presented in 1080p, 1.78:1, widescreen. I’ll go on record and say that I am being ultra generous on the video quality. I don’t know what cameras were used, but the film has an almost soap opera look to it. I thought I was watching a soap on television. This is extremely evident in the first 20 minutes, but by the time we’re on the plane, it’s not quite as evident anymore. I don’t know if those were eyes adjusting to it or if cheaper equipment was used to film those particular scenes. Black levels are somewhat deep, but they do crush. Contrast levels are severely boosted and colors are pumped up way too much. Check out colors during the many firefights. I don’t think the guns even had blanks, because the gunfire is this ridiculously gold looking mess that is very distracting. Not to mention the burgundy colored digital squibs. Textures were okay as were facial details. DNR levels were garbage, though. They did slather it on during scenes of obvious CGI and stock footage. Anyways…
Hijacked is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1. The soundtrack is the best thing about the film – I’ll say that right now. The film sucked as a whole, the video was mediocre, and the extras are non-existent, but the sound quality was not bad at all. Dialogue is clear, crisp, and centered. The center channel handled most of the dialogue without problems, and when the shit started to hit the fan, the rest of the surround sound field jumped in to take care of the rest. The LFE channel ain’t no slouch neither. It’s a very hefty lossless track that does the format justice, but too bad about the rest.
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Boo.
Hijacked is a mess from the opening logos, credits, beginning, middle, and end. It sucks, because like these cats in just about everything else that they’ve been in, so I’m quite confused as to why they would agree to be in this dribble. Considering the lame production values and stock footage used as European back drops, it could not have been the money. The video is a bit problematic, but the sound rocks. The lack of any special whatsoever really brings down the score several notches. The film is just a mess all the way around. I like Purcell’s mustache, though. Cue the porn music.
Order Hijacked on Blu-ray!