Case Number 16981


Fox // 2009 // 89 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // August 7th, 2009

The Charge

Prepare yourself for the truth.

Opening Statement

The final chapter of Prison Break receives the Blu-ray treatment. The good news? If you're a fan of the show, you'll be satisfied. The bad news? LJ is still missing and we have no information as to his whereabouts.

Facts of the Case

The series finale of Prison Break left a major gap in the timeline, the story shifting several years ahead in the final few minutes, revealing the gravestone of a major character. How did this person end up buying the farm? That is the story this straight-to-home-video feature film is going to tell, as well as coughing up another breakin'-outta-prizzle-foshizzle scenario, which (obviously) the series is best known for.

With Michael (Wentworth Miller, Law & Order: SVU) forced to watch his lady love Sarah incarcerated in a hardcore Florida women's prison and the douchebags from The Company out to kill her, he'll be forced to reteam with his loser brother (Dominic Purcell, Primeval) and the other Prison Break miscreants to come up with a way to get her out and into a non-extraditing country. Meanwhile, nosebleeds!

The Evidence

I've already blown my review wad with the opening statement. The easiest way to gauge if you're going to enjoy this movie is to ask yourself: "Did I enjoy the TV series?" Fans will have a solid, characteristically goofy slice of prison-breaking action to dine on, featuring all the good (Michael's scheming, Mahone's hair, Lincoln's outright hatred for the top two shirt buttons) and the bad (double-crosses you'll see a mile-away unless they don't make sense which they usually don't, poorly contrived decision-making from characters who should know better, Mahone's hair) you've come to expect from this bi-polar series.

My Prison Break spiritual journey began with genuine enthusiasm from the stellar first season, head-hurting sensory overload from the frantic follow-up, a newly formed interest in the fairly cool third outing, and general confusion and exhaustion from the final season. In short, by the time this series wrapped, I was more than happy to bid it farewell, really only tuning into the home stretch because I had made it this far.

It's the same with The Final Break. I wasn't necessarily clamoring for another 90 minutes worth of this stuff, but the investments had been so substantial, I had to power through the final hour and a half of Michael and Linc's antics. Actually, I didn't mind it. The lukewarm Prison Break fanboy still lurking within had a nice time with the send-off. Though the actual break-out wasn't as cool and intricate as the plots that preceded it (which of course had full seasons to dwell on the set-up and execution), it was good enough and who doesn't like a women's prison venue? The peripheral conspiracy stuff took a backseat (thankfully), as the motivation to cap Sara was straight-up hard feelings. There was no talk of Scylla, Don Self, or the other cerebellum-nuking plot devices I've successfully purged from my consciousness. The big question of so-and-so's fate is also resolved nicely (and surprisingly poignantly) in the very last scene, though how so-and-so shuffles loose the mortal coil resided primarily on the fact that heavy duty rubber gloves were not packed ahead of time.

But let us not dwell on the shortcomings. Prison Break and its assorted TV episodes and movies is not a work of art built for hard thought; it's a rollercoaster ride designed to keep you coming back over and over no matter how ridiculous the storylines get. Using that calculus, The Final Break is a success.

So too is the Blu-ray, that is if extras aren't your bag. The video quality (1.78:1, 1080p) is rock solid, eclipsing the fidelity found in the broadcast HD version of the show, which I thought was top notch. This isn't a particularly dark series (that women's prison is sparkling clean!), giving the HD treatment plenty of room to shine, pushing out strong, detailed resolution and robust colors from start to finish. The bombastic score gets a nice kick in the pants from the clean DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix. Deleted scenes are the only extras and that's disappointing.

Closing Statement

Worth a look for followers of these guys' exploits. Non-fans would be hopelessly lost anyway. The Blu-ray look and sounds great, but flunks in the bonus materials.

The Verdict

Not Guilty, but be warned: I'm really and truly done with this series now, for real. I mean it, fellas.

Review content copyright © 2009 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Video: 90
Audio: 90
Extras: 60
Acting: 80
Story: 80
Judgment: 82

Perp Profile
Studio: Fox
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)

Audio Formats:
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)

* English (SDH)
* Cantonese
* French
* Korean
* Mandarin
* Portuguese
* Spanish
* Thai

Running Time: 89 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Deleted Scenes

* IMDb