Cleanskin (UK - BD RB)
Marcus brings the spot lotion to Bean but finds out this is about terrorism...
Ewan (Sean Bean) is a Secret Service agent. After a shooting and the theft of a briefcase full of semtex, a bomb goes off in London and Ewan's agency face an uncertain future under government reshuffles and investigations. Ewan is given the mission to find the terrorists and take them out, so any connection the agency may have to the stolen semtex is removed.
Sean Bean is all over the Blu-ray cover but really this is two stories. Bean is the hard ass agent out to stop the terrorists and on the other side of the fence we have Ash (Abhin Galeya) the guy behind the bombings and via flashbacks we gain a larger understanding of his motivations and radical actions.
The film hovers between being a gritty thriller and a well made TV drama. This could easily fit in split across two nights on ITV or something like that and is very much the sort of angle British TV drama takes of late. With that said, Cleanskin has a more filmic feel whenever Sean Bean get's brutal. His character doesn't mess about and gets straight to the point when it comes to interrogation or fighting. I could easily see Bean slipping into Liam Neeson's shoes in a few years, taking on the grittier action roles while providing a solid performance in amongst the head smashing and flying bullets.
Cleanskin had moments where it really had me but the scenes between those moments felt formulaic and quite typical of the ever growing terrorism thriller catalogue. I liked a lot of the steps the film took but I found myself thinking about other, better films covering the same ground a lot of the time.
The gritty subject matter is presented with a fairly gritty transfer. Edges feel rather soft, detail never quite as consistent as I'd like and there are moments where this can feel like a standard definition presentation that's had it's colours boosted.
There are moments where the HD-ness shows off. Textures on Bean's bearded jaw and certain lighting in sets make for some nice 1080p goodness but then one of the many News reports will be shown within the film, all of which are beautifully clean, sharp and modern looking and then we cut back to the film and the comparison feels somewhat lacking.
The audio presentation is pretty standard. There's a few clever tricks with volume increases within the ambient elements of a scene but generally it's all clear dialogue, a generic bit of thriller score and some bass boosted bass. The dynamics never really show off all that much, keeping each element of the mix assigned to their own speaker and beyond the odd gunshot and explosion, Cleanskin never really lifts itself into a full cinematic sounding thriller.
Two TV spots and the trailer. That's all we get here.
Cleanskin has a good story to tell but the terrorist pursuit story has been done so much of late that the plot ends up feeling a little routine. Bean's elements are quite a good showcase of what the actor could be doing in other films as he does the brooding bad ass very well here. I liked how this all played but as a whole beyond that and some good performances all round Cleanskin ends up being sort of forgettable. The disc itself has an okay presentation in both Video and Audio departments but nothing to get all that excited about and the total lack of extras makes this one more a rental consideration for Sean Bean fans than as opposed to a blind buy.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 2nd July 2012
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English
Easter Egg: No
Director: Hadi Hajaig
Cast: Sean Bean, Abhin Galeya, Charlotte Rampling, Peter Polycarpou, Tuppence Middleton, Tom Burke, Sam Douglas, Michelle Ryan
Genre: Crime, Drama and Thriller
Length: 107 minutes
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