54 (Blu-ray Review)

Sex, drugs, and disco is what 54 is all about. 54 was an odd experience for me, particularly due to how the subject material was handled. The film constantly switches it’s tone from incredibly serious to incredibly silly. The film does in fact feature an all-star cast including Mike Myers (Austin Powers), Neve Campbell (Scream), Ryan Phillippe (Flags of Our Fathers), and Salma Hayek (Grown Ups). Does 54 make the cut? Is it as crazy as I’m making it out to be? Read on to find out. 



Ryan Phillippe stars as young Shane, a wannabe partygoer who becomes the new bartender at the controversial club known as 54. This ain’t your average night club, folks. This is basically a prostitution palace run by madman Steve Rubell (Mike Myers), a cocaine addicted psychopath who takes advantage of sexual orientation to reinforce power to his employees. Back at the club, Shane rediscovers his old high school crush (Neve Campbell) and an aspiring singer/occasional whore (Salma Hayek). This young stud soon finds himself the center of attention at the country’s most outrageous night club, Studio 54.

54 felt sort of like a throwback film from the 70s. It had an endless amount of sex, drugs, and fantastically rockin’ disco music tracks that perfectly set the tone of the film’s time set. This film made me want to whip out my walkman from ’99 and start groovin’ and a movin’ with all of these wild partygoers! I have yet to see the film Project X, but this seems like it would be a more retro version, minus the found-footage genre-ridiculousness. Nevertheless, 54 is a party you’ll wish you were at (metaphorically, of course).

Upon initial release, 54 was heavily panned by audiences and critics alike, as it currently holds a 13% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I’d imagine that 54 would gain more of a cult status had it been released in this day in age where technology controls everything and so-called “hipsters” rule the interwebs. Back on topic though, 54 perfectly captures the spirit and craziness of these controversial night clubs. What’s even more fun: most of the film takes place in the night club itself. When people aren’t having relations with one another, snorting cocaine, or beating the living sh*t out of each other, they’re boogying!

As I previously mentioned, 54 has an all-star cast on display, and most of them were able to carry reasonably solid roles throughout (most notably Phillippe), and the only issue I really found was Mike Myers. The dude just can’t play serious. I don’t think I’ve EVER seen Myers carry a serious role (even his Inglorious Basterds cameo was silly) and he should stick to well-written comedies which he has mostly been doing since a little over a decade ago. Not to get completely off-topic, but I do not want to see Myers become the next Eddie Murphy… although they were both in Shrek; has your mind been blown yet? I thought so.

Every film has its flaws, there’s no surprise there, and 54 has a good share of them (yes, even The Dark Knight). The first half of 54 is an incredibly painful experience that I found difficult to get through without bashing my TV. However, the film becomes quite interesting and engaging once it progresses. I don’t necessarily believe that we were meant to totally root for our main character, but some people just can’t help but want this crazy fella to succeed in his sexual misadventures and Ted Mosby-like love life.

54 is not for everyone. It’s outrageous, dirty, and uneven at times, but I can assure you that you will be entertained.


There is no way that this is “true HD”. 54 is presented in the incredibly lackluster 1080p Widescreen 1.85:1. Needless to say, I felt disappointed throughout. Honestly, this just looks like a sloppy job. Lighting is basically screwed up throughout the night club scenes, and interfere with on-screen situations. Flesh tones are maybe too light and are difficult to view at the normal watching distance (10ft or so, if I can recall). There is a dark scene in Shane’s parents house that was poorly handled due to the way it was shot; sloppily. Had it been converted to “true HD”, this would have been a much better presentation.


54 features a good audio track – it’s presented in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, which suits the film just fine. The soundtrack is what makes the film sound good. Mixing 70’s disco music with early 80’s pop music is certainly wonderful to hear on several of my surround sound speakers. Retro tones are wonderful and sure do brighten the overall mood of the film. My only complaint is that dialogue sounds might be a bit grainy at times, but nothing too bad. Nothing too mediocre here!

Special Features

Are you kidding me? 54 features one special feature, along with some trailers. Unacceptable.


– Music Video
– Theatrical Trailers



54 is a worthwhile film. I don’t sympathize with all of the negativity that surrounds it, though. I found it to be quite interesting and entertaining for the most part. While I thought the film could’ve benefited from a better cast member (not to name names… Myers) and a better Blu-ray presentation, 54 is an okay film to add to the good old collection.



Order 54 on Blu-ray!



1 Response to “54 (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    Movies that time forgot…because they suck.