Ricochet

Nick Styles (Denzel Washington) is a rookie cop on the way up. Only seven months into his job, he’s already a hero. In a daring and brazen rescue, Styles saves a woman’s life and puts away a psychotic killer named Blake (John Lithgow).


ricochetStyle’s heroics and quick advancement land him the Assistant District Attorney position. It all happens so quick it’s embarrassing. One day he’s playing hoops with his brother’s in the hood, the next day he’s prosecuting them. Style’s life is good. He has a loving wife, two adorable little girls, a good job and the respect of the community. That really burns Blake, who spends his time in prison dreaming up ways to ruin Style’s life.

Eventually Blake escapes from prison, and fakes his death thanks to the unexpected assistance of another prisoner. Then Blake begins a campaign of terror against Styles, slowly tearing apart his perfect life. Styles immediately knows who’s behind the campaign to smear his life, but no one will believe him because Blake is dead. Styles superiors, friends and family think he’s going nuts, their fears confirmed by escalating evidence against him. Styles knows the only way to clear his name is to lure Blake into the open, which he does with the help of street gang members. Now it’s a fight to the death on the famous Watt’s Towers in Los Angeles, where only one man will emerge victorious.

Christ, I sound like the synopsis on the back of the box. Even with Russell “Highlander” Mulcahy on board as director, “Ricochet” is still pretty pedestrian. Most of the blame goes to writer Steven E. de Souza, whose screenplay does little to help matters. It’s filled with plot holes so large you could it Linda Tripp through them. Everything’s too convenient, and that’s the film’s problem. There’s no unexpected twists or turns. “Ricochet” is like one of those large piece jigsaw puzzles for small children.

Anyone with half a brain will take a look at the pieces and then laugh at their simplicity. The cast busts their butt to make the best of a bad situation. Washington always durable, and does a fine job as Styles. He’s matched by Lithgow, who always excels with characters like Blake. Kevin Pollak has some nice moments as Style’s partner, while Lindsay Wagner stops kicking Ford truck tires long enough to play the District Attorney.

Hey, she can prosecute me anytime. “Ricochet” is produced by Joel Silver, which should give you a pretty good idea of the film’s content. Lots of vicious violence, naked, big breasted women (and one very large woman at a strip club) and more flying ammunition than New Year’s eve in Inglewood.

COMPLETE CHECK-UP

VISION: [ ] EXCELLENT [ ] GOOD [ ] RESUSCITATE [ X ] D.O.A.

Patient shows signs of cataracts. Lots of grainy, flat images. The 2.35:1 widescreen transfer only enhances the problem. Except for the precisely lit indoor scenes, the film looks like it was shot under overcast skies. The digital transfer is very sub par, with annoying compression noise throughout. It looks like a video that got too close to a magnet. The colors and flesh tones are flat, and in some scenes, downright unappealing. Some shots of Washington look pasty and artificial.

HEARING: [ X ] EXCELLENT [ ] GOOD [ ] RESUSCITATE [ ] D.O.A.

For such a crappy visual transfer, “Ricochet” features an excellent Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track. Strong dialogue, nice separation and crystal clear reproduction. Lithgow’s evil cackle completely engulfs you thanks to the surround track. The DVD also features a French language Dolby Digital surround stereo track that’s pretty impressive, and a Spanish language mono track. With so much care given to the audio tracks, you would think someone would have done the same for the picture.

ORAL: [ X ] EXCELLENT [ ] GOOD [ ] RESUSCITATE [ ] D.O.A.

Closed captioned in English, with subtitles in French and Spanish.

COORDINATION: [ ] EXCELLENT [ X ] GOOD [ ] RESUSCITATE [ ] D.O.A.

Nice selection of cast and crew bios, interactive menus and scene access, the original theatrical trailer, plus numerous television spots that spotlight the various angles a film is sold to the public.

PROGNOSIS: [ ] EXCELLENT [ ] GOOD [ ] RESUSCITATE [ X ] D.O.A.

Patient died on the table, I mean during the transfer.

VITALS: $24.99/Rated R/104 Min./Color/32 Chapter Stops/Snapcase/#90683

ATTENDING RESIDENT: John Larsen

PATIENT: RICOCHET

BIRTH DATE: 1991

HMO: HBO Home Video



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