Pentathlon (UK - BD RB)
Olympics fever sweeps over Marcus and then Dolph defects to America. Nooooo!
Eric Brogar (Dolph Lundgren) has been trained since childhood to be a champion. With his abusive trainer Heinrich Mueller (David Soul) on his back, the East German athlete wins his gold medal at the Seoul Korea Olympics but defects to America with the help of team USA.
Years later, Eric’s life is in taters. His father and friend have been killed because of him, his country is united after the Berlin wall is taken down and he cannot be part of it and now his ex-trainer has turned all terroristy and Eric could be the only one to stand in his way.
For a movie made in 1994, this feels distinctly 80s and not in an intentional period setting sort of way. Discounting the action cover and Dolph, this is actually quite a simple sport’s drama with a terrorist twist at the end. The nasty coach pushing his athlete is really quite dark despite the light and fluffy appearance of the film and if Eric’s escape at the airport wasn’t so preposterous, Pentathlon could have stayed quite real world if it had wanted to.
Essentially this is an action movie that isn’t really an action movie at all. The last act brings explosions (one really funny one when Dolph shoots a guy with a bazooka) and fights but really Pentathlon is a thriller about an Olympics gold medalist caught up in something much bigger than he is. Soul provides a pretty solid maniac bad guy (especially for the era), Dolph is very likable, despite his character’s wide eyed approach to the world and despite the TV movie feel to the whole affair, the silliness of this movie was actually quite appealing in the end.
Released in 1994, Pentathlon still manages to look like an episode of The A-Team for the most part. Soft, TV-esq visuals with a presentation that looks like it needs a good dust only feels boosted by the HD upgrade. Warm reds, that often get so bright they wind up being pink, bright blues that pop off the screen and generally a vast array of bright primary Olympics based colours give the presentation that boosted look all while highlighting the bare minimum has been done to give this a real remaster.
Edges are not all that defined at all really and it’s only good lighting that highlights detail, textures or depth. The image here isn’t bad but the HD upgrade is more of an illusion of improvements as opposed to anything that looks impressive.
The DTS-HD Master Audio option is a hollow track. Everything sounds a bit tinny and with the overly uplifting or generic score simply hovering around the track (mostly in the front speakers) there’s no real oomph here at all. Dialogue is fine but never anything more, the minimal action sequences are more of a volume increase than anything else and really this audio presentation isn’t anything to get excited about at all.
Simply the trailer (02:20 SD)
Pentathlon is a good flick for nostalgia and quite an apt choice considering the Olympics are in full swing for its release. I sort of ended up liking it for it's goofiness and how madcap David Soul was more than anything else. That said, this is not a great actioner, it’s a tepid thriller and beyond a few choice moments, it doesn’t have much character either. Gold medalist action hero thrillers are still to find their champion, maybe on the 20th anniversary of Pentathlon Hollywood will give it another shot. Tom Daley has been pushed too far, now he wants revenge!
* Note: The above images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 18 years and over
Release Date: 30th July 2012
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English, Stereo 2.0 English
Easter Egg: No
Director: Bruce Malmuth
Cast: Dolph Lundgren, David Soul, Renée Coleman
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Sport and Thriller
Length: 96 minutes
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