Point of No Return (1993) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Action / Drama
Warner Brothers || R - 109 minutes - $28.99 || April 7, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-05-06


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

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

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: John Badham
Writer(s): Luc Besson (film "Nikita"), Robert Getchell and Alexandra Seros (screenplay)
Cast: Bridget Fonda, Gabriel Byrne, Dermot Mulroney, Anne Bancroft, Harvey Keitel


Theatrical Release Date: March 19, 1993


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), German (Dolby Digital 5.1), Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Italian, Norgwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish

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.::THE FILM::.

I can sum up my review in a few short words: See La Femme Nikita first.

I know many blasts Point of No Return as a cardboard cutout of the original and a bastardized version of a great French film. They are correct. However, I still found the movie to be entertaining even if the best parts are all lifted from the original, especially a highly suspenseful scene as Nina (Bridget Fonda) must complete a job as her boyfriend (Dermot Mulroney) is right outside the door.

The other issue I have is the casting. While Bridget Fonda is capable enough as Nina, neither Gabriel Byrne or Harvey Keitel holds a candle to their Nikita counterparts played by Tcheky Karyo and the amazing Jean Reno respectively. Byrne and Fonda donít have that spark that Karyo and Anne Parillaud had, instead the former relationship, although believable that he would fall in love with his student, felt forced than natural. As for Keitel, he is certainly a great actor but from his entrance as ďVictor the CleanerĒ to his final scene, he didnít quite have the screen presence that Jean Reno presented in his limited part (one that I wouldíve nominated for an Academy Award).

Comparing Bridget Fonda to Anne Parillaud, Fonda is fine as the killer who is given a second chance, though admittedly, Iíll always give Parillaud props for a great performance, one that carries the picture to a satisfying and bittersweet finale.

The biggest issue I had with the movie wasnít that it copied the originalís greatest moments but was the fact that in order to Americanize it, it is set in places that just didnít seem to gel that well together. Much like how this version doesnít quite get the casting right, John Badham, a solid action director in his own right, doesnít measure up to Luc Besson, although to be honest Badham also didnít have the scenic French cityscape to work with either... Also, as great Iím sure New Orleans is, how does it compare to Italy? Seriously.

Point of No Return isnít a bad movie, but the writers wouldíve been better off more on its own rather than change things up for American audiences during a rather lame climax. But as I said, I enjoyed the movie for what it is: a 75% copy of the far superior La Femme Nikita, so Iíll say it again, before you see this version, I beg of you to go out and rent (or better yet) buy Nikita. Hell, Sony recently released it on Blu-ray as well...



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Thereís only a little old theatrical trailer on this disc.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Point of No Return comes to Blu-ray on a 25GB disc and in 1080p high-def. Now, the picture quality isnít exactly the greatest as I noticed many darker scenes was littered with noise. Also, black levels are not the greatest but skin tones and other colors looked alright. However, overall the picture isnít that bad and probably is a modest improvement over its DVD counterpart. As far as I could tell, I didnít notice much in the way of dust or scratches.

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track is actually pretty good if not also a tad flat in some spots, especially with Hans Zimmerís awful synthesized 1990s score. If thereís one thing I hate about the late 80s going into the early 90s, itís that bane on society known as the synthesizer. Whoever invented that should be tortured... or given a few harsh words! Anyway, dialogue sounded flat at times but the score itself and some of the ambient noises or sound effects werenít too bad.



.::OVERALL::.

Iím still a little unsure the point of Point of No Return. Very little of it is actually new and any of the plot elements that did work were lifted directly from the La Femme Nikita and what is new, particularly the climactic scene, wasnít that effective. Add to that itís hard not to compare Harvey Keitel to Jean Reno, and the former cannot hold a candle both in terms of screen presence and bringing a character with so little dialogue to life.

In any case, Point of No Return is actually an OK movie taken on its own, but I still plead with you to go out and rent the original as that is the version to see first. The Blu-ray doesnít look too bad and the audio quality is half-way decent, but since this is just a straight port of the DVD, thereís only a theatrical trailer and nothing else, so if you want to pick this up, wait for it to go below $10.