Anchor Bay // 2012 // 90 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Gordon Sullivan // July 25th, 2012
Flying has never been so dangerous...
I don't watch professional wrestling, but I do have respect for the performers. Whether every moment is faked or not is immaterial. Those guys are built and their moves require athletic skill and the same kind of timing that other performers (like clowns) also need. That makes them perfectly suited to action roles in films that require muscle, presence, and not too much talking. This is why they pop up so much as the sidekick or the partner in lower-budget action flicks. They bring in a sizeable audience of fans, and their talents can be used to greater effect. When professional wrestlers star in films, however, things tend to not go so well. Though by and large they offer an imposing physical presence, most of them are hard to take seriously once they have to utter more than a line or two. This is precisely the problem faced by Hijacked, a generic action flick that isn't helped one bit by Randy Couture's limp performance.
Paul Ross (Randy Couture, The Expendables) is a CIA operative tracking a nasty criminal organization. This same organization hijacks a plane that happens to have Ross' former flame on board. Naturally, he has hitched a ride and must take out the terrorists before they kill everyone on board.
Investigator stopping a criminal organization? Check! Former flame being held hostage? Check! An enclosed space in which to hold said hostage? Check! If only I was talking about a Die Hard movie. Sadly, I'm not. That should give you a pretty good idea of just how generic Hijacked really is.
Let's get the obvious out of the way: Randy Couture is in no way capable of leading a movie at this point in his career. He's not believable as a CIA agent, his line readings go from wooden to tragic, and his physical presence isn't enough to overcome these faults.
If, however, Couture were starring in a film that was otherwise competent, he might be okay. Sadly, he's not. There's a reason that pretty much every plane-hijacking film takes place on a 747 or otherwise large plane. Not so much with Hijacked, as the bad guys take over a private jet. Now, it's not a Piper Cub or anything as ridiculous as that, but it is small enough to make the plot utterly laughable. Basically, because the plane isn't huge, the bad guys are tragically few in number and, for some reason, Mr. Ross can't stomach killing them. So, Ross takes out a bad guy, bad guy reappears, repeat ad nauseum for the last half of the film. And that's after it takes the film almost 40 minutes to even get to the hijacking of the title.
Even these failings could be redeemed if Hijacked offered acceptable levels of action through the 90 minutes. Fans will forgive a lot of bad acting and stupid plot points as long as fights and explosions happen on a regular enough schedule. They do happen pretty regularly here, but the quality is so middling that they simply don't satisfy.
The unremarkable nature of the film is ported over to this so-so Blu-ray release. The 1.78:1 AVC-encoded transfer is fine for the most part. The image looks a little too digital, and shadow detail is poorly handled, but otherwise the film looks okay. The Dolby TrueHD track is poorly mixed, however, with dialogue and action at drastically different volumes. Both sound great, but this is a film that needs to be watched with remote securely in hand. The film's lone extra is a DVD copy of the film.
Perhaps I'm expecting too much of Hijacked. It is, after all, a direct-to-video actioner starring a professional wrestler. In the film's defense, Couture fans will probably enjoy at least some of his performance. Also, the rest of the cast is filled out by decent actors, even if the characters they play were written as morons. If there's nothing else on, you could probably do worse than Hijacked, but that's the closest I can come to a recommendation.
Even fans of professional wrestling and its offshoot action films will have trouble with the lame plot and lackluster action of Hijacked. Even the so-so look of the film and its almost-total lack of extras show just how little anyone thinks of the flick. If it's on your must-see list for some reason, this disc would be okay for a rental.
Dangerous or not, you should fly away from this flick. Guilty.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Anchor Bay
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* TrueHD 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* DVD Copy