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Category:    Home > Reviews > Martial Arts Cycle > Ultimate Force (Blu-ray and HD-DVD)

Ultimate Force (Blu-ray and HD-DVD)

 

Picture: B+ ††††Sound: B- ††††Extras: C†† Film: B-

 

 

For mixed-martial arts fans the name Mirko Cro-Cop is commonly heard and refers to one of the most devastating strikers in the entire sport.Cro-cop is a powerhouse Croatian fighter with legs that look like tree trunks and he hits and kicks so hard he knocks out just about every fighter he is faced with, although recently he went from fighting in the Pride FC and went to the UFC where he has lost the last two of his fights, and one of them was a devastating head kick that knocked him unconscious.

 

Being a fighter of this caliber and constantly training and fighting takes full devotion, but somewhere along the way Cro-Cop manages to put his physical skills into a film to test his acting skills and the results is the slighter better than expected Ultimate Force, which plays out similarly to your typical Van Damme/Steven Seagal type of action movie, however the big difference here is the Cro-cop could actually kill a person if he was really fighting them, that isÖan average person.This is a straight-to-video release that was initially released in Japan where he is much more of a celebrity because of the origins of the Pride FC, but now that Mirko has made his debut in the UFC, despite losing, he is definitely building a reputation and anyone who has seen his previous fights in the Pride know his abilities and realize that he is one bad dude!Mirko was once a police officer in Croatia as well, which is similar to his character in the film, so the acting in this film really isnít much of a stretch, as it would seem the role was written just for him and because of that fact, it works well.

 

In this film Cro-cop plays a super-assassin who failed his last mission and because of that must be sent to a rehabilitation island, which is nearly meant to eventually kill him anyway, but on the island he finds his lost love and the two of them must plan their way out of their current situation, as well as their horrible past, and begin a new future together, but thatís not going to be easy as it would seem that more people want them dead and they will need to use all of their powers together to defeat that force.Overall itís like a mix of No Escape mixed with Bloodsport and Unleashed.So the territory is nothing new, but the action scenes are better than expected and the fight choreography is better than your average romp.

 

The technical specs on both the Blu-ray and the HD-DVD are nearly identically and I was hard-pressed to find any major discrepancy between either disc; both present the film in a 1.85 X 1 1080i HD anamorphic image that looks good, motion is never a problem, and considering this was straight-to-video itís surprisingly pretty good, although itís not 1080p. The Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo mix though is a big upset as itís amazing that a film could be released at this point in time that doesnít have a 5.1 mix at the very least.The 2.0 channel has limitations that will disappoint some, especially since this is an action-oriented film and would have some nice surround activity to liven it up a bit.

 

The extras are geared, as is the film, towards MMA fans and specifically Mirko as we see him training, hear him in a interview and see a making-of, which all of his boils down to the major selling point of this film, which is showing what it would be like if they took a MMA fighter and turned him into a limitless action hero in a film where he could have even more power than he could inside a ring with the aid of exaggeration and make-believe.Fans of this genre will be amused for the most part and with the exception of the stereo-only audio, both the Blu-ray and the HD-DVD are good straight-to-video releases, especially since they are straight-to-HD-video releases!!!

 

 

- ††Nate Goss


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