D.O.A.: Dead or Alive (2007)

Genre(s): Action / Fantasy / Martial Arts
Dimension Extreme || PG13 - 86 minutes - $24.95 || September 11, 2007
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2007-09-24


Buy this DVD from Amazon.com!
.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Corey Yuen
Writer(s): J.F. Lawton (story), J.F. Lawton and Adam Gross & Seth Gross (screenplay)
Cast: Jaime Pressly, Holly Valance, Sarah Carter, Eric Roberts, Natassia Malthe, Matthew Marsden, Devon Aoki


Theatrical Release Date: June 15, 2007


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • East Meets West: Behind the Action of "D.O.A."
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

Comment on this and other movies on the message board!


.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

“D.O.A.: Dead or Alive” follows a group of super-skilled fighters from across the globe invited to a remote Pacific island to compete for the $10 million title of World’s Best Fighter. Led by pro-wrestler Jaime Pressly and ninja princess Devon Aoki, the finalists must band together to defeat their sinister host.

“D.O.A.” isn’t exactly a fine example in the field of dumb entertainment. It is dumb, for sure, but I must admit that throughout its 80-minutes runtime, I was entertained. Also, although I’m well outside my teen years now, the girl on girl fighting was an obvious selling point and I can’t help but say it works. The critic in me says to scoff at such a bribe, the guy in me argues with the critic... and won the argument.

Director Cory Yuen, who also helmed “The Transporter”, knows what this is and doesn’t mask the fact that it is a video game turned movie putting up match graphics and pairing together various fighters. This includes a nicely stylized fight between Christie vs. Helena where the ladies punch each other ad nauseum and both shadily clad, of course (and in the end, the woman worse for wear shows no bruises...).

Despite the dumb plot and sub-par acting, I actually enjoyed “D.O.A.” as a mindless movie that borders on soft-core pornography (or as much as a PG-13 film can get). Jaime Pressly gets a little grating with her tomboyish Southern drawl but my favorite girl had to be Holly Valance as Christie. Maybe it’s her British accent or stunning resemblance (to me, at least) to Kelly Clarkson.

But, all in all, the women of “D.O.A.” perform their stunts and deliver lines good enough that even some below average performances could be ignored. Just as an FYI, the team of women include the aforementioned Jaime Pressly (“Torque”) and Holly Valance (TV’s “Prison Break”) along with Devon Aoki (“Sin City”), Sarah Carter (TV’s “Shark”) and Natassia Malthe (“Bloodrayne 2”). All of them are beautiful and while they may not be the greatest actresses, they were used very well here.

I cannot wrap up this review without mentioning the cheese-less effort from Eric Roberts (aka Julia Roberts’ brother) as the baddie. No, he’s not exactly menacing but he has that creepy/slick persona that makes his scenes fun to watch at times. After his turn on the hit series "Heroes", I can't wait to see his career 'rebound' (for the lack of a better word), especially after 2008's "The Dark Knight".

“Dead or Alive” is based on a video game that, unlike other higher profile ones *cough* Tomb Raider *cough*, it knows what it is and has fun with it. You have a few bombshell chicks fighting in a various slow-motion speeds in environments only seen through one’s PS3. If you’re looking for mindless entertainment and don’t mind the “Charlie’s Angels” kind of stylized action and violence, then “D.O.A.” just might be up your alley.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Given its box office failure, raking in less than $500k and only $7.5m worldwide, the lack of features is not surprising.

East Meets West: Behind the Action of “D.O.A.” (11:02) - This is a standard ‘making-of’ featurette that gives you interviews with the cast and some of the crew (the producer primarily) where they give their insights on training and working in China.

A theatrical trailer is also included.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

“D.O.A.” is presented in anamorphic widescreen, 2.35 OAR, and looks good. I didn’t notice any distortion or anything off overall.

The standard Dolby 5.1 track is offered and sounds fine. Nothing great, but the clinks of the swords or just general fighting sounds comes through the speakers nicely enough.



.::OVERALL::.

A movie like “D.O.A.: Dead or Alive” will not make my list of guilty pleasures (there are enough to comprise a top 10), but I did enjoy it for what it was: women kicking ass and looking great doing it. The DVD doesn’t offer much and I’m not sure how much repeat value it contains, but if you find it on sale or previously viewed, then give it a try.