Striking Distance (1993) [Blu-ray]
|Genre(s): Action / Crime / Mystery|
|Sony || R - 102 minutes - $28.95 || June 16, 2009|
|Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-06-19|
Writer(s): Rowdy Herrington & Marty Kaplan (written by)
Cast: Bruce Willis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Dennis Farina, Tom Sizemore, Robert Pastorelli, Andre Braugher
Theatrical Release Date: September 17, 1993
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The 1990s (especially early) were an odd time for Bruce Willis. Coming off of the success of Die Hard (1988), he made Die Hard 2 (’90) which wasn’t a bad film, followed by Look Who’s Talking Too, The Bonfire of Vanities, Mortal Thoughts and Death Becomes Her before righting the ship with Pulp Fiction. Note, most of these movies were merely average but pretty forgettable and Striking Distance fits that bill perfectly.
Bruce Willis plays hard-edged Detective Tom Hardy, an alcoholic-in-training who believes a cop may behind the killings of several young women, a serial killer known as “The Polish Hill Strangler”. Hardy is also a generational cop. Father, two uncles, two nephews and many others are also cops. When his dad is killed by “The Polish Hill Stranger” (while in pursuit with Hardy), things turn dark for poor ole’ Hardy.
After the police arrest and convict a suspect based on an eyewitness statement, Hardy refuses to accept it. On television he reiterates his theory that it is a cop – because of the killer’s knowledge of police procedures – he is demoted to river duty, destined to patrol the rivers of Pittsburgh. He gets a new partner in Jo Christman (Sarah Jessica Parker), a gal who can handle Hardy’s nasty demeanor. Of course, soon enough she finds respect for him (more on that later).
Oh, and did I forget to mention that he’s the bane of the force after testifying against his partner (and cousin played by the late Robert Pastorelli) for aggravated abuse (while on the job)? Not only a rift amongst his fellow cops but within the family as well.
Striking Distance isn’t a terrible or even unbearable movie that some make it out to be, it’s just very forgettable with some glaring flaws with the screenplay and subsequently the story and characters. My first problem with the film is with how director/co-writer Rowdy Herrington handled the Hardy/Christman dynamic. I can accept she’d be attracted to Hardy but to fall head over heels in such a quick manner? Not so much. It felt the romantic interest angle was forced way too much and thus some key elements felt off.
Another problem was with the screenplay overall. For one thing, the characters are all two-dimensional and even the normally charismatic Bruce Willis can’t overcome a clichéd cop character. Also, it seemed the story was only half done and I cannot understand first why someone like Willis would sign on and second, how a major studio could green light it. The story came across as lazy more than anything else.
Overall, the movie isn’t awful just pretty much forgettable early 90s fodder. You can find one of these action-thrillers everywhere and the only reason this one got any attention was for Bruce Willis, because it certainly wasn’t for a masterful script or story.
Only items is a BD-Live portal and some trailers for other Sony titles. Certainly they could’ve included the footage of Bruce Willis apologizing for this movie...
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
While not a visually pleasing Blu-ray, Striking Distance actually doesn’t look too bad in 1080p HD. The movie is presented in its 1.85 original aspect ratio and the picture has the normal film grain one expects from a movie that is 16 years old and although the detail level isn’t what I would expect, I still thought that overall it’s a decent transfer all things considered.
The same can be said for Sony’s standard Dolby TrueHD track. This isn’t going to be an impressive track (not in the least) with explosions and gunfire not having much of an impact, but the score by Brad Fiedel (Terminator) sounds pretty good and dialogue levels all were crisp and clear. Not exactly a title one would want to show off to friends, Striking Distance is still a decent Blu-ray catalogue movie.
Striking Distance isn’t awful just pretty much forgettable early 90s fodder. You can find one of these action-thrillers everywhere and the only reason this one got any attention was for Bruce Willis, because it certainly wasn’t for a masterful script or story. The Blu-ray isn’t anything spectacular with decent audio and video quality and absolutely NO features.