Beyond the Reach (Blu-ray Review)

Beyond the ReachA cocky businessman and big-game hunter (Michael Douglas) hires an earnest young guide (Jeremy Irvine) to take him hunting in the Mojave Desert. Far from civilization, the unthinkable happens when another outdoorsman is mistaken for game and accidentally shot. Things take an even worse turn when the guide refuses to be drawn into the dishonest cover-up, and must now run for his life before the hunter – the elements – do him in. 


Beyond the Reach


John Madec (Michael Douglas) has it all. Wealth, an awesome 6×6 Mercedes G83 AMG, and a specialized hunter’s permit to go after some big game out in the Mojave Desert. I don’t hunt or know the trials but as far as I know you can hunt with a specialized permit out in the Mojave but the biggest game you’ll probably find is the of the mountain lion variety. In any event Madec has arrived and meets with the local Sheriff (Ronny Cox) and his soon to be guide/trail master, Ben (Jeremy Irvine).

No expense has been spared on this trip – form the outrageous 6X6 Mercedes tank vehicle, to a custom rifle from Austria, to every other comfort of home Madec is used to. The desert is an unforgiving mistress and Madec and Ben are ready. Ben is the best tracker there is in town but he is feeling down on the dumps, because his girlfriend has left for the big city to go to the University. Ben stayed behind and is having doubts that they relationship will survive. In reality Ben is just really insecure. Madec tries to mentor him but Ben broods for a good long while.

All is going great and on target when Madec accidentally shoots someone that he mistook for an animal. This of course does not sit right with Ben but instead of notifying the proper authorities Madec makes Ben dispose of the body, because it looks like none of Madec’s paperwork was in order to begin with. Madec is a high profile businessman on the verge of selling his company to a Chinese conglomerate that will secure Madec’s legacy for generations to come. He bought himself a hunter’s permit by bribing the Sheriff.

Before long things have really heated up and Ben gets on Madec’s bad side and becomes the new target. Madec pursues Ben through the scorching desert where it climbs to about 120 degrees by noon and where the nights get really cold. If the elements don’t kill Ben first then Madec will. I enjoyed Beyond the Reach for what it was. It was a nice cat and mouse chase of a film featuring Douglas in a juicy bad guy role. The only downside would have to be the ending. We do get to some pretty unbelievable stuff that sort of made me cringe, but that’s how it goes.

We’re in the midst of a heat wave here in Los Angeles and watching the film during the heat wave makes one empathize with the characters and what they’re going through. The film takes place in The Mojave Desert but was shot in New Mexico. The cinematography is gorgeous but I wouldn’t trade places with Ben for all the silver in the world.  Beyond the Reach was written by Stephen Susco (The Grudge, The Grudge 2, Red) and he also executive produced the film. I met Susco years ago at a horror movie scriptwriting workshop and he was the best one of the speakers that they brought in. This was almost 10 years ago, though, but seeing his name in the credits made it that more impressive, because I think Beyond the Reach is one of this better adaptations. In any event – if you want to see Michael Douglas drive a badass vehicle and shoot a badass Austrian custom made hunting rifle then look no further than From Beyond the Reach. 


Beyond the Reach


Encoding: AVC/MPEG-4

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio:  2.40:1

Clarity/Detail: Beyond the Reach looks great! Sharpness and contrast levels look great. I did not notice any boosting, aliasing, or any other anomalies.

Depth: There are some shockingly epic compositions that are meant for Blu-ray. No, this is not a 3-D presentation but it’s the next best thing to being there. You can taste the dirt and the road kill.

Black Levels: Black levels are great – deep and inky and free from any sort of compression artifacts.

Color Reproduction: The color palette is quite colorful – they used a lot of natural lighting. A warm hue casts over the entire aesthetic.

Flesh Tones: Everyone looks nice and natural but get ready to watch Ben get cooked by the heat.

Noise/Artifacts: I did not notice any artifacts or noise while watching the film.

Beyond the Reach



Audio Format(s):  English DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish

Dynamics: Beyond the Reach is presented in lossless 5.1 and the Blu-ray rocks it hard. There are dramatic elements mixed in with some action beats and the audio just bulldozes everything around it without being overkill. If a scene calls for quietness then you’ll get it but if it involves destruction or gunfire then you will get some accurate reproduction.

Low Frequency Extension: The LFE is used quite often during action scenes and during scenes involving that Mercedes 6×6 beast. The lowed bass levels were nice and deep and without distortion.

Surround Sound Presentation: The surround sound presentation on this Blu-ray is great. Not only does the sound field do a great job with the ambiance but also since our main characters are out in the middle of nowhere whenever there’s a gunshot it literally gives a 360 pass through the entire home theater. Not like an echo but like a “whoosh.”

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is crystal clear.

Beyond the Reach


The special features on this Blu-ray are rather light but of quality. We get a nice audio commentary by one of the producers, Michael Douglas himself, and the director of the film. Another cool feature is the featurette showcasing the behemoth that is the Mercedes G83 AMG 6X6. A typical making of featurette rounds out the special features.

  • Audio Commentary with Actor/Producer Michael Douglas, Producer Robert Mitas, and Director Jean-Baptiste Leone
  • “The Making of Beyond the Reach” Featurette (HD)
  • “Six Wheeling: Inside and Outside the Ultimate Ride” Featurette (HD)
  • Digital HD UltraViolet Copy 



Beyond the Reach


I saw the trailer for Beyond the Reach months ago and thought it looked really cool. Michael Douglas as a bad guy? What’s not to love, right? I’m glad to say that the film fired on all fronts for me. It was obviously made on the low-end but you would never know, because the production is outstanding. The Blu-ray itself looks and sounds great. The special features are more than adequate and worth it for Michael Douglas sitting in on the session and I really enjoyed the featurette on the 6X6 vehicle. Beyond the Reach is recommended.




Beyond the Reach is now available on Blu-ray & DVD!






Beyond the Reach


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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