Interceptor, The (UK - DVD R2)
Marcus thinks they should have called this movie 'Bourne with the Force'...
Matvey Sobolev (Igor Petrenko) falls from the sky as the plane he was on board blows up, destroying the weapons he was trying to stop the spread of. Miraculously recovering from his injuries, Matvey is determined as the last hope in a hidden war between good and evil. The evil being led by arms dealer Georgiy Kurylo (Aleksandr Baluyev, who also seems to have some sort of demon in his brain).
After saving a reporter and showing off his mad fighting skills, Matvey is inducted into mysterious organisation 'Stop Crime' (mysterious doesn’t really do it justice) and begins learning how to use 'the Force' (no, not that force, another force), leading him toward the final showdown with the menacing Kurylo.
I know, I know, that brief synopsis sounds mental right? Well, it’s not half as mental as The Interceptor (or its Russian title Zapreshchennaya Realnost) actually is (I mean look at these screen grabs, do they even look like they are all from the same film??). The best way to describe it is to say that it’s a Bourne movie via the Matrix by way of a crazy ass sci-fi flick. And I say crazy, because the sci-fi element here is so ridiculously sci-fi that it should come with its own fan club.
The juxtaposition of pretty nifty hand to hand combat and car chases in the real world with and the sparse weirdness of the other world shouldn’t work. In fact, the visuals of our leather jacketed hero talking to a chick in a purple robe while she strokes a CGI crystal lion still sounds weird to me after seeing the movie and sort of understanding what was going on.
Despite feeling a little weirded out by the movie as a whole, I still found it pretty entertaining. Some of the action and stunts were pretty well orchestrated (even if the car chase looked like a Top Gear car test), the story is straight forward enough not to be turned off by, despite its mish mash of genres (though ask me to fill in the small details and I’ll draw a blank) and even with a lead character I really knew nothing about beyond the simple fact he can kick ass pretty well, I still enjoyed the simplicity of the performance.
It feels like my last batch of reviews have been about sticking a boot into the ever decreasing quality of DVD when compared to HD. Well, with The Interceptor, I’m reminded that there might be life in the old format yet.
This transfer is super impressive and despite knowing full well it would shine even brighter in HD, the quality here does plenty to impress. The cool metallic palette to the entire movie lends itself to a fine looking and very clean transfer. Everything feels crisp and there’s even a fine level of texture and detail to skin tones and fabrics and with some seriously deep black levels no scenes really let the transfer down.
One iffy side note is that the closing scenes seem to be filmed in 3D. This isn’t really specified but the image (when drowned in CGI organic tentacle type things swooping at our lead) has that dual image 3D effect and the scene is certainly orchestrated to take advantage of the technique. It’s hard to tell as TV 3D rarely works well anyway but I’m pretty sure the brief scene needs the red and blue glasses.
The style of the movie isn’t quite as sharp as the transfer and can feel quite amateur in places (especially the CGI work) but the director’s approach to fast, kinetic cuts, mixed with slow lavish reveals and explosions makes for a varied and thoroughly impressive transfer.
Backing up the strong transfer, the Dolby Digital 5.1 track does plenty to ramp up the visuals. Using mainly strong bass, adding power to every explosion or punch (oh, and there are loads of explosions—every car goes boom after getting even mildly scuffed) the track kicks a whole lot of ass without being all that subtle about it
The techno style music used in places spreads nicely across the speakers, with blips and beats having space all their own in the track and even though the impact sound effects from the many, many punches and kicks don’t quite feel natural in the scenes, they are all fairly strong and effective.
The only extra on the disc is the trailer (02:06) and watching that even after seeing the movie, I’m not sure who they were trying to appeal to.
The Interceptor has a lot going for it, with some well put together action sequences, some anime inspired demonic elements and a short run time to ensure that the weirdness and lack of any real detail regarding the story doesn’t become a grind.
There are no extras beyond the film's weird trailer but anyone giving this Russian sci-fi flick a chance should be more than won over with the transfer and pretty meaty audio track. It’s certainly not a blind buy sort of a purchase, but this is probably bat shit crazy enough to round up a bit of a fanbase.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 22nd February 2010
Disc Type: Single side, dual layer
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Russian, Dolby Digital 2.0 Russian
Easter Egg: No
Director: Konstantin Maximov
Cast: Igor Petrenko, Aleksandr Baluyev
Genre: Action, Fantasy and Sci-Fi
Length: 89 minutes
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